That NBA’s With Summer League upon us, it’s time for the next generation to show their skills.
The league wastes little time getting its newest members involved in game action, and while Summer League rosters differ wildly from those of the regular season, each game provides a meaningful opportunity for newbies to take on professional counterparts.
This is how this year’s lottery picks evolved during Sunday’s promotion.
#1 Choice — Paolo Banchero, Orlando magic
Statistics (2 games): 20.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 6.0 APG, 2.5 SPG, 40.7 FG%, 50.0 3PT%, 80.0 FT%
To update: It’s early days, but no player has impacted the Summer League as much as Banchero. He showed easy goal movement in his first game and scored 17 points while converting from a number of areas on the ground.
His flair for play showed in Game 2, and although he was outstanding in the points department again at 23, his late-game block followed by a rocket assist helped Orlando win against Sacramento in overtime in Sudden Death.
#2 Choice — Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder
Statistics (3 games): 15.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 4.0 BPG, 43.3 FG%, 38.4 3PT%, 100.0 FT%
To update: Holmgren has picked up where he left off since college in his first Summer League offerings, breaking through defenses with easy baskets from both inside and long range and flashing a skill rare for his size . A Holmgren gig is almost always a block party, and he was the life of that soiree, wrecking multiple opposing attempts on each of his shows.
#3 Choice — Jabari Smith Jr., Houston missiles
Statistics (2 games): 11.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.0 SPG, 31.0 FG%, 23.1 3PT%, 50.0 FT%
To update: Smith Jr. got off to a slow start, but he remains an amazing prospect with a smooth strike and exceptional length that gives him the tools to transform into a plus defender. Smith has avoided offensive efficiency in both of his games, but he has found many ways to still be effective, including hard crashes on the boards and passing lanes.
#4 Choice — Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings
Statistics (4 games): 19.8 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 50.0 FG%, 45.8 3PT%, 85.7 FT%
To update: Scoring goals was Murray’s bread and butter and he’s showing how efficiently he can do it. Murray’s first showcase was great. He torched Golden State for 26 points and eight boards, shooting an impressive 10-for-14 from upfield and 4-for-5 from deep. Murray continued his scorching start with 24 points and seven boards days later, showing a collected disposition under pressure against Orlando, hitting a game-winning Trey to force OT.
#5 Choice — Jaden Ivey, Detroit piston
Statistics (2 games): 15.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 50.0 3PT%, 100.0 FT%
To update: Notre Dame basketball head coach Niele Ivey beamed with pride as she watched her son put the finishing touches on his 20-point Summer League debut, adding six rebounds and six assists in the process. Ivey is arguably the most athletic guard this rookie class has to offer, and that natural spring was on full display as he jetted past defenders and climbed to the trophy with ease in Game 1.
Ivey ended his second tilt with an ankle injury but tweeted Sunday that the illness was minor.
#6 Choice — Benedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers
Statistics (2 games): 19.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 46.9 FG%, 37.5 3PT%, 70.0 FT%
To update: Mathurin exudes confidence as evidenced by his recent comments regarding LeBron James. And while he’s nowhere near King’s level, he firmly believes he can do it. Mathurin’s confidence showed in his first appearance as a professional. He was on the ground all over the place, rushing after loose balls, showing energetic commitment on defense and chipping shots off the ground, including half of his attempts from 3-point territory.
#7 Choice — Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazer
Statistics (1 game): Hurt
To update: Sharpe didn’t have much opportunity to impress his Summer League coaching staff after going down in the first quarter with a small labrum tear in his shoulder. He only scored two points in 5:33 of game time, and the injury will sideline him for the remainder of the Summer League.
#8 Choice — DysonDaniels, Pelicans from New Orleans
Statistics (1 game): Hurt
To update: Like Sharpe, Daniels had to end his first game early, leaving NO’s opener with a sprained ankle after 8:10 of play. His status is uncertain for the rest of the Summer League. In those minutes he was 0-5 off the field and finished the game with a point, a rebound, two assists and a steal.
#9 Choice — Jeremy Sochan, San Antonio Spurs
To update: out
Sochan will not play in the Summer League after testing positive for COVID and suffering a hamstring injury.
#10 Choice — Johnny Davis, Washington Wizard
Statistics (2 games): 8.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.5 SPG, 22.7 FG%, 20.0 3PT%, 100.0 FT%
To update: Davis struggled tremendously in his first game against Detroit, knocking down just one FG while hitting four free throws to finish with a total of six points. He was a little better against Phoenix on Sunday, but he hasn’t created the scoring chances he did in Wisconsin — nowhere near.
#11 Choice — Ousmane Dieng, Oklahoma City Thunder
Statistics (4 games): 8.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 28.6 FG%, 17.3 3PT%, 57.1 FT%
To update: Dieng was one of the more unheralded prospects going into this year’s draft, but he’s putting himself on OKC fans’ radar. Dieng wasn’t brilliant on a percentage basis, but he hasn’t shied away from the spotlight in the slightest and has continued to find regular shots. Dieng needs to improve his metrics to sneak into the team’s rotation, but as far as his own belief goes, that cup seems to be full.
#12 Choice — Jalen WilliamsOklahoma City Thunder
Statistics (4 games): 13.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 56.4 FG%, 57.1 3PT%, 63.6 FT%
To update: Santa Claras Williams (not to be confused with Arkansas’ Jaylin Williams) has so far proved completely wrong critics who thought Oklahoma City managed to snag him in 12th place. Williams brings a lot to the young and active squad, including reliable goal presence, rim running and a deft catch-and-shoot ability.
#13 Choice — Jalen DurenDetroit piston
Statistics (2 games): 11.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.0 BPG, 72.7 FG%, 66.7 FT%
To update: There were a variety of Jalens in this year’s draft, and each has shaped the NBA landscape. The 6-foot-11, 250-pound Dures was a beast in the painted area, getting off the ground with ease and breaking out for a couple of thunderous slams that left Detroit drooling over his pick-and-roll potential with Ivey and let Cade Cunningham. Amazingly, he didn’t bounce the ball well at all in two competitions, including grabbing just one board on his debut.
No. 14 — Ochai Agbaji, Cleveland Cavaliers
Statistics (2 games): 12.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.5 APG, 36.4 FG%, 38.9 3PT%, 66.6 FT%
To update: Ogbaji is known for his winning lead, racy athleticism and dependable 3-ball. And on his debut for the Cavs, he showed all three, hitting four of his nine attempts from beyond the arc and accumulating three rebounds to walk with two assists. Ogbaji’s touch wasn’t quite there in Game 2, however, as he shot 3-for-11 off the field, hitting just two of his six 3-point attempts.
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