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NBA Salt Lake City Summer League - Memphia Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder

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National Bears Association: Summer League Primer

Bears set to light up Sin City

The NBA’s Summer League starting courses, the California Classic and the Salt Lake City Summer League, are over and the main course, the NBA 2K24 Summer League, starts today in Las Vegas. We’ve already seen some former Baylor Bears doing their thing.

Kendall Brown

Fort Wayne Mad Ants v Windy City Bulls Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images

Former Big 12 All-Freshman, Kendall Brown will play for the Indiana Pacers (games Saturday, next Monday, next Wednesday, next Friday). Brown is on a two-way contract with the Pacers after being taken in the 2nd Round of the 2022 Draft. Last year he appeared in 10 games for the Pacers’ G-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, where he averaged 10 PPG, 4 RPG, and 2 APG on 56/29/75 splits. He also appeared in 6 games for the Pacers, averaging just 6.7 MPG. This Summer League could be Brown’s ticket to earning more NBA playing time this upcoming season.

Jared Butler

National champion, Jared Butler will play for the Oklahoma City Thunder (games Saturday, next Tuesday, next Wednesday, next Friday). Butler is on a two-way contract with the Thunder after being taken in the 2nd Round of the 2021 Draft by the Pelicans, later traded to the Utah Jazz, waived by the Jazz, and signed by Thunder this March. In his two (2) NBA seasons, he has appeared in 48 games, including 6 games for the Thunder last season where he averaged a modest 6.2 PPG on 47% FG. Additionally, in two seasons he has played in 30 G-League games (all starts) between the Salt Lake City Stars, the Grand Rapids Gold, and the Oklahoma City Blue, averaging 17 PPG, 3 RPG, and 6 APG on 44/35/82 splits. If Butler continues to play well in Vegas, he has a realistic shot to earn his first fully-guaranteed NBA contract.

Adam Flagler

National champion, Adam Flagler went undrafted last month before signing an undrafted free agent deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He did not play with the Thunder’s Summer League squad in Utah earlier this week but will join the team in Las Vegas. The Thunder have lost a combined total of 150 games over their last 3 seasons. They are young but with promising players like Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams. I tend to think that Flagler will spend most, if not all, of this upcoming season in the G-League.

Keyonte George

NBA Salt Lake City Summer League - Philadelphia 76ers v Utah Jazz

Reigning Big 12 Rookie of the Year, Keyonte George will play for the Utah Jazz (games on Saturday, next Monday, next Wednesday, next Friday). The Jazz selected George 16th Overall in last month’s NBA Draft. He will be playing alongside former Big 12 POY, Ochai Agbaji and also perhaps fellow 1st Round pick, Taylor Hendricks (who has been limited by a hamstring injury). George was banged up in Wednesday’s game against the Sixers, injuring his left foot. They may elect to be cautious with him going forward in Las Vegas. It remains to be seen what type of role George will play in his rookie campaign with the Jazz, but he can certainly help his case by continuing to play well in Summer League.

Jeremy Sochan

San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Former Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year and Lottery Pick, Jeremy Sochan will not be on San Antonio’s Summer League roster. Sochan made the 2022-23 All-Rookie team after starting 53 games and averaging 11 PPG, 5 RPG, and 2.5 APG on 45/25/70 splits. His position on a young Spurs squad is relatively secure and there’s no need for him to risk injury in Las Vegas.

Other Big 12 Guys to Monitor:

Atlanta Hawks: Brady Manek (Oklahoma*)

Boston Celtics: Udoka Azubuike (Kansas)

Brooklyn Nets: Jalen Wilson (Kansas), Adonis Arms (Texas Tech), and Armoni Brooks (Houston)

Charlotte Hornets: Kai Jones (Texas), Xavier Sneed (Kansas State), and Tre Scott (Cincinnati)

Chicago Bulls: None

Cleveland Cavaliers: Fabian White, Jr. (Houston)

Dallas Mavericks: Mike Miles, Jr. (TCU) and Taze Moore (Houston)

Denver Nuggets: Taz Sherman (West Virginia) and Mark Smith (Kansas State)

Detroit Pistons: Marcus Sasser (Houston)

Golden State Warriors: Gabe Kalscheur (Iowa State)

Houston Rockets: Nate Hinton (Houston), Tari Eason (Cincinnati*), and Matthew Mayer (Baylor*)

Indiana Pacers: Jarace Walker (Houston) and Oscar Tschiebwe (West Virginia*)

Los Angeles Clippers: Bryson Williams (Texas Tech)

Los Angeles Lakers: Damion Baugh (TCU)

Memphis Grizzlies: Timmy Allen (Texas) and Tariq Owens (Texas Tech)

Miami Heat: None

Milwaukee Bucks: Tacko Fall (UCF) and Lindell Wiggington (Iowa State)

Minnesota Timberwolves: None

New Orleans Pelicans: Landers Nolley II (Cincinnati) and Izaiah Brockington (Iowa State)

New York Knicks: Marcus Garrett (Kansas)

Oklahoma City Thunder: Keyontae Johnson (Kansas State), Zhaire Smith (Texas Tech), Jahmi’us Ramsey (Texas Tech), and Tanner Groves (Oklahoma)

Orlando Magic: Davion Warren (Texas Tech)

Philadelphia 76ers: Greg Brown III (Texas)

Phoenix Suns: Marcus Carr (Texas), Grant Sherfield (Oklahoma), Jawun Evans (Oklahoma State), and Barry Brown, Jr. (Kansas State)

Portland Trail Blazers: None

Sacramento Kings: None

San Antonio Spurs: Erik Stevenson (West Virginia), Sir’Jabari Rice (Texas), and Josh Carlton (Houston)

Toronto Raptors: Gradey Dick (Kansas), Kevin Obanor (Texas Tech), RJ Nembhard (TCU), and David McCormack (Kansas)

Utah Jazz: Taylor Hendricks (UCF) and Ochai Agbaji (Kansas)

Washington Wizards: Osun Osunniyi (Iowa State) and Donovan Williams (Texas*)

* – Played for indicated school but finished college career elsewhere

If you’re a hoops sicko like me, you’ll be watching at least some of this year’s Summer League (on ESPN family of networks and NBAtv) and rooting for these former Bears. Sic Em!

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