Welcome to Vegas Summer League, where after one game all your players are either complete and total busts or "the best player ever". Coming into the 2017 Vegas League riding a large wave of justifiable hype (most of the roster is made up of our draft picks over the last two season), the Vladcess Kings were no different. Some players "lived up to the hype", others, well, one really, seemed "destined for the G-League". The hyperbole engine was out in full effect and I couldn't be happier. For now what some were calling the "best team in the history of summer league" is 0-1 with Malachi apparently reinjuring his hamstring (that sure was fast) and Papagiannis apparently no longer an NBA talent. Keep in mind that (a) the Suns were one of the teams more favored to win the Summer League Championship (the Ty Corbin Trophy?) and (b) this particular set of players has only been around each other for one week and this meaningless loss in the middle of July will start to feel much less painful than it might be for you now. It's nice to see everyone's in and invested in the team though. Now onto the grades... Malachi Richardson (C) -- 24 min, 8 pts (2-7 fg, 1-3 3pt, 3-6 ft), 3 rbs, 3 tov, 1 pf After being forced to sit out the entire season after the all-star break due to concern about his hamstring injury, Malachi garnered some attention in Kingsland with his status as the "forgotten" prospect. Bulking up and fixing up his hair as part of his quest to develop into the small forward of the future, Malachi came out looking the part of the hotshot prospect, draining a loooooong three with all the confidence of a ten year pro then playing solid defense on Josh Jackson in the early going. And then he just sorta was there. While he wasn't actively bad, Malachi sorta spent a lot of time wandering around waiting for the ball to come his way, upon which receiving he would hoist towards the hoop. Missed half his free throws and the defensive intensity sorta subsided from the second quarter on. And then he hurt himself again and had to come out. Not quite the encouraging start we were all hoping for. But it's one game. Skal Labissiere (C) -- 28 min, 10 pts (4-9 fg, 2-4 ft), 1 rb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk, 2 tov, 3 pf Ending last season as the hot young prospect, Skal came into the game with a heaping helping of expectations hanging over him like a cloud of sewage. He... didn't quite respond in kind. Spending most of the game as the invisible man, most of his production came as a result of De'Aaron Fox making things work and setting him up for easy plays. That lack of offensive production would be fine if he made the effort in other aspects. Instead, he only managed to pull in one rebound in 28 minutes, or 3 less than 5'11" point guard Frank Mason did in 11 minutes. To his credit, he did continue to deflect shots and protect the rim as he showed he could do at times last season. Not quite the next Chris Bosh. But it's one game. Georgios Papagiannis (D) -- 28 min, 0 pts (o-3 fg,), 11 rb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk, 3 tov, 8 pf And so we reach the man of the hour. Of course, Papa's first summer league showing was an almost legendary display of doughiness and rawness from a 19-year old just coming over from Europe after a contentious draft. His debut performance was not much better. To the man's credit, he is physically a completely different beast from how he looked to start last season. Unfortunately, the basketball playing ability hasn't quite caught up yet. That isn't to say Papa doesn't try. It's almost as if the dude who just turned twenty still doesn't have the dexterity to match his physique. He gave the effort, blocked some shots, rebounded at an okay rate, but it just wasn't good. Is he G-League bound like everyone says? I don't know. He didn't look great today. But it's just one game. De'Aaron Fox (A) -- 27 min, 18 pts (7-16 fg, 0-3 3p, 4-6 ft), 3 rb, 4 ast, 5 stl, 1 blk, 1 tov, 3 pf And now onto the good stuff. It was all on display tonight: the speed, the defensive anticipation, the court vision, the leadership, the shaky jumpshot. If first impressions are any indication, Kings fans will be very happy with their new point guard for a very long time. Facing off against a couple of guards who he may or may not ever see again, the Fox came out looking like the best player on the court for a lot of the time he was on the court (which, considering who else was playing, is pretty darn good). Had a couple of sheer anticipation steal and drives that are only possible when you're the fastest guy in your draft class. Still lacking in strength but was able to get to the rim thanks to his shiftiness and was willing to use the glass to score. Still a little shaky from the perimeter but hit a couple from midrange that indicate that he might one day be able to shoot from out there without embarrassing himself. Also kept his turnovers down, which is no small feat in the sloppy realm of Summer League. Overall, came as advertised. Oh, and he was totally better than Lonzo Ball. But it's just one game. Buddy Hield (C) -- 24 min, 16 pts (6-16 fg, 0-6 3pt, 4-5 ft), 5 rb, 1 ast, 2 blk, 2 tov, 2 pf Oh Buddy Buddy Buddy. As the "veteran" of this young bunch, Buddy Buckets came out in true Summer League Vet fashion, that is to say, chucking and not playing defense to his heart's desire. Somehow blocked two shots which is amazing because he just didn't try too hard tonight. Was out of rhythm, taking ill-judged shot after shot, missing every single three pointer he took. But he's the most proven of all our young guns and I have no doubt he'll at least be back to serviceable by the time the season rolls around. Tonight though, he was nobody's Buddy. But it's just one game. Jack Cooley (B-) -- 23 min, 11 pt(4-5 fg, 3-4 ft), 10 rb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk, 1 tov, 7 pf Hey look, it's 26 year old former Notre Damer Jack Cooley, here to sweep in and claim the annual undersized hardworking big man that wins over Kingsfans.com posters award. Like Papa, he pulled in the rebounds and had a copious amount of turnovers. Unlike Papa, he scored 11 points. Seeing as there's no space on the roster anymore, I don't think we'll see Cooley here past the preseason but his stint here (especially with Giles out) could win over more teams looking for big men going forward a la Louis Admunson. But it's just one game. Frank Mason (C) -- 17 min, 4 pt (), 4 rb, 2 ast, 2 tov Of the three active rookies, only one had a subpar debut performance. That guy surprisingly was Frank the Tank, who, most likely upon seeing Papa at practice, probably came to realize the size difference between the NBA and college. At times came out aggressive but at others joined Skal in the invisible player's club. Did have a nice move in his first stint in the game though. Nothing to write home about. But it's just one game. Justin Jackson (B+) -- 26 min, 18 pts (7-11 fg, 2-4 3p, 2-3 ft), 2 rb, 1 blk, 3 pf Everyone upset about Vlade not finding a small forward this offseason obviously had no clue that we had drafted the next Kevin Durant with the 15th pick. Started the game out strong, dishing out a barrage of crafty floaters and jumpers. On offense, displayed the craft and skill of a vet several years his senior, and generally didn't seem to force the issue like some of his teammates (ahem, Buddy). On defense, still got bullied around by the physical freak presence of Josh Jackson and his fully muscled friends, but didn't look hopeless on that end. There was a lot to like in his performance tonight. But it's just one game.