Summer League is over (I know, it’s sad), but I’m not done squeezing out all the content we can from it.
We already broke down Coby White’s Summer League performance in an entirely separate post, so make sure you go check that out. But why let White get all the attention, when the Bulls second round pick, Daniel Gafford had himself quite a debut, as well. Check it out …
- MPG: 25.0
- PPG: 13.8
- FG%: 68
- RPG: 7.8
- APG: 0.6
- BPG: 2.80
If you didn’t know Daniel Gafford before, you do now. The seven-footer took the court for a breakout performance this Summer League, where he posted two strong double-double performances (21/10 vs. Los Angeles, 20/10 vs. Hornets). He was one of the best rookies to take the floor despite being a second-round pick, who went No. 38-overall.
His 68 field goal percentage is extremely efficient, but, again, we need to keep in mind the guy basically never attempts a shot five feet from the rim. Nevertheless, he has a solid touch and enough power to go up strong to the basket. If one thing is for sure, Gafford LOVES dunking the basketball (I mean who doesn’t?). He shot 28-41 throughout the five Summer League games and had a total of 13 dunks, which equates for 46 percent of Gafford’s made baskets coming via dunk. Yeah, so I like that stat a lot.
To be fair, he clearly struggled against similarly sized opponents, and six of those dunks came in one game against the Los Angeles Lakers. For example, in the game where Gafford matched-up with the Pelicans’ seven-foot Jaxson Hayes, he only went 3-5 with one dunk on the night. As for his appearance against former Duke Blue Devil Marques Bolden, he had an even worse performance going 3-7 with two missed dunks.
In the NBA, there is plenty of size out there, and when you take away the height advantage for Gafford, or in other words the easy-dunk, he becomes a lot less efficient around the rim. If he really wants to become any more or a scoring threat, he’ll have to develop a lighter hook shot and more crafty foot-work around the hoop.
On the defensive end, he did what he normally does. Gafford averaged 2.0 blocks per game in college and this time got himself up to 2.8 blocks per game. He has good timing and always tries to get back in transition to clog-up the paint. With his sheer size and length, I’m not to worried about his defensive game translating to the NBA, he will make do.
Just let his highlights do the talking: