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5 Most Intriguing Teams in the NBA Summer League

The NBA Summer League features a flurry of games over 11 days. Watching every team is unrealistic for most, but several teams are must-see TV.

Five squads stand out as the most intriguing with loaded rosters.

Oakland's Oracle Arena, the former home of the Warriors. Peter Casey/USA Today/Reuters
Oakland's Oracle Arena, the former home of the Warriors. Peter Casey/USA Today/Reuters

1. Golden State Warriors

This offseason, Golden State Warriors has lost several veteran role players. The Warriors have opted for a younger roster, focusing on developing players. The 2022 champs have a Summer League roster full of promising talent.

Second-year players Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody will be featured. Kuminga had a good rookie season, playing in 70 games while averaging 9.3 points. Kuminga could be an eventual replacement for Andrew Wiggins. Moody, another 2021 lottery pick, played in 52 games averaging only 11.7 minutes. The former Arkansas Razorback spent time in the G League last season.

Former second overall pick James Wiseman will return from a knee injury. Since being drafted in 2020, his career has been derailed by injuries. Wiseman played in 39 games during his rookie season and missed the entire 2021-22 season. Will Wiseman show rust in the Summer League?

Furthermore, 2022 first-round pick Patrick Baldwin will make his debut. The Summer League will preview Golden State’s present and future role players.

2. Indiana Pacers

The rebuilding Indiana Pacers have a roster made of talented rookies and second-year players. Chris Duarte comes off a toe injury after averaging 13.1 points in his rookie year. Duarte brings a mature game, he should be able to torch the Summer League’s young competition. After going undrafted, Duane Washington Jr. had a nice rookie season averaging 9.9 points. He looks to be a key role player going forward.

Bennedict Mathurin, the 6th pick of the 2022 draft, will make his debut. The Canadian wing has an electrifying game fueled by impressive athleticism and three-level scoring. If Indiana lets Mathurin operate in isolation, he will be one of the Summer League’s most exciting players. Second-round picks Andrew Nembhard and Kendall Brown will also debut.

Indiana is in full rebuild mode after trading key players, like Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon. This roster features several players that will play instrumental roles alongside Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC has a deep Summer League rotation. Third-year forward Aleksej Pokusevski will have a prominent role. He has solidified a bench role, but the Thunder believe there’s more untapped potential. In addition, Josh Giddey and Tre Mann will play. Giddey was one of the NBA’s best rookies last season, making him Oklahoma City Thunder’s point guard of the future. Mann flashed massive scoring potential with two 30-point showings in the 2021-22 season.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Aaron Wiggins, and Lindy Waters III played substantial minutes as rookies. Wiggins and Waters could be battling for a roster spot while Robinson-Earl looks for a bump in minutes.

Second pick Chet Holmgren will try to put the league on notice. His versatility and shot-blocking will be on full display.

Two areas will be interesting to watch. First, will OKC let Holmgren consistently handle the ball? And two, how will Holmgren’s thin frame hold up? First-rounders Ousmane Dieng and Jalen Williams add more talent to a stacked roster.

4. Houston Rockets

Virtually Houston Rockets’ entire regular roster will play in the Summer League. Former 2021 first-round picks Josh Christopher and Usman Garuba will participate. Christopher could become a good scoring option off the bench after averaging 7.9 points in 74 games last season. Garuba stumbled, appearing in 24 games while averaging two points and 3.5 rebounds.

Furthermore, first-round rookies Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason, and TyTy Washington Jr. will make their debut. As the third pick, many are excited to watch Smith play. At 6-foot-10, he is a generational frontcourt shooting prospect. Eason won SEC’s Sixth Man of the Year, averaging 16.9 points. Plus, he has high defensive potential. Washington had an up and down year at Kentucky, finishing at 12.5 points per game.

The Rockets’ roster could have been better if Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun played. Green had an inconsistent rookie season and Sengun started in only 13 games. Both players need to develop, not playing in the Summer League is an odd choice. Still, Houston has a team worth watching in the Vegas tournament.

5. Detroit Pistons

Among rebuilding teams, Detroit Pistons seem close to a breakthrough. The Pistons are all in on showing off their wealth of talent in the Summer League. After finishing within the top three for Rookie of the Year, Cade Cunningham will participate. Cunningham does not need the experience, however, Detroit wants to see him mesh with young pieces.

Alongside Cunningham, third-year wing Saddiq Bey will get playing time. Bey has established himself in the association, averaging 16.1 points last season. Killian Hayes and Isaiah Stewart will also partake as third-year players. Hayes must develop, but Stewart started 71 games last season. Detroit is not afraid of playing experience in the Summer League.

The list goes on with rookies Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren debuting. Watching Ivey play alongside Cunningham will be exciting. Ivey’s incredible burst will stand out.

In addition, Duren could be a long-term replacement for Stewart. Could this be the beginning of a position battle? Perhaps the Pistons intend to move Stewart to power forward with Duren taking center.

Clearly, each team has a lot to offer in the 2022 Summer League. The Warriors preview young players with elevated roles while rebuilding teams look for player development. Overall, these five teams are ideal betting picks.

Check out various NBA Summer League lines at BetUS Sportsbook.

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