The NBA 2K23 Summer League in 2022 is taking place from July 7–17; here is our list of the 10 players to watch at the NBA Summer League 2022. Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith Jr. are among the rookies fans need to watch during this competition.
10 Players to Watch at NBA Summer League 2022
Every year, rookie players can either underwhelm or surprise their NBA coaches. Cade Cunningham was the first overall pick in last year’s draft. Although the Pistons guard averaged 17.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game, fans thought he could have generated more points each game.
At the end of the season, Cunningham was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Therefore, expectations are high for all the rookies listed below, and some will likely experience growing pains along the way in the 2022-23 season.
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10.) Ousmane Dieng — Thunder
First on the list, Ousmane Dieng was born in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France. He is 6’10” and weighs 216 lbs. Dieng was selected 11th overall by the Knicks in the 2022 NBA Draft, but he was then traded to the Thunder. The 19-year-old played professional basketball in France for the Centre Federal de Basket-ball (CFBB) in the Nationale Masculine 1.
Then, he played for the New Zealand Breakers in the NBL, a professional men’s basketball league in Australia and New Zealand. With the Breakers in the NBL, he averaged 8.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 23 games played last season.
The young Frenchman is a must-watch in the NBA 2K Summer League. He’s ready to play either forward or center for the Thunder. He could become one of the best rim protectors in the league.
9.) Dyson Daniels — Pelicans
Next, Dyson Daniels is 6’8″ and weighs 195 lbs. He was selected eighth overall by the Pelicans in last month’s draft. Daniels played for the Ignite of the NBA G League for the 2021-22 season. In a total of 26 games played with the Ignite, the guard averaged 12 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2 steals per game.
Plus, at the 2018 FIBA Oceania Under-15 Championship in Papua New Guinea, Daniels averaged 8.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He helped Australia win the gold. Now, it will be interesting to see how the 19-year-old will progress on the Pelicans during the Summer League.
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8.) Jeremy Sochan — Spurs
Moreover, Jeremy Sochan is 6’9″ and weighs 230 lbs. He was born in Guymon, Oklahoma. The forward was selected ninth overall by the Spurs in last month’s draft. In his freshman season at Baylor, he averaged 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in 30 games played. He finished last season shooting 47.4% from the field.
Last season, the 19-year-old had the fourth-highest defensive rating (89.8) in the Big 12. Not to mention, he was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team and won Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year. He has a 7′ wingspan, and the forward could go on to have an All-Star NBA career under head coach Gregg Popovich. Keep an eye on him throughout next week.
7.) Shaedon Sharpe — Trail Blazers
Additionally, Shaedon Sharpe is 6’6″ and weighs 200 lbs. He was born in London, Ontario. Sharpe was selected seventh overall by the Trail Blazers. The Canadian committed to the University of Kentucky in 2021. However, on April 21, 2022, he decided to forego his collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2022 NBA Draft.
At 19 years old, the guard is one of the youngest rookies competing. Per 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals, Sharpe was rated the number one overall player in his 2021 class. At the 2019 FIBA Under-16 Americas Championship, he averaged 13 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. His team won the silver medal in Brazil.
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6.) Bennedict Mathurin — Pacers
Bennedict Mathurin is 6’7″ and weighs 195 lbs. He was selected sixth overall by the Pacers in the 2022 NBA Draft. In a total of 37 games played with Arizona in the 2021-22 season, the guard averaged 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
In his first year with the Wildcats in 2021, he was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. Then, he was selected consensus second-team All-American and was named Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2022.
And he was selected first-team All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 Tournament MOP (Most Outstanding Player) this year. In Arizona’s 98-64 win over Oregon State on Jan. 14, Mathurin ended his performance with 31 points and 8 rebounds.
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5.) Jaden Ivey — Pistons | 10 Players to Watch
Equally important, Jaden Ivey is 6’4″ and weighs 200 lbs. His hometown is South Bend, Indiana, and he was rated the top NBA guard prospect. Ivey was selected fifth overall by the Pistons in last month’s draft. On the RSCI Top 100 list of 2020, Ivey ranked 87th. In his freshman season at Purdue, the guard averaged 11.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 23 games played. He started in 12 games of the Boilermakers’ 2020-21 season.
In Purdue’s 2021-22 season, Ivey averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 36 games played. He was selected 2020-21 Big Ten All-Freshman first team, 2021-22 All-Big Ten first team and 2021-22 Consensus All-America second team. Ivey ended his season ranking third in total points scored (624) in the Big Ten. He also finished seventh in field goals made (203).
4.) Keegan Murray — Kings
Next, Keegan Murray is 6’8″ and weighs 215 lbs. His hometown is Ceder Rapids, Iowa. Murray was selected fourth overall by the Kings in the 2022 NBA Draft. In 35 games played with Iowa in his 2021-22 sophomore season, Murray averaged 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.
The 21-year-old led the Big Ten in scoring last season, and he finished second in total rebounds (303). To add to that, Murray had the third-highest true shooting percentage in his conference (63%).
Of course, ranking third, his offensive rating last season in the NCAA was 134.6. Likewise, he led the Big Ten in this metric as well. Murray was named consensus first-team All-American, selected first-team All-Big Ten and won the Karl Malone Award.
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3.) Jabari Smith Jr. — Rockets
Jabari Smith Jr. is 6’10” and weighs 220 lbs. He was selected third overall by the Rockets in last month’s draft. On the RSCI top 100 list of 2021, Smith ranked fourth. In his freshman season at Auburn, Smith averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and two assists per game in 34 games played.
The forward ranked third in the SEC for defensive rebounds (220). For Player Efficiency Rating (PER), he posted a fifth-best rating of 25.1.
Additionally, in Auburn’s 94-80 win over Vanderbilt on Feb. 16, Smith posted a career-high 31 points. In 2022, he received multiple selections: consensus second-team All-American, SEC All-Freshman Team, first-team All-SEC and NABC Freshman of the Year. He also won the Wayman Tisdale Award.
In the Rockets’ 91-77 loss to the Magic, Smith ended his night with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. While not quite an entertaining performance, fans are still curious to see how well he’ll play for the remainder of this Summer League.
2.) Chet Holmgren — Thunder
Chet Holmgren was the top center prospect in the 2022 NBA Draft, and this explains was why the Thunder selected him second overall. He is 7′ tall and weighs 195 lbs. Holmgren ranked first on the RSCI top 100 list of 2021. In his freshman season at Gonzaga, the center averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 3.7 blocks per game.
He led the WCC in total rebounds (317), rebounds per game (9.9), total blocks (117), blocks per game (3.7), true shooting percentage (69%), player efficiency rating (31.3) and defensive rating (78.7). The 20-year-old is capable of playing either center or forward in the NBA.
To add to his accomplishments above, he was selected to the WCC All-Freshman Team and first-team All-WCC. And he was named consensus second-team All-American. Lastly, Holmgren won WCC Defensive Player of the Year.
In the Thunder’s 97-77 win over the Jazz, Holmgren closed out his outing with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Plus, he set an NBA Summer League record with six blocks. In fact, after this performance, Holmgren is now the favorite to win NBA Rookie of the Year in 2023.
1.) Paolo Banchero — Magic | 10 Players to Watch
To conclude our list, Paolo Banchero is 6’10” and weighs 250 lbs. He was the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Mock draft analysts expected Banchero to go after Jabari Smith Jr. in the first round, but the Magic wanted the Duke forward. In 2021, he ranked second on the RSCI top 100 list.
In his freshman year at Duke, the 19-year-old averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game in a total of 39 games played.
Besides playing great defensively, Banchero led the ACC in total points (671). He also ranked second in total rebounds (304). The forward was selected consensus second-team All-American, named first-team All-ACC and won ACC Rookie of the Year.
In the Magic’s 91-77 win against the Rockets, Banchero finished with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Based on BetOnline odds for the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year, Banchero has the second-best odds of winning the award with the Magic in 2023. Other articles related to “10 Players to Watch at NBA Summer League 2022” are on the main page.
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