Summer League standouts: Keon Ellis crowns Kings victory

Keon Ellis smashes a hammer dunk among his team-high 17 points in Sunday’s win.

SAN FRANCISCO— Here’s a quick look at the best performances from day two of the 2022 California Classic Summer League, which took place Saturday at the Chase Center.

Keon Ellis, Sacramento Kings

In Sacramento’s 81-64 win over the Heat, Ellis finished with a team-leading 17 points while shooting 6-for-8 from the field and 5-for-5 from the free throw line. But the Kings were happier with his work at the other end.

“What’s most impressive about Keon is his defense,” Kings summer league coach Jordi Fernandez said. “He keeps very strong, keeps his body in front of the bodies and is long. He has a good idea of ​​not getting hit on the screens.

Logic. The Kings signed Ellis to a two-way deal after he landed on the SEC All-Defensive Team during his senior season at the University of Alabama.


Neemias Queta, Sacramento Kings

Queta was down 14 points as the Kings’ second leading scorer, shooting 6-9 overall. He became the first Portuguese player drafted into the NBA after Sacramento selected him last year at No. 39. Last season, Queta split his time with the Kings and their G League side in Stockton on a contract double meaning.


Cole Swider, Los Angeles Lakers

Too early to tell if Swider can help cure the Lakers’ 3-point shooting problems. But so far so good. In the Lakers’ 100-77 win over Golden State, Swider led the team 16 points (5-8 at 3 p.m.). And in the Lakers’ win over Miami on Saturday, Swider went 3 for 5 deep. After mastering that lineup at Villanova (2018-21) and Syracuse (’21-22), Swider landed a two-way contract with the Lakers.

“He definitely has a place in the NBA, whether it’s with us or someone else,” Lakers Summer League coach Phil Handy said. “He’s definitely an NBA player. He’ll continue to grow and improve and get stronger on defense. That’s going to be one of the areas where he has to keep improving. But he’s turning off the lights of the balloon.


Scotty Pippen Jr. Los Angeles Lakers

Scotty Pippen Jr. controls the action by delivering 8 assists (0 TO) against Golden State.

Along with his Hall of Fame dad himself, Scotty Pippen Jr. put on a show that would make his old man proud, racking up 15 points (4-7 FG), eight assists and three steals.

“It’s in his genes,” Handy said. “His dad was a hell of a player, and it shows. He’s very cerebral. He’s really smart.

The Lakers signed Pippen to a two-way deal after three years at Vanderbilt. And the Lakers believe Pippen approaches the game the same way his father did.

“Just very effective,” Handy said. “A smart kid who understands how to play. With his skills, I don’t think you’ve seen the best of him yet. He has a really high IQ.


Lester Quinones, Golden State Warriors

Quiñones led the Warriors in points (19) while shooting effectively from the field (6-13 FG), from distance (3-6 3PM) and from the line (4-6 FT).

“We believe he’s a guy who can shoot at a high level,” Warriors Summer League head coach Seth Cooper said. “You have to see that today and it’s something he can continue to build on.”

The Warriors signed Quiñones after three seasons at the University of Memphis; he also registered international representatives for the Dominican Republic national team.

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Mark Medina is a senior writer/analyst for NBA.com. You can email him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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