Las Vegas NBA Summer League: Oklahoma City Thunder favored

The NBA Summer League is back in the Westgate SuperBook, where the Oklahoma City Thunder are 8-1 favorites to win the title.

The Thunder is led by 6th draft pick in the 2021 NBA draft, Josh Giddey, who averaged 12.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists as a rookie.

Oklahoma City will also draft Gonzaga’s 2022 draft pick, Chet Holmgren, along with fellow draft picks Ousmane Dieng, Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams.

“I was surprised to see Giddey on the team,” said Westgate NBA oddsmaker Jeff Sherman. “Having Giddey and Holmgren – and those guys may not play the full length of the league – is a good place to start. They want to have a lot of minutes in the regular team.

“We just have to base the odds on the teams that people want to be in. I think the Thunder is a team that people will target.”

The Detroit Pistons are second pick 9-1 and the New Orleans Pelicans third pick 10-1 to win the league, which includes all 30 NBA teams and will be held Thursday through July 17 at the Thomas & Mack Center and will be held at the Cox Pavilion.

Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft who led the Pistons in points and assists last season, will lead their summer league roster.

“The Pistons are interesting because they look almost like their NBA team,” Sherman said. “I can’t imagine Cade Cunningham playing much. I was even surprised that he was on the list.

“They’re almost like the Thunder in that they have a lot of players who expect to get minutes on their NBA team.”

Detroit’s roster also includes Isaiah Stewart, who led the Pistons in rebounding and blocking shots last season, Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes, Isaiah Livers, Saben Lee and the team’s top two draft picks in Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duran.

New Orleans is led by Jose Alvarado and Trey Murphy III, both of whom played well in the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns.

“Here’s an opportunity to see more play from them for review,” Sherman said. “These are two guys that everyone else can do better.”

The Houston Rockets, with No. 3 draft pick Jabari Smith Jr., are tied on fourth pick 14-1 with the Indiana Pacers led by their two 2021 first-round picks in Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson.

“Chris Duarte was appreciated for the Pacers last year and is playing now mainly because he had an injury-ridden season,” Sherman said. “They’re giving him a reset opportunity here.”

The Los Angeles Lakers (16-1) will feature Scotty Pippen Jr. and Shareef O’Neal, son of Shaquille O’Neal, in a team that won 2-1 in California’s NBA Summer League.

“They have a team that can be a good summer league team,” Sherman said. “We’ve already seen what they did in the San Francisco summer league. They’re playing good basketball early on with the same team and they might have more continuity than some other teams.”

The Orlando Magic (20-1) will feature No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero.

The Golden State Warriors are also 20-1 with a roster that includes last year’s lottery picks in Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, as well as 2020 No. 2 James Wiseman, who missed all of last season with a knee injury.

“They are a team with some NBA experience. They just couldn’t get enough of the NBA club last year,” Sherman said. “I doubt Wiseman will play at all. I expect Moody and Kuminga to get some play.”

The Sacramento Kings, who won 3-0 in the California League, become champions again, 25-1.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at consequences @tdewey33 on twitter.

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