Weber State product Damian Lillard was the co-MVP of the NBA Summer League and he’s still getting all kinds of respect from his fellow NBA rookies.
At the Rookie Transitions Program, aimed at helping the new kids in the league adjust and prepare for the NBA life, a survey of the attendees selected Lillard as the second-most likely to be the NBA rookie of the year. No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis was the landslide winner in this category, with 40.6 percent of the vote. Lillard got 12.5 percent.
When the rookies were asked who the best playmaker in the 2012 class will be, Lillard came in second to Kendall Marshall. Prior to the draft, Lillard was looked at by some as more of a scoring guard than a playmaker, but his performance at the combine in Chicago and in the Las Vegas summer league turned heads.
Lillard was third behind Davis and Harrison Barnes in the “Which rookie will have the best career?” category, tied for fifth in “best shooter” and tied with Trail Blazers teammate Myers Leonard for sixth in “Most athletic.”
Perhaps the best sign of respect for Lillard came in one category he didn’t receive a single vote: “Which rookie is being most overlooked?”
A point guard from Weber State may have been a surprise to some as the sixth overall pick in the draft, but after a big summer performance, Lillard isn’t sneaking up on anybody now.