Although the NBA may say they have an 'offseason', the league has increasingly become a year-long fiasco in recent summers. From the Summer Olympics every four years, to the annual NBA draft and summer league, the NBA always has action in store. The summer league is a 10-day long exhibition that pits NBA teams against each other. The competition is meant to give rookies and younger players an opportunity to transition to the NBA and prove their worth to their teams. Here are the five teams you should keep an eye on at this years NBA Summer League.
2022 NBA Las Vegas Summer League Preview
Five NBA teams you should keep an eye on this summer in Las Vegas
Notable Players - Jaden Ivey: Rookie, Jalen Duren: Rookie, Cade Cunningham: 2nd Year, Saben Lee: 2nd Year, Saddiq Bey: 3rd Year, Isaiah Stewart: 3rd Year
One of the most star-studded rosters to take the stage at the Summer League is the Detroit Pistons. They had an incredible drafting, selecting Purdue star Jaden Ivey, and interior monster Jalen Duren out of Memphis. Also headlining this stacked roster is last seasons Rookie of the Year and budding all-star Cade Cunningham. Third year players Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey have also been announced to the roster. If Bey can find consistent minutes during the Summer League, the MVP may have his name written on it. Assistant Coach Jordan Brink will take on the role as head coach.
Notable Players - Jabari Smith Jr: Rookie, Tari Eason: Rookie, TyTy Washington: Rookie, Josh Christopher: 2nd Year
After trading James Harden in January of 2021, it was clear the Houston Rockets were heading into a rebuild. The Rockets selected three prospects in the first round of this years draft, all slated to play on their summer league roster. Headlining that rookie class is 3rd overall draft pick Jabari Smith Jr. Other rookies alongside Smith will be TyTy Washington Jr. from Kentucky and Tari Eason from LSU. The Rockets only have four players on their summer league roster with NBA experience, the bulk of that coming from Josh Christopher. Christopher averaged 8 points in 74 games last year, so this should be an excellent chance for him to show his growth.
Golden State Warriors
Notable Players - Patrick Baldwin Jr: Rookie, Ryan Rollins: Rookie, Gui Santos: Rookie, Moses Moody: 2nd Year, Jonathan Kuminga: 2nd Year, James Wiseman: 3rd Year
Generally, the defending NBA champions don't produce the best Summer League rosters, but the Warriors have flipped that script. The Warriors have been keen on building from within and have put together a solid young core. They will be introducing rookies Patrick Baldwin Jr. from Milwaukee and Ryan Hollins from Toledo. Gui Santos from Brazil will also be making his NBA debut. Second year players Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga have also been announced to the roster. Former 2nd overall pick James Wiseman will fill in as the only player heading into their 3rd season on the roster. He is hoping to make an impact and show he has taken the steps to be a viable option for the Warriors off the bench.
Notable Players - Paolo Banchero: Rookie, Caleb Houstan: Rookie, Zavier Simpson: 2nd Year, R.J. Hampton: 3rd Year, Daniel Oturu: 3rd Year
All eyes were on the Orlando Magic at this years draft, as it was heavily rumored they would select Jabari Smith Jr. first overall. They would shock the world however, and take Paolo Banchero, from Duke, with the 1st overall pick. He and Caleb Houstan from Michigan will get their first chance to suit up in a Magic uniform during the Summer League. There will be a lot of roster cuts to the Magic's young roster before the actual season starts, so this will be a huge opportunity for guys like Xavier Simpson and Daniel Oturu to earn their roster spots. A guy to keep an eye on is R.J. Hampton. The guard is entering his 3rd year and looking to take a big leap at the Summer League.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Chet Holmgren: Rookie, Ousmane Dieng: Rookie, Jalen Williams: Rookie, Jaylin Williams: Rookie, Aaron Wiggins: 2nd Year, Josh Giddey: 2nd Year, Tre Mann: 2nd Year, Aleksej Pokusevski: 3rd Year
The Oklahoma City Thunder had a generational draft, selecting three players in the first round and one in the second. Headlining that rookie class is Gonzaga phenom Chet Holmgren. He is joined by fellow lottery picks Ousmane Dieng and Jalen Williams. The last pick that the Thunder selected was Jaylin Williams out of Arkansas with the 34th pick. All-rookie second team member Josh Giddey will join the roster alongside 2nd year guard Tre Mann. A notable player to keep an eye on is Aleksej Pokusevski. Pokusevski shows immense potential with the ability to stretch the floor at 7 feet tall. Pokusevski has seen time bouncing around in the G-League, so this should be a big opportunity for him to solidify his spot in the NBA.