The Los Angeles Lakers’ Summer League team has a number of intriguing players on the roster, many of whom spent a lot of time on the franchise’s G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, last season. One player who has stood out so far is center Jay Huff.
The seven-footer was with the Lakers on a two-way contract for some of last season but did little with the main roster. Now, this summer he is looking to show off his skills as a rim-protecting, floor-stretching big man.
In fact, Huff admitted to making a slight alteration to his jumper this summer. “I made a little tweak to my shot honestly. I moved it over, out of my face a little bit,” Huff noted after the Lakers’ second straight Summer League victory in the California Classic.
“I feel like it’s made my shot more consistent. It’s something I’ve worked with a lot. Shoutout to Bob McKinnon, I worked with him a lot this offseason. And just in general that’s something I feel like the coaches have been encouraging me to do so that’s been great.”
Huff has gotten off to a strong start in Summer League so far, averaging 14 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in the Lakers’ first two contests in the California Classic, while also knocking down a 3-pointer in each contest.
With the Lakers still having open roster spots, Huff could play himself into consideration with continued strong outings, or at the very least earn a training camp invite.
This summer Huff plans on not only showcasing his improvements but also showing how his normal strengths can help a team win.
“Obviously I wanna show off things that I’ve worked on, things that I’ve improved,” Huff added. “I have a simple game. I shoot threes, I catch lobs, and I block shots. Everything else I’ve been trying to improve, but that’s all stuff that I feel like I just need to keep doing at a high level.”
But in the end, Huff made it clear that winning, even in Summer League, is still the ultimate goal that can help everyone. “My job is to help this team win overall, because that’s what’s gonna get all of us a good shot at the next level. It’s just winning, I think that’s what a lot of people care about more than anything.”
Phil Handy happy with how Lakers have competed in Summer League
The Lakers have dominated their first two contests in the California Classic so far, and Summer League coach Phil Handy is happy with how his team has competed.
“All I can say is that those kids are competing man,” Handy said. “We use that word, we put that word on the board just as our pre-game, compete. They are competing at a high level. I’m being pretty consistent in my message. We just told them to listen if you guys compete on the defensive end you’re going to make the game fun for yourselves and they are bought into it 100 percent.
“Being active and just playing hard and really understanding that for a lot of these guys in Summer League, they are fighting for jobs, their careers, and these are job interviews for them.”
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