Dear NBA front office types,
I hope your summer is treating you well, unless you work for the Lakers, then I can't stop laughing at how horribly your summer is going. You are probably aware that the NBA Summer League wrapped up earlier this week and are getting ready for a little bit of relaxation before training camps get underway.
Before you jet off to wherever it is that NBA front office people go on vacation (I want to say Bermuda), allow me to open your eyes to something that should already be readily apparent: Sean Kilpatrick deserves to be on an NBA roster.
In the first week of Summer League, the former Cincinnati All-American and current aspiring apparel mogul lit up Las Vegas with dazzling force. The showcase continued in week No. 2, as Kilpatrick kept doing what folks in Cincinnati have come to expect from him: dominate.
When the Milwaukee Bucks, Kilpatrick's squad for the summer, topped Houston in the first round of the Summer League playoffs last Wednesday, Kilpatrick shined bright like a diamond, as my girl Rihanna would say. He poured in a game-high 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including a stunning 4-of-6 effort from 3-point range.
Kilpatrick has clearly put in the work at the gym to become a more lethal and efficient shooter from the outside. During his four years with Cincinnati, he only made 34.7 percent of his attempts from long range, and that was with a 3-point line that is closer to the rim than that of the NBA, or so I am told.
While the good times stopped rolling for the Bucks, who lost to the Suns by 26 in the next round of the postseason's postseason, Kilpatrick was still at it. He was finally given a chance to start, as the Bucks' coaching staff realized they were leaving their best player on the bench at opening tip, and he scored 16 points, albeit on a less than stellar 6-of-15 from the floor.
Kilpatrick and the Bucks finished their trip through Vegas last Friday, when they squared off with the Knicks. They lost yet again, but Kilpatrick finished strongly enough, putting together another 16-point performance.
When the dust finally settled, Kilpatrick came away as one of the more impressive players in the Summer League and easily the best on the Bucks' roster. He was by far the top scorer (18.3 ppg) for the squad, with Kevin Jones and his 13.4 points per game the only other player to average in double figures. In addition, his efficiency numbers were very strong, as he threw up a slash line of .473/.457/.840, with the noted boost in 3-point shooting a major plus considering the pace and space culture that is permeating the NBA.
On the defensive side, Kilpatrick showed the tough-nosed and active approach that any Cincinnati graduate has cultivated during the Mick Cronin era, averaging 1.5 steals per game.
Kilpatrick got his feet wet in the NBA last spring, but its time to let him dive headfirst into the deep end. There is definitely value in a player who can shoot efficiently and play aggressively on defense. That's what Kilpatrick brings to the table and it's why he should be a permanent presence on an NBA roster this season.
A concerned and not at all biased observer.