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How top NBA draft picks performed at Las Vegas Summer League

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Two of the top rookies from the 2022 NBA draft matched up when Keegan Murray and the Sacramento Kings faced Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic in Las Vegas Summer League action Saturday, July 9, 2022, at Thomas & Mack Center.

Two of the highest rookies from the 2022 NBA draft matched up when Keegan Murray and the Sacramento Kings faced Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic in Las Vegas Summer League motion Saturday, July 9, 2022, at Thomas & Mack Center.

Sacramento Kings

All 30 NBA teams converged on southern Nevada over the past 11 days for the Las Vegas Summer League, an annual event that showcases rookies and other young players trying to ascertain themselves as pros.

This 12 months’s event featured nine of the highest 10 picks from June’s NBA draft, including Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic; Chet Holmgren of the Oklahoma City Thunder; Jabari Smith Jr. of the Houston Rockets; Keegan Murray of the Sacramento Kings; and Jaden Ivey of the Detroit Pistons.

The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Latest York Knicks in Sunday’s championship game at Thomas & Mack Center. Blazers forward Trendon Watford was named MVP of the championship game. Murray is taken into account considered one of the leading candidates for tournament MVP, which is predicted to be announced Monday.

Murray generated tremendous excitement in Sacramento and a powerful buzz across the league together with his outstanding play, but he wasn’t the one rookie who shined beneath the intense lights in Las Vegas. Here’s a have a look at how the highest 10 picks within the 2022 draft fared in summer league competition.

No. 1: Paolo Banchero

Banchero only appeared in two games in Las Vegas, however the 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward from Duke showed why Orlando made him the No. 1 pick within the draft. Banchero averaged 20 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.0 blocks, demonstrating a singular mix of size, athleticism, shooting and playmaking ability. He shot just 40.7% from the sector but knocked down 50% from 3-point range and 80% on 10 free throw attempts per game.

No. 2: Chet Holmgren

People saw what they desired to see within the 7-footer from Gonzaga. Those obsessive about unicorns will point to the rare shooting, shot blocking and ballhandling abilities he possesses. Those that worry about his 195-pound frame will note that he got bodied by the likes of Kenny Lofton Jr. Holmgren appeared in three games in Las Vegas, averaging 12.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.3 steals, 2.0 blocks and 1.3 assists. He shot 46.4% from the sector, 42.9% from 3-point range and 87.5% on the free throw line.

No. 3: Jabari Smith Jr.

Smith didn’t shoot well but still proved he can rating, rebound and defend. The 6-10, 210-pound power forward from Auburn appeared in all five games for Houston, averaging 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.5 assists. He shot 37.7% on 13.8 field goal attempts per game and 25.9% on 5.4 3-point attempts. He recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday’s finale against Sacramento, but he went 4 of 15 from the sector and 1 of 4 from beyond the arc.

No. 4: Keegan Murray

Murray was touted as one of the NBA-ready prospects within the draft. That definitely gave the impression to be the case in each the California Classic and the Las Vegas Summer League. The 6-foot-9, 215-pound forward averages 23.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals over 4 games in Las Vegas, shooting 50% from the sector, 40% from long distance and 80.8% on the foul line. He played Banchero evenly in a double-overtime loss to Orlando and thoroughly outplayed Holmgren with 29 points in a loss to Oklahoma City.

No. 5: Jaden Ivey

Ivey, a 6-4, 200-pound shooting guard from Purdue, appeared in just two games for the Detroit Pistons before suffering an ankle injury. He averaged 15.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 50% from the sector, 50% from 3-point range and 100% on the free throw line. He had 20 points, six rebounds and 6 assists in his debut against the Blazers. He followed that up with 11 points in the primary five minutes against the Washington Wizards before leaving the sport on account of injury.

No. 6: Bennedict Mathurin

Mathurin looked good in three games for the Indiana Pacers before missing the last two games as a precautionary measure on account of a sore left big toe. The 6-6, 205-pound shooting guard averaged 19.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 assists. He shot 48.4% from the sector and 38.5% from 3-point range while converting 76.5% on the free throw line.

No. 7: Shaedon Sharpe

There was tremendous anticipation for Sharpe, the 6-5 ¼, 198-pound shooting guard who never suited up for Kentucky, but he only made one temporary appearance for the Blazers. Sharpe logged lower than six minutes against the Pistons before leaving with a left shoulder injury that turned out to be a small labral tear. He finished with two points and one turnover, going 1 of three from the sector and 0 of two from 3-point range.

No. 8: Dyson Daniels

Based on feedback from some very high-level NBA people leading as much as the draft, the Latest Orleans Pelicans may need something special in Daniels, a 6-7 ½ guard with a 6-10 ½ wingspan. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much of him in Las Vegas. Daniels appeared in just one game, logging just eight minutes before suffering a right ankle sprain. He finished with one point, one rebound, two assists and one steal, going 0 of 5 from the sector and 0 of two from 3-point range.

No. 9: Jeremy Sochan

Sochan, a 6-9, 230-pound combo forward from Baylor, is the one top-10 pick who didn’t suit up in any respect in Las Vegas. He entered NBA health and safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19 and was ruled out for summer league as a precaution after missing every week of practice. Sochan was considered considered one of the highest defensive wings within the draft after averaging 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks as a freshman at Baylor.

No. 10: Johnny Davis

Davis was limited to a few games in Las Vegas after experiencing lower back tightness. The 6-5 ¾, 196-pound guard with a 6-8 ½ wingspan averaged 7.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 0.3 steals for the Washington Wizards. He shot 29.6% from the sector and 33% from 3-point range while converting all six of his free-throw attempts.

Jason Anderson is an award-winning sportswriter for The Sacramento Bee. He began his journalism profession at The Bee greater than 20 years ago and returned to cover the Sacramento Kings in September 2018.

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