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Updated: Sep 8, 2022

Malaki Branham, who was selected No. 20 overall in this year's NBA Draft, was impressive for the Summer Spurs. He averaged 15.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in five appearances. He shot 42.3 percent from beyond the arc on 5.2 attempts per game.

Malaki Lamar Branham  (born May 12, 2003) is an American professional basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Starting in 5th grade, he trained under Jason Dawson in Columbus. At St. Vincent-St. Mary, he won two state championships in 2018 and 2021.[3] He was named first team All-Ohio in his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, Branham averaged 21.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game. In his senior season, he was named Ohio Mr. Basketball and made the Jordan Brand Classic, which was not played for to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Branham started his college career off the bench, but quickly became a regular starter. He scored a career-high 35 points in a 87–79 overtime win against Nebraska after a nearly month-long COVID pause. In a three-game stretch in February, he scored 22, 27, and 31 points. As a freshman, he averaged 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and two assists per game. Branham was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year as well as Third Team All-Big Ten. On April 1, 2022, Branham declared for the 2022 NBA draft while maintaining his college eligibility. He later signed with an agent, forgoing his remaining eligibility. He was projected as a potential lottery pick in the draft.

“[Branham] being decisive is going to be the key,” Johnson said, via the San Antonio Express-News. “He gets in between sometimes with, ‘Should I drive it? Should I shoot it?’ Or he’s thinking, ‘I missed the last one.’ When you are as versatile and as skilled as he is, you just need to play and be aggressive. ... That’s going to be one of his strengths (3-point shooting), so he needs to try to score.”

A common pattern from Branham was a display of impressive talent but some reluctance to be aggressive. With the Spurs being in the early stage of a rebuilding effort, there is a significant opportunity for Branham to be aggressive and solidify himself going forward.

Branham joined the Spurs' 2022 NBA Summer League team. In his Summer League debut, Branham scored fifteen points in a 90–99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. On July 8, 2022, Branham signed a rookie-scale contract with the Spurs.

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