Summer League standouts: Keon Ellis crowns Kings win

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

SAN FRANCISCO – Here’s a quick recap of the top performances on Day 2 of the 2022 California Classic Summer League, held Saturday at the Chase Center.

Keon Ellis, Sacramento Kings

In Sacramento’s 81-64 win over the Heat, Ellis finished the team with a 17-point lead 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 on the other end.

“The most impressive thing about Keon is his defense,” said Jordi Fernandez, Kings summer league coach. “He wakes up really hard, keeps his body in front of bodies and is long. He has a good sense of not getting hit on screens.”

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


Neemias Queta, Sacramento Kings

Queta was the Kings’ second-best scorer, dropping 14 points and shooting 6-from-9 overall. He became the first Portuguese player to be drafted into the NBA after Sacramento picked him 39th last year. Last season, Queta shared his time with the Kings and their G-League team at Stockton on a two-way deal.


Cole Swider, Los Angeles Lakers

It’s 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 had a team-leading 16-point win (5-8, 3:00 p.m.). And in the Lakers’ win over Miami on Saturday, Swider went 3-on-5 from the Deep. After mastering that reach at Villanova (‘2018-21) and Syracuse (’21-22), Swider secured a two-way contract with the Lakers.

“He definitely has a place in the NBA, whether it’s with us or someone else,” said Lakers’ Summer League coach Phil Handy. “He’s definitely an NBA player. He’s going to keep growing and getting better and becoming more solid on defense. That will be one of the areas where he needs to keep improving. But he shoots out the ball lights.”


Scotty Pippen Jr., Los Angeles Lakers

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

Scotty Pippen Jr., personally watched by his Hall-of-Famer father, 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 father was a damn good player and it shows. He’s very cerebral. He’s really smart.”

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

“Just very efficient,” said Handy. “A smart kid who knows how to play. With his abilities, I don’t think you’ve seen the best. 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 long range (3-6 3PM), and from the line (4-6 FTs).

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

The Warriors signed Quiñones after three seasons at the University of Memphis; He has also signed up 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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