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NBA summer league 2021: The rookies and sophomores who stood out in Las Vegas

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Top picks showcasing their potential at NBA summer league (1:13)

Check out highlights from Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs and Jonathan Kuminga at NBA summer league. (1:13)

The list of NBA summer league MVPs is, like the event itself, an interesting mix of future stars making their debuts and players who never quite caught on in the league. Consider 2012, when the MVP award was split between Portland Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard (now a six-time All-NBA pick) and Josh Selby of the Memphis Grizzlies, who would play just 10 more games in the NBA.

Even if it doesn't necessarily portend stardom, playing well in Las Vegas has been a good indicator of who can contribute more than expected. Recent NBA summer league MVPs Kyle Anderson, Brandon Clarke and Josh Hart have outperformed their draft spots late in the first round.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the top picks, returning veterans and players hoping to solidify their spot in the NBA who have been most impressive over the first week of competition in this year's summer league, which concludes with Tuesday's championship game.


Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons

Consider the adjustment to the NBA 3-point line made by the No. 1 overall pick, who has been lights out from downtown in Las Vegas, shooting 13-of-26 (50%) beyond the arc. That was highlighted in a game against the New York Knicks on Friday, when Cunningham made seven treys en route to 24 points.