What top draft picks are playing in the 2022 NBA Summer League? Banchero, Holgrem, Smith...who else?
With a trophy up for grabs and a whole host of young talent set to play, the NBA Summer League promises to be quite a show. Let’s take you through the top draft picks who will be playing.
NBA basketball is back, but you won’t be seeing the big names like LeBron James and Steph Curry just yet as the 2022 NBA Summer League is about preparing the new talent for the season ahead.
2022 NBA Summer League’s top talents from NBA Draft
The 2022 NBA Summer League has arrived and this year promises to be better than ever. The 10 day tournament is traditionally a proving ground, where franchises field teams of drafted and undrafted rookies, along with other young players and sometimes even veterans. All in question are of course competing for a spot on the roster as well as regular minutes on the court when the regular season rolls around. With that said, let’s jump into the list of the top 10 talents from this year’s NBA draft and who they’ll be playing for in the Summer League:
It just makes sense to start with the 2022 No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero. Out of Duke, the nation’s top talent is the obvious headliner in an Orlando Magic team that will also see the likes of Michigan’s Caleb Houstan - a possible future rotational player - and 2020 first rounder R.J. Hampton hoping to impress.
While Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren is the stand out name on the roster, the No. 2 overall pick is by no means the only one to watch. Remember Oklahoma City’s 2022 haul also included Ousmane Dieng, Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams. It goes without saying that all four of these boys could be important players in the future. Mention should also be made of Josh Giddey and Tre Mann who enjoyed impressive rookie campaigns last year, while Gabe Brown is the undrafted forward to watch. A 6-foot-8 prospect out of Michigan State who possesses that 3-and-D archetype that NBA teams love, Brown looks set for a bright future.
Though the news that Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun won’t play in Summer League is disappointing, we can look forward to seeing 2021 picks Usman Garuba and Josh Christopher on the court. Then of course, there is 2022′s No. 3 overall pick Jabari Smith Jr. as well as fellow first rounders Tari Eason and TyTy Washington Jr. The Rockets could well be the sleeper team that surprises everyone. Watch them closely.
Given that they were the 2021 Summer League champions, you can expect the Kings to come out swinging. The good news is, they can count on the services of the talented No. 4 overall pick Keegan Murray as he looks to show what he’s made of. Indeed, he’s already got off to a good start as you will see below. Alongside Murray, there’s also two undrafted players in Keon Ellis and Jeriah Horne who could well turn heads and force their way onto the roster.
It’s pretty clear that the Pistons are in it to win it. Heading into the tournament they’ve basically listed their main roster from last season with the likes of Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Killian Hayes, Isaiah Livers and Saben Lee all on the roster. Also, let’s not forget No. 5 overall pick out of Purdue, Jaden Ivey who will be looking to impress his more experienced teammates. Rounding out their impressive roster are handful of undrafted rookies such as serial scorer Kameron McGusty, Jules Bernard out of UCLA and the Boheim Brothers from Syracuse, Buddy and Jimmy.
Though Indiana’s 2021 first rounders Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson will certainly draw attention, it would be silly to forget 2022′s No. 6 overall pick Bennedict Manthurin who comes into the Summer League with a lot of hype surrounding him. Rounding out the Pacers’ team are a few players who could yet offer some surprises, such as Kendall Brown, a potential first-rounder this year who fell to No. 48, and Fanbo Zeng, one of the top prospects out of China.
If there is one thing that we’ve known heading into the Summer League, it’s that everybody wants to get a look at Shaedon Sharpe. Perhaps the biggest mystery of the 2022 NBA Draft, the No. 7 overall pick this year will have the opportunity to show whether or not he’s worth the hype. Can he prove that he can shine alongside Blazers star Damian Lillard when the season gets going? That’s the kind of question fans will want answered during the Summer League.
What’s certain about the Pelicans’ Summer League team is that they will be entertaining to watch. Breakout players like Trey Murphy III and Jose Alvarado are on the roster having shown their mettle against the Phoenix Suns in the playoffs. Then of course, there is Dyson Daniels who the Pelicans selected as the No. 8 overall pick and is expected to shine.
Though No. 9 overall pick Jeremy Sochan is the headliner here, the Spurs actually have two other 2022 first-rounders who will playing in the Summer League. Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley are expected to impress when the tournament gets underway. Attention should also be paid to last year’s surprising lottery pick, Joshua Primo. As the youngest prospect in the class of 2021, it will be interesting to see what kind of progress he’s made.
The Wizards have got a decent prospect in No. 10 overall pick Johnny Davis. Alongside Davis we will also get a look at Isaiah Todd, who was the 31st overall pick last year. Todd will of course be looking to jump start things for himself after a rough welcome to the league last year - his rookie season - which saw him play in only a few games.
Honorable Mention - Shareef O’Neal and Scotty Pippen Jr.
Without doubt the sons of the two former NBA stars will be the main attraction for the Lakers. Shareef O’Neal and Scotty Pippen Jr were both signed immediately by the franchise as undrafted rookies. Alongside them, we will also get to see Max Christie out of Michigan State who was the No. 35 overall as well as Cole Swider out of Syracuse, who shot an impressive 41.1% from deep on 6.0 attempts per game as a senior.