July basketball is essentially a job audition for players trying to gain a place in the NBA, the NBA Developmental League or overseas.
With only 450 roster positions available in the NBA, earning a place in the league is an extremely difficult task, even for a player with plenty of name recognition.
In each of his four appearances for New Orleans, he has totaled at least 20 points in each game and is averaging 25.3 points per game, the most out of any player in the tournament.
While Curry has been a phenomenal scorer, he has been able to pile up the point by attacking the rim and creating mid-range jumpers for himself off the dribble.
Those skills have yet to translate into NBA success for Curry, as he has spent the majority of his professional career in the NBA Developmental League following brief stints with the Grizzlies and Cavaliers.
Last season, Curry earned an invitation to training camp in Orlando, but was assigned back to the D-League, where he ranked second in scoring. At the end of the season, he earned a call up from Phoenix, but wasn’t able to secure a roster position.
During his time in Las Vegas, Curry has excelled at creating looks for himself off the dribble and attacking the rim.
The scoring binge from Curry may be enough to land him a permanent place in New Orleans, overcoming the long odds to secure a place in the NBA.
Curry is one of a few players to separate themselves enough to earn a contract in the NBA next season.
Below are a few players without guaranteed deals to likely earn a place in the league next season.
Willie Reed– Brooklyn Nets
Perhaps no player has ever come closer to playing in the NBA than Reed. During his career, he has spent time on the Grizzlies and Kings roster, but never checked into a game. Reed has bounced around the world playing basketball, spending time in Israel, Spain, the Dominican Republic, stints in the Developmental League with Springfield, Des Moines, Grand Rapids and Reno, then training camps with Sacramento, Memphis and Brooklyn. The Nets signed the 6-foot-10 forward/center to a contract, providing him a chance, with four other players, to compete for two roster spots.
2015 NBA Summer League stats (Las Vegas): 13.5 points on 54.8 percent shooting and 7.8 rebounds per game.
Scottie Wilbekin– Philadelphia 76ers
Playing both in Orlando and Las Vegas proved to be life changing for Wilbekin. The 6-foot-2 point guard signed a four-year deal with the 76ers. A year ago, the former Florida star spent his season in Australia, playing for the Cairns Taipans, becoming the first player in club history to earn team MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season. Wilbekin will compete with Ish Smith, Isaiah Canaan, Pierre Jackson and Tony Wroten for minutes at point guard in Philadelphia.
2015 NBA Summer League stats (Las Vegas): 14.4 points, 2.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game.
Aaron Harrison– Charlotte Hornets
After not being selected in the 2015 NBA Draft, Harrison earned a roster invite in Charlotte for the NBA Summer League in Orlando, but with one caveat: he had to become a point guard. Harrison spent his entire basketball career playing shooting guard, not only was he forced to learn a new playbook, he had to run a completely different position. The Hornets believed he adjusted enough to earn a contract and will compete for playing time next summer behind Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin.
2015 NBA Summer League stats: 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Branden Dawson– Los Angeles Clippers
Dawson played so much bigger than his 6-foot-6 frame would seem possible. During four games at the NBA Summer League tournament in Orlando, the former Michigan State star simply couldn’t be boxed out on either end of the floor, as he grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, 24 defensive rebounds and averaged 10.3 per game, the second most of any participant. Along with his excellent rebounding numbers, he converted 52.2 percent of his shots in the tournament and closed out his summer campaign by swatting four shots against Miami, leading the Clippers to sign him to a contract.
2015 NBA Summer League stats: 12.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.
Alan Williams– Houston Rockets
The most dominant center at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas isn’t the highly touted Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor, but instead Williams, an undrafted, undersized free agent. The 6-foot-8 forward out of UC Santa Barbra destroyed the 76ers, totaling 22 points and 21 rebounds — with 12 coming on the offensive end — propelled him atop the Summer League leaders in both points and rebounds. Williams is leading all participants in Las Vegas with 11.8 rebounds per game and ranks fifth in scoring at 20.5 points. His performance hasn’t generated a contract offer yet, but at the very least he will earn an invitation to training camp over the next few days.
2015 NBA Summer League stats: 20.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.