Kenny Wooten Makes NBA Summer League Debut

Kenny Wooten handles the ball during a timeout vs California.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports
Kenny Wooten handles the ball during a timeout vs California.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports /

Kenny Wooten was big on defense when he was with Oregon Basketball and that aspect of his game has carried over to the NBA.

After deciding to forgo his final season with the Oregon Ducks, Wooten had high hopes to be drafted, but the NBA Draft came and went and Wooten did not hear his name. He found a home, at least for the summer with the New York Knicks and made his professional debut last night in Las Vegas against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Despite the game being shortened by a California Earthquake, their second in the last few days, Wooten made the most of the ten minutes he was on the floor scoring two points, but playing a defensive game.

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While RJ Barrett will get most of the attention, as a Top 5 Draft pick should. Barrett played in just the first half with 10 points, 5 rebounds, and an assist. Wooten had four rebounds, three on the offensive end, along with two blocks in a game where New York saw an early lead get away. They were close to finding momentum before the game ended early out of precaution.

New Orleans won the game 80-74.

The New York Knicks had seven players on their bench who did not see the floor against the Pelicans. Of course, now is the time that teams are seeing what talent they have. While the key players have the summer off, NBA Draft selections have to put in the work. Players like Kenny Wooten did not have the advantage of the spotlight on Draft night and need to step up in these games.

On Friday night, Wooten took a step showing off his athleticism and defensive prowess. He had one-quarter of the team’s blocks in the contest overall. He also finished the game without a foul.

New York meets Phoenix in Summer League action on Sunday at 6:30 pm Pacific Time on ESPN.