Of course, every NBA fan is glued to their TV to see whether or not their team's lottery picks perform up to expectations during the annual spectacle that is Summer League. But what we cannot forget amid the hoopla? The inevitable steals of the draft that will have their very first chances to show out. These are the guys that fell out of the lottery, but have the potential to show out during the summer and become major players for their teams when the regular season comes around. Let's start with five non-lottery picks that you should keep your eyes on.
1. Keldon Johnson
Keldon Johnson was drafted at no. 29 overall by the San Antonio Spurs following a successful freshman campaign at the University of Kentucky. In his first two Summer League games, he has already shown fans a glimpse of the future down in south Texas. With a terrific 29 points and 7 rebounds, Johnson led the Spurs to a day two victory in Salt Lake City; If that day is any indication of what's to come, the Spurs have a truly capable operator on their hands that will definitely fit into the regular season picture in due time.
2. Talen Horton-Tucker
Talen Horton-Tucker was picked at no. 46 of the second round of the draft by the Orlando Magic before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Although he is sitting out at the moment due to an injury, he will be an important person to watch by the time the Las Vegas leg of Summer League gets popping. The Lakers are still trying to finish building their roster, and as their only draft pick, Horton-Tucker will need to perform to show the team that he was the right choice. But he should be up to the challenge considering his uniquely long wingspan and sturdy build that gives him the ability to play and defend multiple positions on the floor.
3. Admiral Schofield
Admiral Schofield came in at pick no. 42 for the 76ers before being traded to the Washington Wizards. He is coming in as one of the more seasoned draftees as a four-year player out of the University of Tennessee. Though merely average-sized for his position, Schofield's chiseled 240-pound build allows him to come into the league with a game-ready body that can match up against taller players. The main thing to watch with Schofield is his improvement throughout the summer, a hallmark of his work at Tennessee, where he went from a lower-tier recruit to a college standout who ended up earning All-SEC First Team honors.
4. Luka Samanic
Luka Samanic went to the Spurs just outside of the lottery at No. 19. He's one to watch for two major reasons: he is a somewhat proven professional European player, and he is joining a San Antonio Spurs organization not known for squandering value. He is coming into the league at 6-foot-11, great size for a forward, with versatile inside and outside scoring ability and significant fluidity and athleticism. And best of all, he is bringing this package to the league's foremost expert on developing international players into Hall of Famers, Gregg Popovich.
5. Dylan Windler
Dylan Windler was drafted at No. 26 by the Cleveland Cavaliers as one of the oldest guys in the player pool after completing four years at Belmont University. The rookie already began impressing his new head coach, John Beilein, in the first day of the Salt Lake City Summer League; outside of his 19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, he was able to control the game through the little things on both ends of the court, showing that even on an off night, he will still be an asset to the team. But production is rarely a problem with WIndler, who is a sharpshooter with deep range and the ability to move well without the ball.