Oklahoma City’s summer league (OKC Summer League season) will kick off in Utah this week. This means that many new players will have the chance to shine with Thunder.
One of the more impressive first impressions from the team is that of Chet Holmgren. The Thunder’s 2022 first-round draft pick impressed in his debut. His stats included 23 points, 6 blocks and 4 assists.
1. Chet Holmgren
Holmgren was the Thunder’s second selection in the draft last month and his stunning debut Tuesday night stunned everyone. He put up 23 points on 7-of-9 shooting in a 98-77 win over the Utah Jazz.
shot 4-of-6 at 3-point range, and 5-of-5 from behind the foul line. He also tallied seven rebounds, six blocks and four assists in 24 minutes.
Holmgren combines size, skill and tenacity to create an innovative mindset on offense and assertive approach on defense. His versatility defies expectations and will be a key part of the Thunder’s success in the future.
2. Josh Giddey
After an impressive rookie campaign, second-year guard Josh Giddey has been making an effort to get more game time in the NBA. He is excited to join the Thunder and looks ready to make an impact on an already dynamic team.
While he is averaging 16.7 point, 10.6 rebound, and 6.8 assists per game, he still needs to improve his three-point shooting skills and defense. The team needs a scoring threat to win, and the Aussie is showing some signs of being that reliable source.
When he joined ESPN’s NBA Today set live from Las Vegas, Giddey was asked about his new teammate Chet Holmgren. Giddey revealed that he had “secretly dreamed” to play with the No. 2 draft pick.
3. Jalen Williams
The summer league can be a fantastic way to discover and highlight potential talents that have not been noticed. It’s also a trigger for individualized development for players that may not be ready to hit the floor immediately in training camp.
Jalen Williams showed why he might be one of the top risers in the 2022 NBA draft. He was under-scouted during his season in the West Coast Conference, but he rocketed up big boards and mock drafts throughout the pre-draft process.
He’s become a steady, reliable option for the Thunder this year and has been playing at an elite level. His size makes him a rare ball-handler and rollman. He can take smart shots and move the ball quickly and also contributes in many other areas.
4. Lindy Waters III
Norman and OSU’s Lindy Waters III displayed glimpses of their potential while playing in the okc summer league. In 25 games of summer league, he averaged 4.4 and 1.6 points per game and shot 36% at three-point range.
Having played for the Thunder last season, the 24-year-old has one more year on his two-way contract. Developing into an outside threat with his shooting will help him land a full-time NBA deal, but if he wants to stick in the league, he should focus on improving other areas of his game.
As a Native American basketball player, Lindy has always had a special edge that has helped him rise to the occasion.
He’s not only a great player, but also a role model. He grew up with old photos of Jim Thorpe hanging on his wall and knows that Native American athletes are a rarity.
5. Eugene Omoruyi
Joe Mussatto, The Oklahoman’s writer, writes Eugene Omoruyi has the talent and potential to become a NBA player.
He recently signed a two-way contract with the Thunder after a brief stint in Dallas last season, and he will make his first appearance in a Thunder uniform during this summer league.
The summer league gives teams the chance to assess young players and find holes that can be filled. It’s also a great opportunity for players to network and build relationships with other NBA players.