2022 Summer League

Summer League Standouts: Keon Ellis crowns Kings' victory

Scotty Pippen Jr. controls the action, Keon Ellis catches fire and more from Day 2 at the California Classic Summer League in San Francisco.

Keon Ellis crushes a hammer dunk among his team-high 17 points in Sunday's victory.

SAN FRANCISCO —  Here’s a quick rundown of the top performances on Day 2 of the 2022 California Classic Summer League, which took place Saturday at 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 more pleased with his work on the other end.

“What’s most impressive about Keon is his defense,” said Kings summer-league coach Jordi Fernandez. “He guards really hard, keeps his body in front of bodies and is long. He has a good feel for not getting hit on screens.”

Makes sense. The Kings signed Ellis to a two-way contract after he landed on the SEC’s All-Defensive Team during his senior season at the University of Alabama.

Neemias Queta, Sacramento Kings

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

Cole Swider, Los Angeles Lakers

Too early to say whether Swider can help cure the Lakers’ 3-point shooting woes. But so far, so good. In the Lakers’ 100-77 win over Golden State, Swider had a team-leading 16 points (5-8 3PM). And in the Lakers’ win over Miami on Saturday, Swider went 3-for-5 from deep. After mastering that range at Villanova (2018-21) and Syracuse (’21-22), Swider secured a two-way contract with the Lakers.

“He definitely has a spot in the NBA, whether with us or somebody else,” said Phil Handy, the Lakers’ Summer League coach. “He’s definitely an NBA player. He’ll continue to grow and get better and become more solid on defense. That’s going to be one of the areas he’ll have to continue to improve. But he’s shooting the ball lights out.”

Scotty Pippen Jr., Los Angeles Lakers

Scotty Pippen Jr. controls the action by dishing out 8 assists (0 TOs) against Golden State.

With his Hall-of-Fame father watching in person, Scotty Pippen Jr. put on a show that would make his old man proud, racking up 15 points (4-7 FGs), eight assists and three steals.

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

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

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

Lester Quiñones, Golden State Warriors

Quiñones led the Warriors in points (19) while shooting efficiently from the field (6-13 FGs), from range (3-6 3PM) and from the line (4-6 FTs).

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

The Warriors signed Quiñones after three seasons at the University of Memphis; he’s also logged reps internationally for the Dominican Republic national team.

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

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