It can be easy to overlook NBA Summer League games, what with baseball season in full swing and fans looking forward to the start of the NFL and college football seasons.
But the Summer League is a chance for fringe NBA players to really make a mark and help their chances of sticking with a team. And Penn State product Lamar Stevens certainly did that with the Cleveland Cavaliers over the past two weeks.
Stevens started all five games for the Cavs’ Summer League team and averaged 14.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists while playing 28.1 minutes per game. The Summer League games are only 40 minutes, so Stevens was on the court a ton for the Cavs.
“I think I belong. I think I’ve proven that. One-hundred percent,” Stevens told the media in Las Vegas. “I want to continue to prove it every day. My work is far from done.”
Stevens was also busy making highlights, led by this game-winning shot against the Phoenix Suns.
Tough finish? Game winner? That’s no problem for Lamar Stevens 💪💥 pic.twitter.com/btkkVukRYj
— Onward State (@OnwardState) August 17, 2021
Lamar Stevens takes it all the way and puts it down 😤 pic.twitter.com/P7Jq5p2IWv
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 15, 2021
Stevens went undrafted out of Penn State last year but signed with the Cavs and made the team. He averaged 4.1 points and 2.4 rebounds for the Cavs, playing 12.5 minutes per game last season.
Where does Stevens stand with the Cavs going forward? Here’s a good analysis from beat writer Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com:
About four months ago, Stevens received a non-guaranteed four-year contract. The Cavs technically have only one roster spot available. But if Cleveland’s front office identifies multiple players worth signing at some point over the next few weeks, then Stevens — or Mfiondu Kabengele or Damyean Dotson, both on non-guaranteed deals — could be in jeopardy. Given the thin wing depth chart, combined with how Stevens played as a rookie followed by his performances in Vegas, there’s a better chance of him sticking than the other two.
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