2K23 Las Vegas Summer League Weekend Stars

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July 12

A weekend full of young talent fighting for an NBA roster spot brought to us by the Las Vegas Summer League. Highlights from lottery picks and undrafted players all in one basketball-filled weekend.

A look at the top performances over the weekend in Las Vegas:

Dallas Mavericks Two Young Studs

Despite a 99-100 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Dallas Mavericks’ second-round pick, Jaden Hardy, showed promise. On 9-19 field-goal shooting, Hardy tied the team-high in points with 28 while adding four rebounds and three assists in the loss.

Another hidden gem for the Mavericks that may be on the rise is former University of South Carolina guard AJ Lawson. Lawson showed bright spots for the Mavs with 28 points, five rebounds, and one assist. Shooting 10-16 from field-goal range and 6-11 from three, Lawson looks to make a case for a roster spot after going undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Bulls’ Big Man Looking for Roster Spot

In the Chicago Bulls’ 100-99 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, former 2020 second-round pick Marko Simonovic made some noise. The 6-foot-11 Center has spent most of his time with the Bulls’ G-League team.

Simonovic put up 27 points, 13 rebounds, and one assist on 10-19 shooting. If the big man doesn’t earn a roster spot in the Windy City, there is a good chance he may turn some heads in other NBA front offices.

Cam Thomas Ready For A Year Two Leap?

In the Brooklyn Nets’ 90-94 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, former LSU standout Cam Thomas showed explosive scoring skills. Thomas put on an offensive display with 31 points, adding two rebounds and two assists.

Following Thomas’ 31-point game on Friday, another big performance came on Sunday’s 91-84 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. In the win, Thomas showed consistency with 26 points, seven assists, and three rebounds. 

With the Nets needing scoring off the bench, Thomas looks to fit the bill for Brooklyn.

Warriors Deep in Young Talent

The Golden State Warriors Summer League roster is filled with talent as not one, not two, but three Warriors had tremendous performances.

In an 84-101 loss to the New York Knicks on Friday, former lottery pick Moses Moody went off for 34 points on 8-13 shooting from the floor and 3-6 from three. Moody found his way to the free-throw line 17 times, draining 15. Moody also added on five rebounds.

Following Moody’s performance on Friday, the Warriors were back in action on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs. In a back and forth game, the Warriors took the win 86-85. Two players stood out, another former lottery pick, Jonathan Kuminga, and Mac McClung. Kuminga finished with 28 points, seven rebounds, and four assists on 10-22 field-goal shooting. McClung showed off his versatility, finishing with 22 points, six assists, and five rebounds.

The Warriors have had a quiet offseason, but with the talent on their roster, there isn’t a lot of urgency for Golden State.

Top Five Picks Battle it Out

In a Saturday showdown, the No. 1 and the No. 4 overall picks in this year’s draft put on a show in Vegas.

Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic came out on top with a 94-92 victory. Banchero put up a 23-point, six rebound, and six assists stat line in the win. He shot under 50% from the field, but the big man’s ability to play-make for his teammates helped lift the Magic over the Kings.

On the other hand, Keegan Murray for the Kings also put up a nice stat line. Murray capped off the night with 20 points, nine rebounds, and two assists while shooting 4-8 from behind the arc.

In Banchero’s final Summer League action, he may have gotten the better of Murray for now, but this will be a battle between the two top-five picks for years.

Others Top Performances

In an 85-68 win over the Pelicans, Trendon Watford made his name known for the Portland Trail Blazers with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. He shot 6-12 from the floor as the big man looks to solidify himself into the Blazers’ rotation.

Another standout performance came from Armoni Brooks of the Toronto Raptors. In a blowout win, Brooks came off the bench, putting up 25 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. He shot 9-18 from field-goal range and 5-12 from three.

In the New York Knicks’ 101-84 win over the Golden State Warriors, former University of Houston guard Quentin Grimes showed flashes of his college days. Grimes scorched the Warriors for 24 points, eight assists, and four rebounds. Grimes has a chance to find his way in the Knicks’ rotation if he continues playing like this.

With a week left of Summer League hoops, some top performances will grab NBA General Managers’ attention over the next few weeks as roster spots are handed out.

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