After having a well-deserved day off for the Washington Wizards last game, the team re-inserted guard Jared Cunningham back into the line-up on Wednesday afternoon for their first game of the 2017 Las Vegas NBA Summer League play-offs against the Miami Heat. While the move proved well for Cunningham, who finished with 10 points and 2 rebounds, the impact from the Oregon State product wasn’t enough to outlast Miami. The Wizards lost the game on a missed last-second attempt, 89-88, for their fourth consecutive loss of an 0-4 Summer League.
The defeat showcase once again what a difficult overall league schedule it’s been for Washington, despite being one much individual success for Cunningham. Through his first two contests with Washington, Cunningham was averaging 21 points per game, which included a stunning 20 trips to the free-throw stripe in just 38 minutes of action. It was that type of both prolific and aggressive offensive play which was on full display for the 26-year old again on Wednesday, when he made another 8 trips to the charity stripe.
While it’s unknown what the next step in the professional equation is for Cunningham now, if nothing else, the 6’ 4” highlight-reel type player did his part in impressing in front of a league full of NBA and NBA G-League scouts. If he doesn’t secure a contract here in the United States, Cunningham could either return to China, where he played for Jiangsu Monkey King, or he may be targeted by a European professional team due to his recent displays in the Summer League.
For now, the attention of Beaver Nation will turn to Milwaukee Bucks guard Gary Payton II, who will try to help his team against the Sacramento Kings in the 2017 Las Vegas NBA Summer League play-offs. That game is scheduled to tip-off momentarily (around 5:30 PM PT) and will be televised on ESPN2.