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Aussies in Summer League: Simmons, Maker earn Summer League honours
For Ben Simmons and Thon Maker the NBA Summer League was an opportunity to work on their game and prove to some doubters that they were worthy of their draft selections.
Thon Maker was the mystery man heading into the Las Vegas Summer League. Ben Simmons entered as the man so highly critiqued over the last couple of years that everyone is supposedly an expert on his game.
Both leave the Summer League with their first official NBA honours under their belt. Simmons was selected to the All-NBA Summer League First team and Maker to the All-NBA Summer League Second team.
Simmons was the sole rookie named to the First team, and Maker was one of three rookies (along with Jaylen Brown and Tyler Ulis) named to the Second team.
Whilst it is only Summer League, and everyone knows Summer League doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, it's truly impressive to have two out of four rookies earning honours come from Australia.
Simmons averaged 12.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 30 minutes per game.
Simmons displayed his passing prowess throughout, dishing out some showtime passes that left the crowd in awe and had fans salivating at the thought of what he could be in years to come. Whilst his passing was eye-catching, when he turned his attention to shooting against Chicago he proved he is more than capable of scoring.
Maker averaged 14.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1 block in 30 minutes per game.
Maker was the talk of the Summer League. His crazy length and ability to block shots, grab rebounds and run the floor like a point guard made him an immediate fan favourite. It didn't all go smoothly for Maker though - registering an unwanted double-double of 10 points and 10 fouls against the Grizzlies.
If their play in the NBA Summer League is anything to go by, our two NBA rookies will be creating highlights for many years to come. The future is certainly bright for our Aussies in the NBA!