Kadeem Allen looking to find his place in NBA entering his third season
Boston Celtics guard Kadeem Allen warms up on the court prior to an NBA Summer League game vs the Philadelphia 76ers on July 6, 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
As for a lot of young NBA players and prospects, the NBA Summer League is an opportunity to improve on your game and showcase your skills in front of NBA and overseas personnel. While this isn’t his first Summer League, the experience is no different for former Arizona guard Kadeem Allen.
A two-year starter with the ‘Cats, Allen was a PAC-12 All-Conference Second Team and All-Defensive Team selection his senior season at Arizona before being drafted with the No. 53 pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. Allen is going into his third Summer League, but is looking to do many of the same things that got him to the NBA to begin with.
“I’m out here playing hard and we’re playing as a team,” Allen said. “We’re trying to get as many wins as we can get.”
Allen is coming off a season where he averaged 9.9 points, 4.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 21 games for the New York Knicks, splitting time between the NBA and the G-League. He has started in the team’s first two games, averaging 8.5 points while playing alongside No. 3 pick R.J. Barrett and the top draft pick of the team last season in Kevin Knox. Allen isn’t the only former Wildcat on the New York Knicks Summer League team, however.
While the team is coached by former UA great Jud Buechler, Allonzo Trier and Allen were teammates for two seasons at Arizona, each coming into the NBA on a two-way contract. Trier eventually played his way into a guaranteed contract with the Knicks, with their familiarity helping Allen continue to get better.
“It’s the same as when we were in school,” Allen said. “We are trying to compete and get each other better, trying to feed off each other and the team’s energy and hopefully get some wins out here.”
Even with the busy NBA schedule and the fight to earn a place in the league, Allen still finds time to keep up with the program that got him to this point.
“I do always,” Allen said. “I still talk to the coaches and the guys that were there when I was there and trying to get to know some of the new guys.”
Follow Chris Vizcarra on Twitter