‘Unicorn’ Chet Holmgren’s return in the NBA Summer League: Arrival of Wembanyama

The NBA Summer League has arrived, attracting numerous players who aspire to secure a position on one of the 30 NBA teams’ rosters. Some are eager to experience their first taste of competition after being drafted, while others are focused on getting in shape before the pre-season commences.

The California Classic in Sacramento and the Salt Lake City Summer League have already kicked off as the first NBA Summer League contests. These events will be followed by the highly anticipated Las Vegas Summer League, scheduled for July 7, where all NBA franchises will participate.

'Unicorn' Chet Holmgren’s return in the NBA Summer League
credit – google images
Come-back of Chet Holmgren nearly a year later

During a thrilling game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz, the Thunder emerged victorious with a score of 95-85. Notably, Jaylin Williams (21 points) and Tre Mann (20 points and 7 rebounds) displayed impressive performances. However, the return of Chet Holmgren to the court after a severe injury almost a year ago garnered significant attention.

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Chet Holmgren, the Thunder’s second overall pick in the 2022 Draft, demonstrated remarkable resilience by contributing 15 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and four blocks in 29 minutes of play.

He was hailed as the NBA’s “new unicorn,” an extraordinary figure standing at 2.16m with an impressive 2.31m wingspan and weighing just 88 kilos. Nevertheless, his spotlight has dimmed following an injury and the San Antonio Spurs’ selection of Victor Wembanyama as the top pick in the 2023 Draft.

credit – google images

While the Spurs are still awaiting Wembanyama’s presence, they triumphed over the Charlotte Hornets with a commanding 98-77 victory. Julian Champagnie (30 points, 8 rebounds) and Dominick Barlow (24 points, 11 rebounds) delivered exceptional performances as starters.

Meanwhile, Brandon Miller, the second overall pick in the 2023 Draft, made his debut for the Charlotte Hornets. He showcased his skills with 18 points (5 of 11 from the field), five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block in 34 minutes.

Kenneth Lofton’s remarkable performances for the Grizzlies

In a thrilling match, the Memphis Grizzlies secured a narrow 94-92 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers. Kenneth Lofton Jr., a rising media sensation, led the charge with 21 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, and two steals in 30 minutes. Terquavion Smith stood out as the top performer for the Sixers, contributing 18 points, including four three-pointers on 10 attempts.

Nikola Jovic and Jaime Jaquez inject the Heat of delivering impressive performances

The Miami Heat dominated the Los Angeles Lakers with a resounding 107-90 win, fueled by the remarkable debut of rookie Jaime Jaquez. The Mexican-born forward, selected 18th overall in the 2023 Draft, showcased his talents with 22 points, well supported by Nikola Jovic’s contribution of 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Jalen Hood-Schifino (15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) and Max Christie (17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) shone as the best performers for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Sacramento Kings secured a hard-fought 100-95 victory over the Golden State Warriors, led by Keegan Murray’s stellar performance, amassing 29 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field.

Lester Quinones emerged as the top performer for the Warriors, registering 26 points, including five three-pointers.

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