The Summer Sixers have stumbled to an 0-2 start in Las Vegas, dropping back-to-back games over the weekend to Toronto and Brooklyn. To some degree, this is unsurprising. The Sixers aren’t trotting out any first- or second-round picks from the 2022 draft, and also aren’t heavy on NBA experience among the rest of the roster playing in Nevada. Paul Reed got his work in during the Salt Lake City trip, and is spending game times in Vegas cheering on his teammates in fashion-forward garb.
Fellow 2020 second-round pick Isaiah Joe left the Brooklyn game early with right shoulder soreness after having served as the backbone of the Summer Sixers’ offense over the past week-plus. As of this writing, there has been no word on whether Joe’s 2022 Summer tour is over, but skill development coach Dwayne Jones was quoted as saying the team would “err on the side of caution.” Looking more in control at this level with every Summer League performance, Joe likely already did enough to secure his roster spot heading into the upcoming season.
So what’s left for evaluation purposes? Charles Bassey has been solid, albeit not spectacular. It’s often harder for centers to make an impact in these Summer League affairs without playmaking guards at the ready. I remain curious to see Bassey on the court with James Harden, who has made careers for other rim-running centers. Jaden Springer looks destined for another year in Delaware. Michael Foster Jr. has flashed enough upside to be signed to an Exhibit 10 deal, presumably setting the stage for a Blue Coats campaign for him. Charlie Brown Jr. has probably helped himself the most in terms of getting into the rotation conversation. His defense continues to look NBA-caliber and he’s gotten to the free throw line in summer league play, shooting 14-of-16 across four games. Trevelin Queen is the other wild card, with his partial guarantee and flashes of both playmaking chops and turnover-prove sequences.
On the opposing sideline, whereas the Sixers are coming off multiple rest days, the Heat just played last night, falling to Atlanta, 95-88. First-round pick Nikola Jovic, who shined with 25 points against Golden State a week ago, sat out yesterday’s contest with a quad contusion. Center Omer Yurtseven, who played a few spot minutes in Miami’s postseason series against the Sixers a couple months ago, is dealing with a quad issue of his own and has yet to take the floor in Vegas. Former Sixer Haywood Highsmith sat out yesterday, presumably with the Heat approaching this back-to-back with a split squad mentality. Here’s a look at the full roster for Miami:
Here's the Miami Heat's roster for the Summer League. Former Lavrio (and current Paris) guard, Kyle Allman jr is in the list, as the rook, Nikola Jovic and the vet Mychal Mulder. Yurtseven and Garrett wil participating in Las Vegas only. #HEATCulture pic.twitter.com/cQve4ZPQiu— Christos Tsaltas (@Tsaltas46) June 27, 2022
Can the Sixers take advantage of some tired legs and secure their first win in the desert? Find out tonight and follow along in the comments.