The 2017 Las Vegas Summer League turned into an exhibition for the Los Angeles Lakers, with a coming out party during their championship run. While the stellar play of Lonzo Ball was the main highlight, the Lakers got to witness the surprising play from the likes of Vander Blue, Alex Caruso, and Kyle Kuzma.
While Lakers fans may not have expected the contributions from Kuzma and Caruso, the stellar play of Blue shouldn’t have been a surprise. As the reigning G-League MVP, Blue’s stellar offensive repertoire was on display, aggressively attack the basket on a consistent basis.
Blue was promptly rewarded when general manager Rob Pelinka officially announced his signing on Friday. The contract was a true testament of the perseverance Blue has had as a journeyman, even receiving some praise from owner Jeanie Bess and Dwyane Wade. Blue responded to Buss by thanking her for believing in him, via his Twitter:
Appreciate you so much Jeanie! Thank you. https://t.co/VB8OfSswt0
— Vander Blue II (@veezy_SQ) August 4, 2017
Blue averaged 15.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists during their championship run in Summer League, taking over aggressively in the finals in the absence of Ball. After going undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, Blue has had to continually make a name for himself, dominating in the G-League.
The 25-year-old reigns as the franchise leading scorer for the South Bay Lakers (previously the Los Angeles D-Fenders), where he put up his MVP Season. Last season, he posted averages of 24.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals for the South Bay Lakers, in his fourth season with the team.
News of his contract spread throughout the NBA a week prior to it becoming official, receiving thanks from players throughout the NBA. Instead of taking it light on his big day, Blue celebrated by doing a three-a-day, including workouts in the pool to increase his vertical. The newly signed Lakers guard now fights to secure his roster spot going into training camp, with an exciting youth movement taking over the franchise.