Pelicans 2022 summer league roster highlighted by familiar names

Fans planning to attend the Las Vegas Summer League over the next two weeks should bring plenty of sunscreen and bottled water, measures to combat the usual 110-degree July temperatures in the desert. You’re also encouraged to get hold of the event’s game schedule — which lists the rosters of all 30 teams — because unless you’re an international basketball scout, you’re probably at some point wondering, ‘Who are these players?”

Luckily for New Orleans fans, that question should be asked far less frequently when it comes to Pelicans games because unlike many Vegas rosters, which are made up of relatively anonymous and unproven professionals, Crescent City’s entry features a number of household names. Three members of New Orleans’ summer roster were part of the team’s 2022 playoff rotation, a trio that includes winger Trey Murphy (120 minutes into Round 1 vs. Phoenix), point guard Jose Alvarado (117) and defenseman Naji Marshall (56). . Three others make up a widely acclaimed and top-rated class of 22 draft, from lottery winner Dyson Daniels (eighth overall) to runners-up EJ Liddell (41st) and Karlo Matkovic (52nd). Two-way contract signer Dereon Sebron — who caused a lot of pre-draft buzz before he wasn’t selected — is a fourth rookie to win on draft night. Pelicans supporters will also pay tribute to guard Jared Harper, who played five official games for New Orleans in 21-22, including his 10- and 12-point games the final weekend of the regular season.

Another household name will be summer head coach Jarron Collins, a 10-year-old NBA player and eight-year-old assistant coach who, in the latter role, won three NBA titles with Golden State. Collins noted after the team’s first practice that the Summer League will mark another step for sophomores Murphy, Alvarado and Marshall.

“All of our youngsters from last year saw how important they were to us as they came down the track and made that playoff run that we did,” Collins said. “This is an important season as we go back to the foundation we built and continue to grow from there.”

These players are not expected to appear in more than a few Vegas games, allowing other players to fill bigger roles, perhaps after NOLA’s first matchups against Portland (Saturday) and Atlanta (Monday).

Meanwhile, Daniels, Liddell, Matkovic and Seabron have already begun learning the ins and outs of the NBA game in practice this week.

“They’re picking up our language,” Collins said as he became accustomed to the team’s specific terminology. “There’s so much teaching in terms of our word choices where they need to be on the ground.

“You don’t want them out there (mainly) thinking. (You want her) to go out and just play basketball. But everyone did a really good job, (with) really good energy, high motor skills and a high basketball IQ.”

Regardless of the combination of players that New Orleans puts on the ground throughout the league, the Pelicans will maintain one primary goal of trying to win every game. After going undefeated last year, New Orleans has not lost a summer league game since July 14, 2019. The Pelicans’ 5-0 lead a year ago served as a springboard and confidence booster for several young players who proved key figures in the team’s stunning second-half turnaround and hard-fought first-round series against Phoenix.

“The bar is set pretty high,” said a smiling Collins, referring to Summer Club 21’s unbeaten run. “We’re just going to try and win our games. That’s our approach and our way of thinking in every single game. Can we go 5-0? That is the goal.”

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