WHO: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Brooklyn Nets
WHAT: 2022 NBA Summer League
WHEN: 5:30 PM CT
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: ESPN3 (ESPN+)/92.9 FM ESPN MEMPHIS
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Kennedy Chandler, Ziaire Williams, Jake LaRavia, Santi Aldama, Xavier Tillman
BROOKLYN: Cam Thomas, David Duke Jr., Kessler Edwards, RaiQuan Gray, Dayron Sharpe
First, if you’re currently on this site reading this article about the Memphis Grizzlies’ third game in Vegas Summer League, then congratulations! You’re a bit of a nut (as much as we and I appreciate the views and support)!
Of course, I will never disparage someone who enjoys watching professional basketball whenever they can. But I will say: I’m somewhat over this particular iteration of summer league, mainly because I don’t really know what else there is to learn for the Grizzlies.
As a general rule, Summer League doesn’t necessarily help us evaluate who will be good or even great NBA players (Josh “Showtime” Selby and Wayne Selden say hello). However, it does quickly tell us who will not be good NBA players. And so far, I don’t think that has been the case for any young potential rotation player on the Grizzlies.
Sure, Jake LaRavia and Santi Aldama have definitely had their lumps, but they’ve still demonstrated enough bright flashes to satisfy me for the most part. Ziaire Williams has generally been about what I expected, and I think he will ultimately prove himself even more capable in his second season. David Roddy has encouraged me with his foot speed on defense, and Xavier Tillman...has been out there for some reason (I’m getting some major “old man trying to show up kids at the Y” vibes from him still playing in Summer League).
Going into this game against Brooklyn as well as throughout the rest of Summer League, it will be interesting to see who can separate themselves. It may or may not end up meaning anything, but if Aldama in particular can build on his 22 points-8 rebounds-6 steals performance, it will undoubtedly make everyone feel better about the Grizzlies’ front-court situation in the absence of Jaren Jackson Jr.
And in the meantime, we can all enjoy one of my personal favorites from the 2021 NBA Draft in Cam Thomas, who is averaging a whopping 27 PPG in summer league so far. Whether Thomas truly turns into a great pro remains to be seen, but his game predicated on off-the-bounce scoring is just built for the Summer League. It will be an interesting defensive test for the Grizzlies, specifically Kennedy Chandler, who has been superb defensively so far.