As the NBA Summer League enters its second week of game action, two rookie Buckeyes have yet to make their professional debuts.
The Utah Jazz’ Brice Sensabaugh, who was selected by the franchise with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft held on June 22, has sat out the team’s first four games due to continued recovery on his surgically repaired left knee.
Sensabaugh’s injury dates back to his time at Ohio State, where he was ruled out for the rest of his lone collegiate season on March 11 after experiencing “knee soreness” late in the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Tournament second round victory against Iowa.
This forced the 6-foot-6 forward to undergo knee surgery earlier in the offseason, preventing him from participating in NBA pre-draft workouts until he was cleared to resume basketball activities on June 3.
According to the Jazz, Sensabaugh is considered “day to day” with his rehab, but multiple reports suggest that it is “unclear” if he will suit up for Utah this summer. For now, he has been seen on the bench without a uniform alongside fellow Jazz first-round draft pick Taylor Hendricks, who is also sidelined with a right hamstring strain.
“I’ve obviously worked on it for the past three months, but I’m feeling good,” Sensabaugh told the media during his introductory press conference. “I’m kind of taking it day-by-day right now. I’m not looking far into the future. But you know, I’m ready for anything. So, you know, whatever the medical (team) has for me, I’m willing to do.”
While Sensabaugh has been sidelined due to injury, former Ohio State and current Oklahoma City Thunder forward Justice Sueing has also struggled to find playing time in the team’s first four Summer League games.
The Honolulu native, who signed a contract to join the Thunder’s Summer League team on June 23, has not entered a game due to a “coach’s decision.” While the former Buckeyes forward has yet to make his NBA debut, he has practiced with the team throughout the early Summer League season.
Sueing will look to make his first professional appearance Tuesday when the Thunder square off with the Houston Rockets at 6:30 p.m. on NBA TV. Oklahoma City will conclude their regular season Summer League slate with games against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday and the Washington Wizards on Friday, airing on NBA TV at 7:30 p.m. and ESPN2 at 5 p.m., respectively.
After tonight’s matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves at 10 p.m., Sensabaugh’s Jazz will face the reigning NBA champion Denver Nuggets on July 12 and the Phoenix Suns on July 14. The two games will begin at 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., respectively, and will air on NBA TV and ESPN2.
Both teams are guaranteed at least one postseason Summer League game consisting of either a consolation matchup on July 15 or 16 or a single-elimination, four-team playoff starting on July 16.