Center Alex Len won’t participate in the rest of the Las Vegas Summer League after breaking his right pinky finger in the Phoenix Suns’ summer opener, the team announced on Sunday. Len will be examined when he is back in Phoenix.
The news is obviously disconcerting with Len finally looking confident in himself. His stat line in the 74-72 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday wasn’t overwhelming — six points and six boards — but his activity, size and awareness seemed much improved from his rookie season.
Len missed the 2013 Summer League after undergoing multiple ankle surgeries. Summer Suns head coach Mike Longabardi said the biggest thing needed from Len during the Summer League was simply his availability, but this injury has derailed the second-year center from coming through in that respect.
The good news is that Len’s broken finger, a result of his hand getting caught in a jersey, according to Paul Coro, isn’t a result of anything other than bad luck. It’s more than likely he’ll be ready for training camp with proper rehab unless the damage is worse than expected. Kobe Bryant played a large chunk of the 2007-08 season with a similar injury that resulted in a broken pinky and torn ligament (and if it matters at all, I had the same injury as Bryant to my right ring and pinky fingers).
For the Suns’ Summer League team, this means more time for Alec Brown to shake off the nerves. The stretch big man went 0-for-7 from the floor in his pro debut. Forward T.J. Warren could also see more time at the power forward slot.