What top draft picks are playing in the 2022 NBA Summer League? Banchero, Holgrem, Smith…who else?

NBA basketball is back, but you won’t see the big names like LeBron James and Steph Curry just yet as the 2022 NBA Summer League is all about grooming the new talent for the upcoming season.

The 2022 NBA Summer League’s top talent from the NBA Draft

The 2022 NBA Summer League is here and promises to be better than ever this year. The 10-day tournament is traditionally a proving ground where franchise teams of drafted and undrafted rookies field alongside other young players and sometimes even veterans. All of the players in question are obviously fighting for a spot on the roster, as well as regular minutes on the pitch when the regular season begins. With that in mind, let’s dive into the list of the top 10 talent in this year’s NBA draft and who they’ll be playing for in the Summer League:

Paolo Banchero

It just makes sense to start with the No. 1 overall winner of 2022, Paolo Banchero. Outside of Duke, the nation’s top talent is the obvious headliner on an Orlando Magic team while the likes of Michigan’s Caleb Houston – a possible future rotation player – and 2020 first-rounder RJ Hampton will also be hoping to impress.

Chet Holmgren

During Gonzaga Chet Holmgren is the standout name on the list, the #2 overall is by no means the only one to keep an eye on. Keep in mind that the Oklahoma City 2022 haul also included Ousmane Dieng, Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams. It goes without saying that all four of these guys could be important players in the future. Also of note are Josh Giddey and Tre Mann, who had impressive rookie campaigns last year, while Gabe Brown is the undrafted forward to watch. A 6-foot-8 contender from Michigan State who possesses the 3-and-D archetype that NBA teams love, Brown has a bright future ahead of him.

Jabari Smith

While the news that Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun will not play in the Summer League is disappointing, we can look forward to seeing Usman Garuba and Josh Christopher on the pitch for 2021. Then of course there is the No. 3 overall ranking of 2022 Jabari Smith Jr. as well as fellow first-rounders Tari Eason and TyTy Washington Jr. The Rockets may well be the sleep team that surprises everyone. Watch her closely.

Keegan Murray

Given they were the 2021 Summer League champions, you can expect the Kings to come out swinging. The good news is that they can count on the services of the talented No. 4 overall Keegan Murray what he looks like to show what he’s made of. In fact, it’s already off to a good start, as you’ll see below. In addition to Murray, there are two undrafted players in Keon Ellis and Jeriah Horne who could well be turning heads and making their way into the roster.

Jaden Ivey

It’s pretty clear the Pistons are in for it to win. At the start of the tournament they basically listed their main roster from last season with players like Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Killian Hayes, Isaiah Livers and Saben Lee. Likewise, Let’s not forget Purdue’s #5 overall, Jaden Ivey who will try to impress his more experienced teammates. Rounding out their impressive roster are a handful of undrafted rookies like series goalscorer Kameron McGusty, UCLA’s Jules Bernard and the Syracuse-based Boheim Brothers, Buddy and Jimmy.

Benedict Manthurin

While Indiana 2021 first-rounders Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson will certainly draw attention, it would be foolish to forget the 2022 No. 6 overall Benedict Manthurin who comes to the Summer League with a lot of hype around him. Rounding out the Pacers’ squad are a few players who could still offer some surprises, like Kendall Brown, a potential first-rounder this year who dropped to 48th, and Fanbo Zeng, one of China’s top prospects.

Shaedon Sharpe

If there’s one thing we know heading into the Summer League that everyone wants to catch a glimpse of Shaedon Sharpe. Perhaps the biggest mystery of the 2022 NBA draft, No. 7 overall pick this year will have a chance to show if he’s worth the hype or not. Can he prove he can shine alongside Blazers star Damian Lillard at the start of the season? That’s the kind of question fans will want answered during Summer League.


What is certain is that the Pelicans Summer League team will be entertaining. Breakout players like Trey Murphy III and Jose Alvarado make the list after showing their skills in the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns. Then of course there is DysonDaniels who the Pelicans picked as their #8 overall pick and is expected to shine.

Jeremy Sochan

Although No. 9 overall selection Jeremy Sochan Here’s the headliner, Spurs actually have two other first round players from 2022 who will play in the Summer League. Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley are expected to impress when the tournament gets underway. Attention should also be paid to last year’s surprise lottery pick, Joshua Primo. As the youngest prospect in the class of 2021, it will be interesting to see the progress he has made.

Johnny Davis

The Wizards have a good chance of finishing 10th overall Johnny Davis. In addition to Davis, we’ll also take a look at Isaiah Todd, who was the 31st overall winner last year. Todd will, of course, be looking to get things moving for himself after receiving a difficult reception in the league last year – his rookie season – in which he only played in a handful of games.

Honorable Mention – Shareef O’Neal and Scotty Pippen Jr.

Without a doubt, the two former NBA stars’ sons will be the main attraction for the Lakers. Shareef O’Neal and Scotty Pippen Jr were both immediately signed by the franchise as undrafted rookies. Alongside them, we’ll also see Michigan State’s Max Christie, who was No. 35 overall, and Syracuse’s Cole Swider, who shot an impressive 41.1% from deep at 6.0 attempts per game as a senior.

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