NBA Summer League: How Are The Top-5 Picks Performing?
Jul 11, 2022, 8:00 AM | Updated: 11:15 am
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
As we enter the last full week of NBA basketball until the fall, the 2022 Draft class is on display at the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League.
Sacramento’s fourth-overall pick Keegan Murray is making headlines during Summer League as the Iowa product is turning into must-watch TV for Kings fans.
With Murray playing his way into an All-Summer League nod, how are the rest of the top-five picks from the 2022 NBA Draft class doing thus far?
Let’s take a look at what some of the biggest names in Las Vegas have been up to:
1st pick: Paolo Banchero | Orlando Magic
If you tuned into Saturday’s double-overtime, sudden-death thriller between the Kings and the Orlando Magic, you got a pretty good look at first-overall pick Paolo Banchero.
Over two games in Las Vegas, the Duke product is averaging 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.5 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 40 percent from the field. Banchero has only attempted two three-point field goals in Vegas, converting one as the forward has been doing most of his damage in and around the paint.
Banchero has helped lead the Magic to a perfect 2-0 start as the 19-year-old will look to keep his team perfect on Monday night when Orlando faces second-overall pick Chet Holmgren and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
2nd pick: Chet Holmgren | Oklahoma City Thunder
Speaking of Chet Holmgren–the lengthy big has generated quite a bit of buzz this summer.
On the heels of an electrifying debut in Utah’s Summer League showcase (23 points, seven rebounds, six blocked shots), Holmgren has gotten off to a modest start in Las Vegas.
In his lone appearance here in Nevada, the seven-footer posted 12 points, eight rebounds, two steals, and four blocks over 28 minutes during Saturday’s matchup against third-overall pick Jabari Smith Jr.
Holmgren will face off against first-overall pick Banchero on Monday night at the Thomas & Mack Center in what should be a very entertaining contest between the two prized prospects.
3rd pick: Jabari Smith Jr. | Houston Rockets
Out of all of the top-five picks from the 2022 draft class, none have struggled more thus far than Jabari Smith Jr.
The forward hasn’t been about to find his footing over two games of Summer League action, as Smith currently holds averages of 11.o points on 31 percent shooting from the field and a 23 percent clip from beyond the arc.
While Smith’s game is currently lacking an offensive punch, the 19-year-old has swiped 2.5 steals and swatted 1.5 blocks per game.
4th pick: Keegan Murray | Sacramento Kings
Coming into play on Monday morning, Keegan Murray has arguably been the most-impressive player that was selected in the 2022 class.
Following an impressive California Classic showing that included the forward’s explosive 26-point debut, Murray is averaging 21.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range during two appearances in Las Vegas.
Over five Summer League appearances in San Francisco and Las Vegas, Murray has topped the 20-point mark on four occasions. The 21-year-old plays with a sense of calmness and comfort of a 10-year NBA veteran, something that Sacramento will greatly benefit from having on its roster in the years to come.
Murray’s ability to cause damage as a spot-up shooter has Kings fans envisioning the forward as a massive part of a Kings offense that will include stars De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.
5th pick: Jaden Ivey | Detroit Pistons
Jaden Ivey was putting on a show during Saturday’s game against the Washington Wizards, having scored 11 points during the first five minutes of play.
Unfortunately, the young guard took a bad step and injured his ankle, missing the remainder of the game and making it unlikely that we see the Purdue product until training camps open up in September.
Ivey’s Summer League debut was a successful one at that, as the 20-year-old tallied up 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists while shooting six-of-14 from the field and two-of-five from three-point land.