Summer League often brings exaggerated hype about prospects who excel but it also goes the other way for those who struggle. While these players can still turn out to be strong NBA contributors, their Summer League 2022 performances were disappointing.
Johnny Davis, Washington Wizards
Davis averaged 8.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game in three Summer League contests. He shot 27.6% from the floor and 33.3% from deep. This was the guy who was supposed to help the Wizards contend with Bradley Beal? Washington may have missed its chance to rebuild in earnest, and now Davis joins a crowded group of “this guy may be ok” players. Let’s hope he can do much better than his Summer League games when the regular season hits.
Jabari Smith, Houston Rockets
While Smith’s production wasn’t all that bad (14.4 points, 9.4 rebounds per game), it was underwhelming compared to fellow top draft picks. Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, Keegan Murray and Bennedict Mathurin were all far more impressive than Smith, who struggled to deliver offensively. That was supposed to be his biggest strength. Smith could still have a strong season but it might be worth tempering expectations heading into the campaign.
Jaden Hardy, Dallas Mavericks
Hardy initially looked like he would be among the biggest standouts but his efficiency numbers slowly dipped towards his G-League line. The guard eventually managed 34/26/69 splits, which is outright bad. The Mavericks have Hardy for three years, so they’ll hope he can eventually turn those numbers around. The early returns aren’t promising.
Max Christie, Los Angeles Lakers
Christie’s 4.4 rebounds per game were solid but shooting 28.6% from the floor and 22.2% from deep across five games nullifies any positive impact he could’ve had. Christie had far too many down performances like these at Michigan State to justify his breakout games, and the Lakers have to hope this stuff eventually gets cleaned up. There’s a reason he slid out of the first round, and it was on display in Las Vegas.
Jared Butler, Utah Jazz
This might seem a bit harsh on Butler, who averaged 12.8 points and 7.3 assists per game on what was a largely hopeless Jazz Summer League team. Shooting 17.1% from deep is inexcusable though, especially on 8.8 three-point attempts per game. Butler was poised to take on a bigger role in Utah this season. He won’t latch on anywhere with these shooting numbers.