Smith suited up in two games last month in Las Vegas. He had a tremendous showing, producing 71 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists in 64 minutes of action. While he sat for the rest of summer league, he had a front-row view of his two rookie teammates.
He played alongside Whitmore in his two games but only shared the court with Thompson once after the fourth pick suffered an ankle injury in his debut. Thompson was eventually ruled out of playing again after one appearance.
Smith, speaking on the “Bradeaux & Will Show” recently, liked what he saw from Thompson and Whitmore over the course of their time in summer league.
They are two of the most athletic players that I’ve seen or played with. Not just jumping, I’m talking about speed and reactions. Their instincts on defense, you can’t really teach that. You can teach where to be in spots but just that knack for the ball, that’s like a gift. They both got that. They are unselfish and they listen. They’re not worried about their shots. They really just wanted to win, that’s what I liked most about them. They were cool to play with.
Thompson produced 16 points, five assists, four rebounds, four blocks and three steals in 28 minutes before leaving early with his injury in his debut on July 7. He went 6-of-13 from the field and connected on his only 3-point attempt.
Whitmore was named MVP of the NBA Summer League after averaging 19.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.5 steals and two assists on 44.7% shooting from the field in six games. He produced three 20-point games and led all players in scoring.
The two players performed well in their first action and look to be in store for strong rookie campaigns. They impressed those on hand at the event and certainly left a strong impression on their new teammate.