Summer League Report Card: Skal Labissiere

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12: Stephen Zimmerman
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12: Stephen Zimmerman /

Sacramento Kings’ second-year big man Skal Labissiere came to Vegas with expectations to dominate lesser competition after impressing in his extended minutes after the All-Star break. Skal underwhelmed and failed to assert himself for an extended period of time, but there were some positives to take from his summer league play.

Labissiere’s stats in six summer league games (per game): 26.1 minutes, 10 points, 45.3 field goal percentage, 5 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 1.5 blocks, 1 steal

One would expect Skal to garner a heavy workload and use these minutes to experiment with a handle or extend his range, but he only got 8.8 shots up a game (0.5 three-pointers). The turnaround jumper continues to be his main (perhaps, lone?) post move and his ball handling remains to be a needed skill.

With the slow-footed Papagiannis swallowing up space in the paint, Skal set high screens and rolled to the rim; not something he did much of last season.

Labissiere gets his points off open looks from midrange jumpers as defenders collapse on his teammates’ drives. Asking him to set screens and run an offense in a way is out of his comfort zone. The most effective rim rollers can read the defense and make a quick decision to the open man, which takes time, so I’m not worried about his offensive ability after these six games.

Labissiere was active on defense but continues to pick up lazy fouls to put himself in foul trouble. He needs to improve his technique and not rely on his length which leads to soft calls against him.

Final Thoughts

I’m not worried about Skal’s future based on his summer performance. Guards dominate the ball, there’s little to none practice time, and your teammates are not normal rotation players.

Willie Cauley-Stein will be the main rim roller during the season, shifting Skal back to spotting up. Having an experienced guard in George Hill instead of two rookies leading an offense should only help the second-year big.

Next: Sacramento Kings 2017 NBA Free Agency grades

However, we are grading him on his summer league games, and Skal didn’t turn heads as I’d hope.

Sacramento Kings. SKAL LABISSIERE. C+. . Big