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NBA - US Sports: Winners and losers of NBA Summer League

The NBA Summer League came to a close over the weekend as Portland Trail Blazers won the championship by beating New York Knicks on Sunday.

The Blazers were one of three teams to finish up with 4-1 records after each team had played the full five games, with the teams who would contest the championship game decided after the first four rounds.

As always, some teams and players came out of the offseason event in better shape than others and here we've taken a look over the winners and losers from the 2022 NBA Summer League.

NBA Summer League Winners

Portland Trail Blazers

As the champions of the tournament, Portland are the obvious first choice in the winners section and they have now won two of the last four editions of the Summer League and reached three of the last five championship games.

Of course, the main purpose of the event is experimenting with rookies, prospects and game plans rather than taking the title and there were a few positives on that front for the Blazers as well.

Second-year pair Trendon Watford and Brandon Williams both showed they can be more involved in the rotation next season but the big winner for Portland was rookie Jabari Walker.

The forward was selected with the 57th overall pick in this year's draft and his displays over the five games in Las Vegas suggested he is well placed to make an impact in his debut NBA campaign. 

However, it wasn't all good news for the Blazers as Shaedon Sharpe - who they selected with the seventh pick in the 2022 draft - was injured in the first game and as such he remains a bit of an enigma going into the new season after forgoing the chance to play college basketball.

Sacramento Kings and Keegan Murray

A few eyebrows were raised when Sacramento Kings used their fourth pick in the draft to select Keegan Murray ahead of Jaden Ivey, who was then selected at five by Detroit Pistons.

The thinking was the Kings could have opted for Ivey and then put together a trade involving Murray and come out of the situation with a better deal and that may still be true - but ultimately they put their faith in the Iowa product and the 2022 Big Ten Tournament MVP duly delivered.

Murray was named MVP of the Summer League after averaging 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per-game in four games, shooting 50% overall and 40% on three-pointers.

Murray looks set to be heavily involved for the Kings next season and could be in the Rookie of the Year conversation.  The forward is 17/2 to win the award, while number one pick Paolo Banchero is 7/2 after two impressive displays for Orlando.

The Magic decided they had seen enough to know Banchero could handle the step up to the NBA after two games in Las Vegas, and he was then rested for the remainder of the Summer League.

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NBA Summer League Losers

Dallas Mavericks

Only one team came through the Summer League without managing a victory as Dallas Mavericks finished at the bottom of the pile with a 0-5 record.

The Mavs struggled throughout the event and lost all three of their final games by double digits. Rookie Jaden Hardy impressed on his debut but then failed to deliver thereafter, although that doesn't mean he won't be able to make the step up to the NBA next season.

There were a couple of bright spots for Dallas, A.J. Lawson in particular showed some promise and there were some good moments for Moses Wright and Jerrick Harding as well, but overall this was a forgettable Summer League for the Mavs.

Atlanta Hawks and Sharife Cooper  

Point guard Sharife Cooper was expected to enjoy a strong Summer League campaign after splitting his time between Atlanta Hawks and their G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, last season but he was unable to make much of an impact.

Cooper averaged just 4.4 points, 4.2 assists and 2.6 turnovers in 21 minutes per-game in Las Vegas after five games, and missed the second half of the Hawks' loss to Cleveland Cavaliers in their final game after potentially aggravating a thumb injury.

There were a few positives for Atlanta, however, as second round draft pick Tyrese Martin played his way into a full multi-year contract after some solid Summer League displays.

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