Just like March Madness, the NBA hasn't exactly been the most kind to Gonzaga graduates. Although the school has had quite a few kids (especially as of late) drafted in recent drafts, many Gonzaga grads find themselves heading overseas for the guaranteed paycheck.
The NBA Summer League is a great spot for young players to try and make a name for themselves. It is also a great place for players to come back from across the Atlantic and make their presence felt. The Gonzaga Bulldogs had quite a few recent alums notching some minutes recently. Let's take a look at how they fared and try and guess what it means for their future.
Played for: Orlando Magic/D-League Select; Last seen: Fort Wayne (NBDL)
Bouldin went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft and has since been working his way into the NBA the hard way - the through the D-League. Bouldin hopped onto the Magic's summer league team fresh off of winning a D-League title with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, being named Finals MVP in the process. Unfortunately, for Bouldin, he couldn't build any momentum in the summer. Orlando needed to see what it was getting out of its 2014 No. 10 draft pick Elfrid Payton, who manned the back court alongside 2013 first-round pick Victor Oladipo. With Seth Curry in the mix as well, Bouldin wasn't able to find a single minute to showcase anything. (quick note: I couldn't find any stats for Bouldin with the D-League Select team -- in fact, NBA.com didn't even have him on it despite him definitely being on it).
Played for: San Antonio Spurs; Last seen: San Antonio Spurs
Former first-found pick Austin Daye has had a rocky NBA career. He never really carved out a big role with the Detroit Pistons and has spent time with three different NBA teams in two years. Still, in the process, he landed on the Spurs and won a NBA title despite never leaving the bench, so that is worth something. People alway talk about the genius of Gregg Popovich, but for Daye to be successful with the Spurs, he needed a strong showing in the summer league. Daye has Kawhi Leonard blocking his path at shooting forward, and Leonard established himself as a household name in the previous season. Daye showcased his scoring potential, dropping 27 points in one game. His shooting percentages weren't great at all, however, hitting just 34 percent from the floor and 24 percent from beyond the arc. Overall, his line was still pretty decent and it is a step in the right direction to seeking meaningful minutes with the Spurs.
Played for: Toronto Raptors; Last seen: Gonzaga Bulldogs
If Sam Dower continues to play basketball professionally, it will most likely be overseas. Although he has tried out with a few teams and landed on the Raptors summer squad, he played a total of 12 minutes and scored one point.
Played for: Cleveland Cavaliers; Last seen: BCM Gravelines (France)
Steven Gray has quietly been building a case for himself over in France, where he averaged 13.7 points with BCM Gravelines last season. That earned him a spot on the Cavs summer league squad and he was able to make something out of what started out as nothing. Gray logged a total of six minutes in the first two games. He was granted 18 minutes against the Rockets, where he mustered nine points on a pretty poor shooting night. He closed out on a strong note with 17 points against the Heart, off of 6-for-11 shooting, 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, and five assists. The Cavaliers, LeBron and all, are pretty stacked in the backcourt. Andrew Wiggins will see some time there (assuming he isn't traded for Kevin Love) and Kyrie Irving has the point completely locked down. Matthew Dellavedova (that monster) started to see solid minutes as the season progressed last year. During the summer league, Gray stayed locked in step with the Cavaliers second-round draft pick Joe Harris. Whether or not it was enough to make the squad remains to be determined but it was a very nice showing for Gray.
Played for: Phoenix Suns; Last seen: Brose Baskets (Germany)
Elias Harris might be trying to follow in the footsteps of his fellow Suns player P.J. Tucker. Tucker played with the Brose Baskets and was able to parlay that into a spot on the Suns roster. Harris had a strong showing with the Suns' summer roster and was tied for the third-leading scorer on the team. He made five appearances, with two of the games being afterthoughts. The other three were very solid efforts, highlighted by a 16 point, six rebound affair in 36 minutes. Harris has Marcus Morris and Tucker taking a huge portion of the minutes at SF for Phoenix last year, but neither player was exactly a revelation at the spot. Harris might be able to weasel his way into a roster, where an option in his contract with Brose Baskets allows him to leave.
Played for: Boston Celtics; Last seen: Boston Celtics
Including Olynyk is really just a formality here. He had a solid rookie season for the Boston Celtics last year and was hanging out with the summer crowd for some sun and a bit more playing experience. Olynyk put up some great overall numbers, albeit the 40 percent shooting percentage was a bit low and averaging 4.75 fouls per summer league game is a bit much. The man has a spot with the Celtics and it isn't going anywhere any time soon.
Played for: Phoenix Suns; Last seen: Gonzaga Bulldogs
There have been a few people who have insisted on Stockton's NBA potential in this community, and although the support is quite adorable, Stockton's summer line should put to rest any idea of the NBA so far. Stockton played with the Suns alongside Harris and did see a good three steal effort in 14 minutes of play. But he only made two appearances, and it is hard to imagine that someone as severely undersized for the NBA as Stockton is will be able to ever make the league. There are plenty of opportunities abroad for the young man, and it isn't like he has backed down from a hard challenge before. From walk on to starter, Stockton is the consummate professional and will take advantage of whatever opportunity he finds.