Who: Warriors vs Oklahoma City Thunder
When: Friday, August 13th @ 4PM PT
Why: To see which organization is better at drafting and talent development
How apropos that the these two former rival franchises are squaring off on Friday the 13th. After all, Golden State has been like a haunting serial killer for the OKC franchise over the years, killing their title hopes over...and over...and over again.
But this is a new day with both organizations looking to get back to the NBA Finals in a post-Kevin Durant world. Both franchises have been busy collecting lottery picks in the rejuvenation process and today’s game gives us a sneak peek into how it’s all going.
In the 2021 draft OKC selected at #6 Josh Giddey, at #18 Tre Mann, and at #55 Aaron Wiggins. Unfortunately for the Thunder and us viewers, Mann is done with summer league play while Giddey suffered a rolled ankle and may not play today.
Per the Thunder: Tre Mann will miss the remainder of NBA Summer League (personal matter).— Brandon Rahbar (@BrandonRahbar) August 12, 2021
Josh Giddey, please come back. You’re our only hope… not of winning, just of enjoying Summer League.
Hopefully Giddey plays, as he’s a solid talent that even some Warriors fans were hoping would fall to GSW at #7 in the draft.
Josh Giddey wasting ZERO time pic.twitter.com/RIdy7s12BE— NBA Summer League (@NBASummerLeague) August 9, 2021
But the Thunder will have Wiggins available, a guy who they expect to provide instant offense. Here’s how he did in OKC’s 80-65 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, per our blog buddy Welcome To Loud City:
Wiggins, on the other hand, made scoring look easy as he finished with 16 points. It’s not confirmed what exactly Wiggins’s role will be with the team next season, but he showed flashes of being a serviceable backup guard/wing who can provide a spark off the bench.
Meanwhile the Warriors are must see TV with several intriguing players that are fighting to prove their worth to an organization deadset on getting back to the championship stage. Their #7 pick Jonathan Kuminga is looking like a star in the making. Their #14 pick Moses Moody is showing that his threeball is real, hitting 3-of-7 from deep in the Dubs victory against the Toronto Raptors (overall he was 4-of-15 from the field though).
Gary Payton II is arguably the most entertaining dunker in summer league. Justinian Jessup even showed that his shooting rhythm ain’t dead.
#NBLxNBA Summer League ☀️— The NBL (@NBL) August 12, 2021
Justinian Jessup found the mark for the Warriors in their win over Toronto earlier today. The @illawarrahawks Next Star finished with 13 points and three rebounds
Catch NBA Summer League action on @ESPNAusNZ pic.twitter.com/pJrEvEk4Fo
This is another chance for these guys and the rest of the players to make an impression on the Warriors organization and I can’t wait to watch.