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Former Wildcats among top NBA Summer League standouts

Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley were studs in the Las Vegas Summer League.

NBA: Summer League-Philadelphia 76ers at Atlanta Hawks Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats have basically been a farm program for NBA franchises over the last decade. Many of their former players have entered the league and instantly started to dominant.

As of late, two players recently showed flashes of stardom. Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley were the two names that stood out among second-year players in the summer league.

“He didn’t dominate Summer League, which is fine because that’s not what Philly asks him to do. But he was absolutely everywhere. It seemed like Maxey was involved in every possession on both offense and defense, and not in the chaotic, scattered way. His fingerprints were just over every portion of every game he played in,” SB Nation’s Brady Klopfer said regarding Maxey.

Klopfer listed six non-rookies that crushed it in Vegas. Along with Maxey, Quickley was on the list alongside Celtics’ Payton Pritchard, Knicks’ Obi Toppin, Warriors’ Gary Payton II, and Grizzlies’ Desmond Bane.

As for Quickley, he was among the top-scoring players over the couple-week league.

“Despite the lack of efficiency, the combo guard averaged 20.2 points per game, and dished out 7.8 assists to just 2.4 turnovers. After spending parts of his rookie season looking a bit all over the place, Quickley was uhh … not overly quick. He was slow (in a good way), and patient, showing marked improvement in his understanding of how to use screens, angles, and play with timing,” Klopfer continued with.

Both Maxey and Quickley were terrific in their respective rookie season.

Maxey, the first Wildcat off the board in the 2020 NBA Draft, averaged 8 points per game. He shot 46 percent from the field which is notable as well. Overall, Maxey’s role as the backup point guard was exactly where he ended up thriving.

Quickley was a similar story as he was considered one of the worst picks of the first round immediately following the draft. He ended up averaging 11.4 points per game, becoming a staple for the Knicks' second unit. He set an NBA record with his free-throw shooting as well.

It was a terrific season for Quickley, and he should be primed for another impactful role with the up-and-coming Knicks.