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Pair of Thunder rookies shine in Summer League loss to Pelicans

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2021 Las Vegas Summer League - Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

In terms of eventfulness and takeaways from the Oklahoma City Thunder’s second Summer League game against the New Orleans Pelicans, there’s not much.

The Thunder are now 1-1 in the Summer League, with the latest loss coming against the Pelicans in an 80-65 loss on Wednesday.

The Thunder, without Josh Giddey — who Head Coach Grant Gibbs gave a non-update update saying they aren’t really sure when he’ll be available — struggled offensively, scoring just 65 points on a putrid 32.4/ 24.1/ 53.3 shooting splits.

OKC also finished with a near-identical assist to turnover ratio of 15:14. That’s never a good sign, and it showed with OKC’s struggles scoring.

The good news is that the Thunder’s best two players this game were their drafted rookies in Tre Mann and Aaron Wiggins. Which is the whole point of Summer League, to give your drafted players some quick burn as they play against semi-NBA talent.

The 18th overall pick finished with 12 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Mann struggled to shoot, going 4-of-15, but he could’ve easily finished with more points if a couple of bounces went his way.

Even with the unlucky shooting, it’s still impressive to see the Florida guard contribute in other ways despite the ball not going in.

“I think the seven assists kinda speak to his playmaking,” said Gibbs.

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.

“That’s exactly what he is. He’s a sparkplug,” said Mann when asked about Wiggins postgame. “When he comes in the game, he changes the game for sure.”

Besides those two, nobody else really had an eventful performance.

Oscar da Silva shot the ball well, scoring 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Theo Maledon struggled as he shot 2-of-11 with five turnovers. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl finished with eight points and four rebounds. Jaylen Hoard had five points and five rebounds.

Josh Hall struggled as he finished with just one point and three rebounds.

Overall, this was very much a bleh Summer League performance.

Next Game: The Thunder will face the Golden State Warriors on Friday at 6 p.m. CT.