Rawle Alkins getting ready for year two, promises to be 'improved version of himself'
After one season between the NBA and G League, former Arizona standout Rawle Alkins is learning life in the NBA isn’t as glamorous as it can be made out to be.
Alkins played two seasons for the Wildcats, averaging 13 points and 5 rebounds per game before forgoing his final two seasons to turn pro. Part of the draft class that included Deandre Ayton and Allonzo Trier, Alkins went undrafted before signing with the Chicago Bulls on a two-way contract.
The grind of transitioning between the G-League and the NBA, where he played 10 games last season, taught Alkins how to handle life away from college.
“My mindset and just having a pro mindset,” he said of how he improved since leaving Arizona. “Day before games, resting up and not doing things, taking care of your body the right way — being a pro and not a college athlete.”
Alkins has since joined the Houston Rockets for Summer League, a team coached by another former Wildcat Matt Brase. Alkins is hoping to show how his style can fit with the Rockets, a team looking to run the floor and shoot the three.
“They play positionless basketball and that’s something that I am,” Alkins said. “They switch positions 1-5, and with me being able to defend multiple spots, I feel like I can help be a good 3- and D-guy and be aggressive.”
Alkins had 6 points in 8 minutes his first game with the team, showcasing a little of what he could do in limited action. Much of what makes Summer League difficult is adjusting to playing with brand new teammates with almost no practice, something Alkins says makes playing hard that much more crucial.
“I just made the most of the opportunity,” he said. “It’s still the first game so coach is trying to figure lineups out. We’ve got guys who are already on the team, guys who are trying to make the team. We all just have to mingle and play hard.”
With his NBA future up in the air, Alkins hopes to show teams during his time in Vegas that he isn’t necessarily a different player, but a much improved version of himself.
“I want to show teams my aggressiveness and that I’m a better version of the same me,” Alkins said. “I’m not here to specifically show someone that I can shoot or attack the rim. I’m just going to be the same me, just a better version.”
Alkins and the Rockets play three more times in Las Vegas before bracket play starts July 12. Teams are guaranteed five games, with potentially seven if they advance to the championship.
Follow Mark Lawson on Twitter