The Georgia Bulldogs have two former players participating in the 2019 Las Vegas Summer League. Second year forward Yante Maten of the Miami Heat and newly-drafted Nicolas Claxton of the Brooklyn Nets will both participate in the two week competition.
Maten was undrafted in 2018 but signed a two-way deal with the Heat shortly after the draft concluded, while Claxton was selected with the 31st pick of the 2019 NBA Draft by the Nets.
The Miami Heat played three games prior to the Las Vegas league tipping off, going undefeated in those contests. That unbeaten streak continued to roll as the Heat are 1-0 in the Vegas circuit. Miami vaulted to an early favorite for tournament success.
In his first Vegas appearance, Maten scored 9 points while grabbing 4 rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes. He also had the second highest team plus/minus point differential at +32. Only 2019 lottery pick Tyler Herro was higher at +36.
Maten has been in the starting lineup across all three appearances this summer, averaging 15.3 points on 38.3 percent shooting, along with 7.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. He sat out in the first game of the summer against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Claxton got his first taste of professional level action when his Nets took on the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. His team was defeated by a score of 96-92.
Claxton is being eased into the game as it appears player development expert Kenny Atkinson wants his staff to take things slow. Atkinson’s Summer League staff has been working with the former Bulldog on his body as his frame was a concern going into the draft.
Claxton played 13 minutes in his debut with 2 points, 1 rebound and 1 steal. He was one of the few positives on the squad with a +3. He also attempted a three point shot in the game, possibly giving a glimpse into his role with Brooklyn.
He will certainly become more involved as the Summer League goes along. Jarrett Allen is massively overqualified to be there and will soon just be a spectator. In 29 minutes, Allen scored 19 points on an efficient 8-12 shooting, while adding 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks.
Both teams are off until Sunday, July 7. Brooklyn will take on Croatia at 4 p.m. and Miami will square off against the Utah Jazz.