Recapping an up-and-down day for six Zags making NBA season debuts

The 2022-23 NBA season got underway this week, with the majority of teams making their season debut on Wednesday.

Six former Gonzaga Bulldogs all played their first NBA game of the season yesterday, giving Zag fans a glimpse into what their role and production might look like this upcoming season.

Corey Kispert (ankle) Andrew Nembhard (coach decision) and Chet Holmgren (foot) all watched from the bench, although both Kispert and Nembhard will play at some point this season.

Here is a look at how every Zag did in their first game of the 2022-23 season.

Check out this site for more updates on a regular basis, tracking our Zags in the NBA.

Jalen Suggs – Orlando Magic

(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Suggs got his season off to an incredible start, scoring 21 points on 8-11 shooting, including 4-6 from deep. He added three assists, two steals, and a rebound – although he also fouled out and had four turnovers.

Suggs still has opportunities for growth, but his efficient outside shooting is a very good sign of things to come for the second year guard.

Domantas Sabonis – Sacramento Kings

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Sabonis wasn’t his usual dominant self for the Kings on Wednesday, scoring 13 points on just 5-10 shooting, along with four rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block. He also had a trio of turnovers while fouling out, and going just 3-6 from the free throw line.

Better days are ahead for Sabonis, who will be counted on in a major way down in Sacramento.

Brandon Clarke – Memphis Grizzlies

Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Clarke was expected to start in place of Jaren Jackson Jr, but instead Santi Aldama stepped into that role and Clarke came off the bench. In 19 minutes, Clarke had eight points and six rebounds, going 4-4 on twos and 0-2 from deep.

Kelly Olynyk – Utah Jazz

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Olynyk started in his Utah debut, but he only played 15 minutes thanks to foul trouble and the emergence of rookie center Walker Kessler, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds in his first NBA game.

Olynyk finished with eight points on 3-5 shooting, including 2-3 from deep. He also had three turnovers, one assist, and zero rebounds.

Rui Hachimura – Washington Wizards

Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Rui has been praised all preseason for how much growth he’s had this offseason. There were glimpses in his first game of the year, where he finished with seven points, five rebounds and a block in 24 minutes of action.

Zach Collins – San Antonio Spurs

Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

It was a really disastrous season opener for the San Antonio Spurs, and Zach Collins didn’t do much to help. In 12 minutes, Collins went 0-3 from the field, including 0-2 from deep and 1-2 from the free throw line. He did chip in four blocks, an assist, and one steal, but he finished with a plus/minus of -20. Better days ahead.

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