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NBA Summer League Begins Quietly for Gonzaga Grads

Joel Ayayi was the only player who saw minutes on Sunday.

2021 California Classic Summer League: Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

After a couple of small starts last week, the entire NBA league joined the fun in the Summer League. For Gonzaga-related basketball, that gives eight different eight different teams to follow at any given point. On Sunday, theoretically, that would’ve been Corey Kispert with the Wizards, Ryan Woolridge with the Thunder, and Joel Ayayi with the Lakers.

Corey Kispert — Game Postponed

The Washington Wizards’ and Indiana Pacers’ first game was postponed due to contract tracing health protocols. On Saturday, the Wizards announced three players had been placed under the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, meaning they either tested positive for coronavirus or were in close contact with someone who did. Corey Kispert’s NBA debut will have to wait.

Ryan Woolridge - Did not play (coach’s decision)

Woolridge played with the OKC Blue, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s G-League team, last season, averaging 6.6 points and four assists in nearly 20 minutes per game. He was added to the Thunder’s summer league roster, but was one of three players who did not appear in the Thunder’s 76-72 win over the Pistons. The Thunder’s starting point guard, 2020 second round draft pick Theo Maledon, finished with 15 points and 11 assists.

Joel Ayayi - 22 minutes, 0 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 turnovers

There were glimpses of what Ayayi can accomplish on Sunday night. He earned the starting nod and led all guards with five rebounds, the third-highest total on the team for the evening. However, Ayayi was largely deferential on the offensive end for the entire game. He attempted three field goals (obviously missing all of them). It was the second-lowest number of FGA on the team outside of Zavier Simpson, who attempted two shots in just 11 minutes.

Ayayi, who signed a two-way contract with the Lakers after the draft, will obviously need to showcase he can score in the NBA, and only managing two three-point shots and one other shot from the floor in 22 minutes isn’t going to turn any heads.

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