15 players to watch in the NBA 2K23 Summer League

Get ready for this week’s Las Vegas action with a look at some key players to follow.

summer league: Rosters | Schedule | Full Coverage

Players listed in alphabetical order

1. Brandon Boston, LA Shearers

• First Game | July 9: Clippers vs. Grizzlies (9:30 ET, NBA TV)

The LA Clippers benefited from a second-round steal involving Brandon Boston last season. The former Kentucky Wildcat exceeded expectations by playing a significant role in the Clippers’ banking success. Boston tried his hand at the G League, but most of his game was in the NBA regular season. The 20-year-old averaged 6.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 51 appearances while posting a season-high 27 points. Though the Clippers are arguably championship contenders, Boston could take a big leap into the rotation if they have a memorable Summer League.

2. Benedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers

• First Game | July 8: Hornets vs. Pacers (6 ET, NBA TV)

Indiana has been trying to fill the gap in the shooting guard position since the departure of Victor Oladipo. The Pacers picked Benedict Mathurin with the number 6 in hopes he can be the rounded scorer he was in Arizona. Mathurin was named Pac-12 Player of the Year and Consensus Second-Team All-American with an average of 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists. The 20-year-old has shown incredible versatility with his knockdown jump shot, impressive speed and creativity. Benedict will make his Summer League debut alongside standout 2021 rookies Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson.

3. Cade Cunningham, Detroit Piston

• First Game | July 8: Trail Blazers vs. Pistons (12 ET, ESPN)

2021 No. 1 Cade Cunningham returns to the Summer League after finishing second.to the Kia Rookie of the Year. With the exception of the Pistons’ record, the young core, led by Cunningham, showed flashes of potential last season. Cunningham was statistically arguably the best rookie of the 2021 season while also carrying the heaviest load from his rookie class. Most rising sophomores of Cunningham’s caliber are missing out on the Summer League, but the rising guard is determined to develop this Pistons team into a playoff contender.

4. Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder

• First Game | July 9: Thunder Vs Missiles (8 ET, ESPN 2)

Prior to this past collegiate basketball season, Chet Holmgren was listed as the clear No. 1 overall in mock drafts. Holmgren was the centerpiece of Gonzaga’s Elite Eight tournament run. He averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per night, which led to his WCC Defensive Player of the Year and Second Team All-American honors. Chet is a great size at 7ft tall with a 7ft 5.25 wingspan, and his all-around feel for the game complements his soft shooter touch. The Thunder will pair Holmgren with the young core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey next season, but fans will get an early glimpse of the 20-year-old rookie in Las Vegas.

5. Dyson Daniels, New Orleans Pelicans

• First Game | July 9: Pelicans vs. Trail Blazers (10 ET, ESPN 2)

Pelicans No. 8 Dyson Daniels was the highest-drafted player from the G League Ignite in the 2022 NBA draft. Prior to his G League debut, the Australian native was the first NBA Global Academy player drafted into the G League Ignite rise. During his tenure under Ignite head coach Jason Hart, Dyson topped the stats list, averaging 12 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and two steals per game. Despite having proven all-around skills, the former Ignite player was drafted to fill the void of full defense and size for the Pelicans.

6.Jabari Smith, Houston Rockets

• First Game | July 7: Rockets vs. Magic (10 ET, ESPN)

Las Vegas was shocked when Auburn star Jabari Smith fell in 3rd place overall. Now he’s on his way there and will play with a chip on his shoulder. The Rockets rookie earned National Freshman of the Year and Consensus Second-Team All-American honors while averaging 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 42% from the arc. At 6ft 10, Smith is the ideal size for a power forward but sets himself apart with a range of perimeter skills like shot generation, dribbling and 3-point shooting. The Georgia native has proven he’s not afraid of the big stage and the Rockets are expected to make an instant impression.

7. Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons

• First Game | July 8: Pistons vs. Trail Blazers (12 ET, ESPN)

Jaden Ivey is arguably the most electrifying guard to emerge from the 2022 NBA draft. The Detroit Pistons voted Ivey their No. 5 overall pick for his emphatic motor, goal-scoring ability, and explosiveness. The Purdue star could have picked the 2021 draft after a groundbreaking first year, but chose to stay with it for his second season. Ivey averaged 17.3 points and 3.1 assists per game this season while earning Consensus second-team All-American honors. Pistons fans will get a taste of what’s to come when Ivey and 2021 No. 1 overall Cade Cunningham take to the pitch together for the first time at the Summer League.

8. Jaden Hardy, Dallas Mavericks

• First Game | July 8: Mavericks vs. Bulls (4 ET, ESPNU)

Despite failing in the second round of the draft, Jaden Hardy has proven to be a special talent. The 19-year-old Guardian stepped into a significant role To the right out of high school by choosing to play for the G League Ignite. Its effect was immediate, averaging 19.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 2021-22 with the G-League roster. His The ability to create shots is second to none as he showcased all his skills last season leading the Ignite. While Hardy’s shot selection has room for improvement, the Mavericks’ win-now mentality should provide a perfect backdrop for a player of his caliber.

9. James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors

• First Game | July 8: Warriors vs. Knicks (8 ET, ESPN2)

The Warriors won the 2022 NBA title without their 2020 lottery winner, James Wiseman. And despite winning four championships in the last decade, Golden State was still without a consistent big man. Before his injury, the former No. 2 pick showed some glory in his rookie season, averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds. Wiseman was sidelined for the entire 2021-22 regular season, and part of his rehab process included spending time with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s G League affiliate team. During his 3 game stint Wiseman posted double-digit scores and grabbed at least six rebounds in each contest. His standout performance came against the G League Ignite, where he amassed 19 points and 14 rebounds. In addition to Wiseman, the Warriors’ Summer League roster includes 2022 first-round winner Patrick Baldwin Jr. and rising star Moses Moody.

10. Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings

• First Game | July 9: Magic vs. Kings (4 ET, ESPNU)

The number 4 of the Kings Keegan Murray made a significant leap from projected mock drafts. The standout from Iowa tripled since his freshman year, averaging 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in his sophomore season while leading the country in points per ball possession and Consensus First Team All-American honors received. While Murray, a 6-foot-9 forward, isn’t the prettiest goalscorer, his bold style of basketing and exploiting mismatches adds to his IQ as a ballplayer. Murray demonstrated his scoring skills on his California Classic Summer League debut by searing the Miami Heat with 27 points. Keep an eye out for more Murray Flashes as Summer League progresses.

11.Malaki Branham, San Antonio Spurs

• First Game | July 8: Spurs vs. Cavaliers (5 ET, NBATV)

San Antonio’s newest pickup Malaki Branham can flip the kill switch at any time. Branham exploded in the second half of his freshman season at Ohio State, averaging 20.2 points in his last 10 appearances. The first-round pick earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors and assisted his team in their appearance at the 2022 NCAA tournament. The Spurs are currently in rebuild mode and Branham is part of the new wave of potential players entering San Antonio. The incoming class of Branham, Jermey Sochan and Blake Wesley will be a sight in Las Vegas.

12.Patrick Baldwin Jr., Golden State Warriors

• First Game | July 8: Warriors vs. Knicks (8 ET, ESPN2)

While most first-round picks aren’t often considered sleepers, Patrick Baldwin Jr., #28, is not. The former Mcdonald’s All-American previously played alongside lottery picks Jaden Ivey and Chet Holmgren during the 2021 FIBA ​​U19 World Championship. After being ranked as the fifth best prospect after high school, many were surprised to see Baldwin Jr. choose a middle school: the University of Milwaukee. As a result of an overwhelming first year, Baldwin Jr. fell significantly in mock drafts. At 6-foot-10, Baldwin is a great height for a forward and can clear the floor with his solid grips and jump shot. Look for him alongside the young Warriors core of Moses Moody and James Wiseman in this year’s Summer League.

13. Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic

• First Game | July 7: Rockets vs. Magic (10 ET, ESPN)

Mock drafts were in shambles after Magic picked Paolo Banchero with the number 1. The Duke star led his team to a Final Four appearance, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists. At 6’10 tall and weighing 250 pounds, Banchero has the physique and physical tools to be a dominant force in the NBA. His transition from Duke’s #1 option to sharing the stage with NBA talent will be worth watching.

14. Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers

• First Game | July 8: Pistons vs. Trail Blazers (12 ET, NBA TV)

Sharpe is one of the biggest mysteries of the 2022 draft as he foregoes his reclassified year of college in Kentucky. Though he didn’t play a single college game, Portland’s lottery selection showed some serious flashes throughout his high school career, averaging 22.6 points on the Nike EYBL circuit. Standing at 6-foot-5Sharpe is the ideal size for a shooting guard to go along with an impressive blend of suppleness and bounce.

15. Sharife Cooper, Atlanta Hawks

• First Game | July 9: Hawks vs. Jazz (7:30 ET, NBA TV)

After being drafted by a strong guard playoff team, the 2021 second-round pick in Atlanta hasn’t had a chance to prove his skills yet. Cooper spent most of his rookie season developing with the College Park Skyhawks while receiving some call-ups during the season. The 21-year-old guard, who was considered one of the best guards in the G League last season, averaged 17.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists with the Skyhawks in 2021-22. Expect this sophomore prospect to make a leap into this year’s Summer League.

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