Ringer: Summer League MVP is Meaningless

The crux of Matt Borcas’ piece on Tyus Jones and the Summer League MVP for The Ringer can be summarized thusly: Things are looking up for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but not because Jones dominated in Vegas.

Borcas points out that there have been mixed results from the past five summer league MVPs.

Damian Lillard, who shared the award with Josh Selby in 2012, went on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2013 and become a franchise player for the Portland Trail Blazers. Selby is playing for a second-tier Turkish league.

Toronto’s first-round pick Jonas Valanciunas, who was drafted in 2011, won it in 2013. While he has been a starter for the Raptors in the past four seasons, he was not the Shaq-like force he was in Vegas.

Glen Rice Jr. and Kyle Anderson, the past two MVP award winners, had differing paths as well. Rice was tagged with a marijuana possession charge after spending 2015 in the D-League, and Anderson is a rotation player for the San Antonio Spurs, but hardly a star.

“The summer league MVP seems to reward a certain type of player: former blue-chip high school recruits entering their second season in the NBA,” writes Borcas, pointing out that only one rookie made this year’s All-NBA Summer League First Team — No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons.

“So, yes, things are looking up for the Timberwolves,” Borcas concludes. “But Jones’s summer league MVP — which really should be named the Nate Robinson Award — isn’t among the reasons why, although maybe the trophy will keep him warm. After all, the third-string point guard will need all the help he can get warming the bench next season.”

[The Ringer]
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