As has been previously discussed, Summer League went OK for the Suns, although the guys they hope to be contributors next year struggled with inconsistency even against the dreck they were competing against.
Earl Clark showed some flashes, showed some mental lapses and overall put up a pretty mediocre 11.3 and 7.0 considering his competition.
RaptorsBlog.com took Summer League analysis a step further by calculating the PERs of all Summer League rookies, and the results aren’t pretty for Clark and the Suns.
Of the 25 rookies analyzed, Clark brought up the rear at No. 23 with a PER of 12.7. To put that in perspective, that figure isn’t a whole lot better than the 11.6 PER Robin Lopez recorded during the real season last year.
Granted, that doesn’t mean he should be labeled a bust just yet. In fact, I expect Clark to struggle a bit and not get much court time early in the year but eventually develop into a solid rotation player by the middle of the season.
He has a lot of learning to do and he must find a way to bring it night in and night out, but I still don’t think there are many players from the draft this side of Taylor Griffin’s little brother who are much better than him in terms of pure talent.
At the other end of the PER spectrum was my boy and former Wildcat Chase Budinger, who scorched the rims for a 81 percent true shooting percentage on his way to a 34.3 PER.
No, Chase won’t be bettering LeBron’s 31.76 PER from last season during the regular campaign, but I still think it would have been worth it for the Suns to have dealt a future second rounder and cash once he slipped to No. 44 overall. Knowing the Suns’ fondness for him, I was sure that was the trade when the league announced Detroit had dealt that pick, but oh well.
It obviously would have been a reach to select Chase in the first round, but he was a great value pick for where he was selected, as he proved in Summer League.
Then again, his former Arizona teammate Jerryd Bayless earned Summer League MVP honors last year, and that didn’t help him much come the start of the season.