Hot Takes on Lakers' Shareef O'Neal, Scotty Pippen Jr., Mac McClung vs. Heat

Adam WellsJuly 2, 2022

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 20: NBA Prospect, Scotty Pippen Jr. handles the ball during the 2022 NBA Draft Combine on May 20, 2022 at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2022 NBA Summer League season began Saturday with the Los Angeles Lakers obliterating the Miami Heat, 100-66, at Chase Center in San Francisco.

Los Angeles' summer league roster is highlighted by former Texas Tech standout Mac McClung, as well as Scotty Pippen Jr. and Shareef O'Neal. The latter two are the sons of NBA icons Scottie Pippen and Shaquille O'Neal.

McClung is the veteran of the trio heading into his second season. The 23-year-old began his career with the South Bay Lakers in 2021-22. He appeared in two NBA games with the Lakers and Chicago Bulls.

The Lakers brought McClung back in April on a two-way contract. He showed off his scoring ability in this game with 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting in 16 minutes.


Mac McClung knocks down his 2nd buzzer-beater of the game!<br><br>2022 California Classic Live Now on ESPN 2 <a href="https://t.co/A2ksOSkbIF">pic.twitter.com/A2ksOSkbIF</a>

YT: DanzW0rld 🇵🇷 @dannygotjokez

If Mac McClung was 2-3 inches taller he’d be starting for someone next season

Lemon Pepper Lou @LVstackiN

Mac McClung is a NBA player. Not a 6th or 7th guy but he can &amp; should make a roster

O'Neal was also on the court for 16 minutes. The LSU alum was an active presence in the game with six points (2-of-3 field goals), six rebounds and three personal fouls in the win.

Bravo Graham @BravoGraham

Besides the point, Shareef O’Neal played well in limited action today. He’s not NBA ready by any means, but you can tell he wants it.<br><br>Max Christie struggled shooting the ball but brought so much effort versus Miami.

Ruuuuudz @Rudycarrejoo

Shareef O’Neal will be a monster for the Lakers if developed correctly

Josh @jozhNBA

Shareef O’Neal has looked really solid, taking good shots, dribble hand-offs. moving the ball… really fluid and unselfish player. <br><br>I hope he gets his opportunity further than the Summer League.

The summer league is certainly an easy place to overreact, though plenty of standout players in the summer have gone on to do big things in the NBA. Brandon Clarke went from being a late first-round pick and summer league MVP in 2019 to his current gig as a role player for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Given where things wound up for the Lakers last season, it's not hard to see why their fans will be so enticed by the potential of McClung and O'Neal.

Smoke @smokeyperxption

Shareef O’Neal is the future of this Lakers franchise <a href="https://t.co/dbNhj6Yl8j">pic.twitter.com/dbNhj6Yl8j</a>

“Three-Peat” Fan/Man of God @opinionsondanba

Mac McClung is clearly the greatest bball player God has ever created

Things did not go as well for Pippen in his professional debut. The 21-year-old did have 14 points and six rebounds, but he made just three of his nine field-goal attempts and committed a game-high five turnovers.

Dan Woike @DanWoikeSports

Early observations:<br>Impressed by Max Christie's length, willingness to guard. He's very limbs-y.<br>Scotty Pippen Jr. is struggling with decision-making on both ends. Passing needs to be crisper.<br>Cole Swider is an as-advertised shooter. <br>Shareef O'Neal has been really active

JT @Jaberuski

Is Scotty Pippen Jr. related to Scottie Pippen?

Even though the Lakers' NBA roster will be comprised largely of veterans as the team looks to improve on last season's 33-49 record, there is the potential for a few young players to emerge as potential role players based on their performance this summer.

McClung's experience could give him a leg up on the others, but O'Neal does have the size necessary to play in the NBA. Pippen will have plenty more opportunities to improve his efficiency and passing this summer.

The Lakers will play the Golden State Warriors on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET.