3 Things to watch in Las Vegas for OKC Thunder Summer League

Chet Holmgren #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Chet Holmgren #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Tre Mann #23 of the Oklahoma City Thunder(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) /

After a dynamic rookie season, many OKC Thunder fans had extremely high hopes for Tre Mann. His devastating step-back 3s, ankle-killing crossovers, and surprise bounce on some big-time dunks were all things fans rightfully and excitingly pointed to as reasons to bet on Mann.

Year two for Mann was a different story. In his rookie season, Mann averaged 10.4 points per game, three rebounds per game, and 1.5 assists per game on 39/36/79 shooting splits while averaging 23 minutes per game. In 2022-2023 almost all of his stats, including points per game, rebounds, three-point shooting, and free throw shooting, took a step back in a negative direction.

Mann was in and out of the rotation and had his fair share of trips down to the G-League, hoping to build his confidence back up with the Blue. Isaiah Joe and Jalen Williams took up a lot of the minutes that Mann would have had previously and left him with the scraps.

Fast forward to Summer League 2023 in Salt Lake City. Tre looks like a whole new Mann and player.

Can Tre stay playing like a Mann amongst boys in Vegas?

Confidence last year felt like a significant factor for Tre Mann and his production on the floor. This far from being any kind of issue on July 3rd as Mann shot the lights out and flashed the potential that fans remembered from his rookie season.

This was and still is a vital offseason for Tre Mann that many feel could make or break his chances with the Thunder or maybe even in the NBA for now. Mann stepped up against the Jazz and silenced many of his doubters in and out of the Thunder fan base.

In 33 minutes on the floor, Mann made the most of his minutes, scoring 20 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals on 47/50/100 shooting, including making four shots from deep. A new hairdo, new physique, and new mentality looked to be a catalyst for change as Mann bounced back in an entertaining fashion.

He didn’t stop there after one good game. Mann not only followed up his initial performance but also managed to top it in many ways. Against the Grizzlies on July 5th, Mann put up 28 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal on  71/33/75 shooting splits. The three-ball wasn’t as on target as against the Jazz, but Mann adapted and attacked the lane with force, athleticism, and precision. All these things were something fans were clamoring to see from Mann that peaked when Tre Mann put Micah Potter on a poster.

The question is: Can Tre keep this recent stretch of great play-up in Vegas, or is this more of a hot stretch?

The short answer? I don’t know, but I can give a path or a game plan for him that I think could help him sustain this level of play. Confidence is something I referenced earlier with Mann. Especially for a microwave 6th man scorer that Mann projects to be, confidence is EVERYTHING.

Think of all the iconic off-the-bench scorers. JR Smith, Jamal Crawford, Lou Williams, Jason Terry, and all the way back to the “microwave” Vinny Johnson. All of those guys had immense confidence and were shot with no conscience. Guys like that when they miss question if the ball is flat, the goal is off, or the AC is on too high. This is what I want to see from Mann.

He also needs to continue to attack the paint. The step back three and his floor spacing are massive, but being a threat of the dribble to go all the way into the lane could really open things up for him on the floor.

A successful Vegas Summer League for Tre Mann, in my opinion, would look like similar production as he had in Salt Lake City, more flashes of his new confidence, competing defensively, spacing the floor, creating shots for others, and just confirming that he is head and shoulders better than most of the guys playing this week.