A pair of former Gators have gotten off to strong starts in NBA summer league play in Las Vegas.
For former Gator guard Bradley Beal, it was expected. After all, Beal was the third overall pick of the Washington Wizards. In his first three summer league games with the Wizards, Beal is averaging 18.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 2.3 apg in three summer league games. He’s not shooting the ball well (41 percent from the field, 25 percent from 3-point range) but has shown the ability to draw contact while getting to the basket (28 trips to the free-throw line in his first three games).
Beal told me last fall his early shooting woes in college were related to getting used to the speed of the game (getting a quicker release off on his shot). I would expect a similar adjustment for Beal in the NBA, which is an even more explosive league.
Meanwhile, former Gator point guard Erving Walker did as much he could do to impress the Phoenix Suns in his first summer league game. Walker scored 12 points off the bench, going a perfect 5-5 from the floor and 2-2 from 3-point range. He also had two assists.
Walker is more of a longshot to make the Suns. But with a strong showing in Las Vegas, Walker could earn an invite to an NBA training camp in October, or land a contract overseas.
– Remember former Florida point guard Nick Calathes? After three seasons in Greece, the two-time UF single-season record holder for assists has signed a contract for a team in Russia.
– Former Gator forward Alex Tyus has earned his Israeli citizenship, but will play the next two seasons in Italy. Tyus was named sixth man of the year in the Israeli pro league last season.
– 2013 Florida point guard commit Kasey Hill lit it up at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, scoring 45 points in a game. Florida coach Billy Donovan was on hand to watch Hill in action.
– The Gators also are in the hunt for Hill’s travel-league teammate, uncommitted 2013 pf Chris Walker. The 6-foot-9 Walker, who has both Florida in Kansas in his final five choices, displayed his inside scoring and rebounding at the LeBron James Skills Academy.