The Orlando Pro Summer League concluded on July 12th with the Orlando Magic in eighth place after posting a 2-3 record. It's tough to know what exactly to make of Summer-League performances, be they in Orlando or in the NBA's bigger to-do in Las Vegas. Fortunately, Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider has done some research to find which Summer-League statistics will translate, and which ones won't.
The most interesting finding is that Summer League is more important to rookies than it is to other players. Pelton says that the .463 correlation between Summer-League play and regular-season performance is almost as strong as the .468 correlation between college play and regular-season performance. Based on that information, the solid Orlando Pro Summer League showings by Magic rookies Victor Oladipo and Romero Osby should encourage the team's fans.
But Pelton broke the data down further and found that the two Summer-League statistics which most translate to the NBA are defensive rebounding and shot-blocking. Shooting--both on two-pointers and on threes--doesn't really translate to the regular season. Neither do "offensive rebounding, steals and even usage rate," says Pelton.
Given Pelton's research, Oladipo and Osby look slightly less impressive, as they didn't rack up stats in the two categories which translate well. In four games, Oladipo didn't block any shots and finished with 15 defensive boards, while Osby had two rejections and 12 defensive rebounds in his five games. That's not to say that either player will be a bust, but rather to underscore that it'd be unwise, based on Pelton's work, to read too deeply into their solid Summer-League outings.