They say hope is eternal, but for the Lakers, it was summer that couldn’t come soon enough after a disastrous 2021-22. Campaign. And while general manager Rob Pelinka and the rest of the front office are hard at work building the Lakers’ roster through NBA free agency, rookies and two-year players gear up for Summer League, which starts for the Lake Show not in Las Vegas, but in San Francisco with the California Classic.
His first game is Saturday, July 2 at 2 pm PDT against the Miami Heat on ESPN2. With 13 players on the roster and less than 24 hours until the start of Game 1, Silver Screen & Roll has you covered on who these players are, how they made the Lakers’ Summer League roster, what their potential is and when they are going to play
TV schedule and information
Here is the schedule for all the games the Lakers will play in the California Classic.
- Lakers vs. Heat — Saturday, July 2 at 2 p.m. PDT on ESPN2
- Lakers vs. Warriors — Sunday, July 3 at 4:30 p.m. PDT on NBA TV
- Kings vs. Lakers — Tuesday, July 5 at 2:30 p.m. PDT on NBA TV
For the Las Vegas Summer League here is the schedule so far. More games may be added if the Lakers advance further in the tournament.
- Lakers vs. Suns — Friday, July 8 at 7 p.m. PDT on ESPN2
- Lakers vs. Hornets— Sunday, July 10 at 6:30 p.m. PDT on NBA TV
- Clippers vs. Lakers: Tuesday, July 12 at 8 p.m. PDT on NBA TV
- Pelicans vs. Lakers: Friday, July 15 at 8 p.m. PDT on ESPN 2
Here are everyone who will play for the team at The Bay and Las Vegas:
Now, let’s break down what each player brings to the table.
Bass spent most of 2021-22 with the South Bay Lakers. He had two 10-day contracts with the Phoenix Suns through hardship waiver in late December and early January and then returned to the South Bay in mid-January. He averaged 17.3 points, 7 rebounds and 1.6 assists and was named to the NBA G League All-Showcase team. As a 6-foot-8 striker with 3-and-D ability, he looks like a man among the boys in the G League, and it will be interesting to see if he exerts his dominance in the Summer League.
A professional basketball journeyman, Vitto Brown has been playing in the G League and abroad since 2017, putting up respectable numbers but nothing that jumps off the page. He spent the 2021-22 season playing for Real Bettis in the ACB League. He’s a 6-foot-8 wing that sounds like what the Lakers need, but at 26, you have to ask: Is he a diamond in the rough or just another official to round out this list?
The Lakers selected Max Christie with the 35th pick in this year’s NBA draft. They had to trade to get the pick, which tells us how much the Lakers love him. In fact, according to Rob Pelinka, the selection was unanimous.
Rob Pelinka says Max Christie was a consensus pick for scouts and the Lakers’ front office. Pelinka said it’s rare that all sides agree on who the pick should be.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) June 24, 2022
On paper, the Michigan State Guard is an exciting prospect. He’s shooting 31% from 3 and, despite being a smaller shooting guard, he has the physical attributes to attack the basket and press the rim. Also, given the Lakers’ incredible scouting department, it’s fair to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume Christie is an NBA player. Either way, he’s one of the most exciting players on this Summer League roster, and all eyes will be on him during these games.
UConn’s point guard is a good shooter. When heated from three, he can be a flamethrower like Malik Monk. He is a strong point guard who cannot be pressured. He played four years in college and spent time at Howard and UConn, so he’ll probably be a little more polished than the other freshmen. Think of him more like a Josh Hart than a Talen Horton-Tucker.
Jay Huff began the 2021-22 campaign on a two-way deal with the Lakers. He was later waived and reacquired by the South Bay Lakers and spent the rest of the season in the G League. His potential is clear; he is a 7’1 center who can dunk at will. Can he be a Deandre Ayton type of player? Someone who can shoot close to the basket with a high percentage? Or is he too big and strong for the G League but unable to make it to the NBA level? A strong showing with the Lakers in Summer League could convince the team to take another look.
Mason Jones posted monster stats with the South Bay Lakers last season. He averaged 25.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists, dominating the league. Only Mac McClung put up numbers rivaling Jones’s in the South Bay. Like McClung, Jones got some NBA experience with the Lakers. He signed a two-way deal on December 21 and averaged 6.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1 assist in the four games he played. Jones is an NBA-level talent and is one of the top players on this team outside of the rookies. to watch out for this summer.
Speaking of McClung, he’s also playing for the Lakers in the Summer League. He was fantastic in Summer League last year. He carried that momentum to the South Bay, where he became the G League Rookie of the Year, signed two 10-day deals with the Chicago Bulls and ultimately signed a two-way deal with the Lakers to finish the season on the main team. He is no longer just a prospect; a roster spot is a realistic possibility for McMcClung and he can jump out of the gym. He expects him to have Las Vegas rocking after one of his dunks at the windmill.
The Boston University graduate joins the Lakers for Summer League after spending five years at BU. He is a certified shooter who averaged 43% from three his senior season in college. McCoy has the Kyrie-style ballhandling ability, is excellent off screens and will pick himself up from deep like he’s Steph Curry. He wore number 30 in college, and I guess that’s not a coincidence. He should be a fun player to watch.
The son of Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal joins the Lakers Summer League team. He participated in pre-draft training with the Lakers and was not selected, but he apparently left an impression on the Lakers organization. He’s not just the son of an NBA superstar, he’s a hot prospect, and at 6’10, he has an NBA body. Undoubtedly, people will want to compare him to his father, but Shareef is an independent man and will have the opportunity to show his ability with the Lakers.
With the South Bay Lakers, Nate Pierre-Louis was a great defender, a good ball handler and a great passer. His stats don’t jump off the page, but watching him play, he stood out in the South Bay system. Pierre-Louis plays with a natural understanding of the game that you just can’t teach. Reaching out, getting steals instead of fouls, jumping into passing lanes and making the right passes on the fast break. Expect a couple standout dunks from him as well.
Scotty Pippen Jr.
Scottie Pippen’s son joins the Lakers on a two-way deal. Like Shareef, Scotty Pippen Jr. will start his own journey in the NBA and will have extra eyes on him because of his name recognition. In his final season at Vanderbilt, Scotty averaged 20.4 points, 4.5 assists and 3.6 rebounds. Since he will be one of the Lakers’ two-way players, he is someone the entire Laker Nation should watch closely in these games.
The Lakers used their second two-way contract on Cole Swider. At Syracuse he averaged 13.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He highlights his three-point shot; he shot 41% from three, and since he’s a 6’9″ small forward, he’s precisely what every NBA team is looking for. Well, the Lakers found him and liked what they saw enough to offer him the deal. two-way before. Watch him play any kind of pro games. Let’s see how he stacks up against NBA-caliber competition.
Fabian White Jr.
It’s rare to see someone play in college for five years, but that’s exactly what Fabian White Jr. did. His stats aren’t that impressive; however, he has an advantage. He gets better every year, he has good footwork in the post and he defends the rim well.
The Lakers have had a lot of success with undrafted players and last-round picks over the last five years. Players like Talen Horton-Tucker, Austin Reaves, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant, and Alex Caruso all debuted for the Lakers in the Summer League. It was the first time we saw them play against professionals, and they not only played well, but exceeded our highest expectations. Hopefully, we get another one of those cases in the player of the year pool.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast at itunes, Spotify, stapler either Google Podcasts. You can follow Edwin on Twitter either tik tok at @LakersTakes.