2022 Summer League and there’s a few guys to watch out for: Summer League expectations
The headliners are our current 76ers, who have actually played and practiced with Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and James Harden, so they are unlikely to be impressed with anyone they play against in July. Names like Isaiah Joe, Jaden Springer, Charles Bassey, and fan favorite “B-Ball” Paul Reed will all be on display in Summer League.
Although it would not be surprising if Joe and Reed (who are thought to possibly have a larger role on the Sixers this year) get the “Tyrese Maxey treatment”. Last summer Maxey played two games, looked like a man among boys, and was sent home. The better these guys play, the less we will see them. A lot of fans are hoping to see big second year jumps from big man Bassey and young shooting guard Springer as well.
Assessing a player’s future during Summer League is a very subjective thing. This is because everything comes down to how they are coached, the positions that they are put in, and the skills that they are allowed to show.
Famously, a number of good players have struggled in the summer, bounced around for a few years, and become solid pros later because a coach saw the value in what a player can actually do, instead of asking them to do something outside of their skill set and then dismissing them. A player who is a terrific rebounder and high post passer might be asked to stay in the corner and fire up catch-and-shoot threes.
Good assessors of talent, like Memphis and Golden State, let players utilize their strengths and then find ways to improve their weaknesses. If everyone is allowed to show what they can do, and not just asked to do things that they have never done before (which happens a lot!), this group has a lot of potential.
Let’s start with the obvious- it is extremely unlikely that any of the players on this team are future starters, let alone stars. This is a good-looking group, but they all appear to cap out as bench players who can possibly become consistent rotational players or nice bench pieces.
“All of them could be out of the league in a blink, but they also all have very high ceilings, possibly even more high-end potential than Joe, Reed, Bassey, or Springer.”
For our current team, finding a gem who might be the eighth or ninth man in our rotation would be a fantastic value, and that might even be a year or two down the line. In some cases, what we find is an asset, a player who shows out well but doesn’t seem to fit with our current team so they gain value as a trade piece before the start of the season.
Personally, I have my eye on three lesser-known players, who all have talents and skills that make them very interesting as guys who could have a future at the NBA level, hopefully in Philadelphia. All of them could be out of the league in a blink, but they also all have very high ceilings, possibly even more high-end potential than Joe, Reed, Bassey, or Springer.
The hit-or-miss aspect of a talent showcase is what makes Summer League so compelling. Here are the three players that I believe have the highest ceiling/potential, and who I believe might have the best pro careers over the next ten years.