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NBA Summer League roundup: Unexpected players rise in Rockets-Magic, 76ers have promising rotation trio

We’re tracking all the action for Thursday’s slate of Summer League games in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

2022 NBA Summer League - Houston Rockets v Orlando Magic
Josh Christopher of the Houston Rockets dribbles the ball against the Orlando Magic during the 2022 Las Vegas Summer League on July 7, 2022 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Summer League action concludes in Salt Lake City and begins in Las Vegas, where the main showcase will take place until July 17. The Thunder will look to put on a show against the 76ers to close out Utah’s Summer League while we’ll get a great matchup to open things up in Vegas between No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero and No. 3 selection Jabari Smith. Smith was projected to go No. 1 until draft day, when the Orlando Magic suddenly shifted gears and took Banchero.

Here we’ll be recapping all the games for Thursday, July 7.

NBA Summer League recaps

Philadelphia 76ers 80, Oklahoma City Thunder 79

The Thunder ended up sitting Chet Holmgren for this game, but they did give good minutes to Tre Mann and Aleksej Pokusevski. Both were seeing a lot of playing time last year. Oklahoma City ended with five players in double figures scoring. Philadelphia has to be happy about the progress Jaden Springer and Paul Reed are showing. The Sixers are trying to build a championship rotation, and it’s important to have cheap contributors like Springer and Reed in the mix. Isaiah Joe is also looking like a candidate to get some early run in the season, especially if he keeps shooting from range like he did today.

Memphis Grizzlies 95, Utah Jazz 84

This was a ridiculous implosion from Utah from a game standpoint. Both the Jazz and Grizzlies got good returns from some key players though. Jared Butler struggled to open the game but turned things around in the second half while Ziaire Williams looks to build on a decent rookie season for Memphis. We’ll see how real Bruno Caboclo’s performances are going forward but he could be in Utah’s rotation given their lack of size.

Orlando Magic 91, Houston Rockets 77

This was supposed to be Paolo Banchero vs. Jabari Smith. For a moment, there was no evidence Smith was on the floor because it was all Banchero. And then for much of the second half, neither player really stood out. This ended up being Josh Christopher vs. Caleb Houstan. The Rockets forward finished with 22 points and three blocks as he attempts to be a part of the future there, while the other Magic rookie tallied 20 points and five rebounds.