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Salt Lake City Summer League Preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

By meerna Jul11,2024
Salt Lake City Summer League Preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

When: 6:00 PM CST, Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Where: Salt Lake City Summer League, Delta Center, Salt Lake City, UT

How to watch/stream: Grind City Media Mobile AppP

Well, I guess that’s all for Salt Lake City.

The Memphis Grizzlies have one more game left in the Summer League. At least that part. They’ll play one last game in Utah before moving on to the bulk of the game — in Las Vegas.

And I would say so far… it’s gone about as you would expect from a Summer League.

That’s meant as a compliment. Regardless of wins and losses, this team is successful. The guys you most want to see — i.e. your draft picks — are hooping.

Can I say that about everyone on the Grizzlies Summer League roster? No. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s not what this brand of basketball is for.

We get to watch these guys struggle. And—in an ideal world—learn and grow from those struggles. Until then? I’ll be a happy camper.

Let’s see if that trend continues tonight against the Thunder. Because taking that kind of energy to Vegas is nothing. It’s nothing, sure. But it’s not nothing.

1 thing I’m looking forward to…

Would you believe me if I told you Zach Edey, GG Jackson II and Jake LaRavia did not play in the winless game in Memphis yesterday?

I wouldn’t blame you if you said no. Hell, I wouldn’t have believed myself. But they did.

The only reason that happened was the play of Jaylen Wells and Cam Spencer.

Otherwise? Yesterday’s match could have ended really badly.

But after two Summer League games… well, it looks like Zach Kleiman might have two more absolute steals in the draft up his sleeve.

After what I would call a bad performance on Monday, Jaylen Wells seemed to be playing backwards. But after the first quarter of yesterday’s game?

Wells’ offense has finally caught up to his defense. Which has been good for two games, don’t get me wrong. I’m not worried about that, or his effort level.

Not letting a defense slip when the throw isn’t going in is no easy feat. And doing it as a rookie? That’s tough. So when Jaylen’s throw started going in last night, it was that much easier to see the player Memphis had been counting on.

Oh, the Grizzlies won the game on that shot above. And should that game still be played today? Mark that as a successful Salt Lake for him.

And then there’s Cam Spencer.

Who played like those last two Summer League games were the last two he would ever play on Earth. That’s the kind of dedication he injected into that lineup. Cam had 30 PTS, 10 REB, and 8 AST in the two games, shooting over 50.0% from every spot.

If he stays in good shape tonight, he’ll be the best player on the Grizzlies roster in Salt Lake City by far.

…and one thing I am not

The thing is, I’m always happy when there’s a player in the Summer League who surprises me. Right? We love it when an unexpected guy leaves.

But when the guys you expect to be your better players actually are. And the rest of the roster… Well, isn’t it…

That makes it a less exciting product. And that’s a good thing. You want the players who are drafted high — or drafted at all — to play at that level.

And it doesn’t matter as much if the guys who weren’t aren’t. What matters is that guys like Jaylen Wells and Cam Spencer are playing well in games like yesterday. Less important for the other guys.

And barring anything surprising tonight… the Grizzlies will close out the Salt Lake City Summer League with a smile on their face. Regardless of the score.

Photo credit: (Rick Bowmer/AP Photo)

By meerna

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