2022 Summer League

15 players to watch in the NBA 2K23 Summer League

The NBA 2K23 Summer League will feature many highly anticipated draft picks and emerging second-year prospects.

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

Summer League: Rosters | Schedule | Complete coverage

Note: Players listed in alphabetical order by first name

1. Brandon Boston, LA Clippers

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

The LA Clippers last season reaped the benefits of a second-round steal in Brandon Boston. The former Kentucky Wildcat surpassed expectations by playing a significant role off the bench. Boston did see time in the G League but the majority of his play was in the NBA regular season. The 20-year-old averaged 6.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 51 appearances, tallying a season-high 27 points in a win over the Celtics. Although the Clippers are arguably championship contenders, Boston could make a huge leap into the rotation if he has 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 void at shooting guard since the departure of Victor Oladipo. The Pacers selected Benedict Mathurin with the No. 6 pick, hoping he can be the well-rounded scorer he was at Arizona. Mathurin earned Pac-12 Player of the Year and consensus Second-Team All-America honors, averaging 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 ability to create. Benedict will make his Summer League debut playing alongside 2021 rookie standouts Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson.

3. Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons

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

The No. 1 overall pick in 2021, Cade Cunningham will return to Summer League after finishing runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting. Despite their record, the young Detroit Pistons — led by Cunningham — showed flashes of potential last season. Cunningham was arguably the best rookie statistically, all while carrying a bigger load than others in his rookie class. Most rising sophomores of Cunningham’s caliber skip a second stint in Summer League, but the nascent guard is determined to develop this Pistons team into a playoff contender.

4. Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder

• First Game | July 9: Thunder vs. Rockets (8 ET, ESPN 2)

Prior to last season, mock drafts listed Chet Holmgren as a clear-cut No. 1 overall pick. Holmgren was the centerpiece of Gonzaga’s Elite Eight tournament run. He averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.7 blocks a night, which led to his WCC Defensive Player of the Year and Second-Team All-America honors. Holmgren has great size at 7-feet, with a 7-foot-5.25 wingspan, and his all-around feel for the game compliments his soft shooter’s touch. The Thunder will pair Holmgren with the young core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey this season, but fans are getting an early look at the the 20-year-old rookie this summer.

5. Dyson Daniels, New Orleans Pelicans

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

The No. 8 overall pick, Dyson Daniels was the highest drafted player from the G League Ignite in the 2022 NBA Draft. Before making his G League debut, the Australian native was the first NBA Global Academy player to graduate to the G League Ignite. Throughout his tenure under Ignite head coach Jason Hart, Dyson stuffed the stat sheet, averaging 12 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and two steals per game. Despite having a proven all-around skillset, Daniels was drafted to fill the void of perimeter 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 standout Jabari Smith fell to No. 3 on draft night. Now he’s headed there, and he’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder. The Rockets’ rookie secured National Freshman of the Year and Consensus Second-Team All-American honors, averaging 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 42% from beyond the arc. Standing 6-foot-10, Smith has the ideal size for a power forward but separates himself with an array of perimeter skills such as shot-creating, dribbling and 3-point shooting. The Georgia native has proven that he isn’t afraid of the big stage and is expected to make an immediate impact for the Rockets.

7. Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons

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

Jaden Ivey is arguably the most electric guard to come out of the 2022 NBA Draft. The Detroit Pistons selected Ivey with the No.5 overall pick for his emphatic motor, scoring ability and explosiveness. The Purdue standout could have opted for the 2021 Draft after a groundbreaking freshman year but decided to stick around for his sophomore season. Ivey averaged 17.3 points and 3.1 assists per game that season while earning Consensus Second-Team All-America honors. Pistons fans will get a taste of what’s to come as Ivey and 2021 No.1 overall pick Cade Cunningham will take the court together for the first time at Summer League.

8. Jaden Hardy, Dallas Mavericks

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

Despite falling to the second round on draft night, Jaden Hardy has proven to be a special talent. The 19-year-old guard stepped into a significant role right out of high school by opting to play for the G League Ignite. His impact was immediate, averaging 19.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 2021-22 G League season. A skilled shot-creator, Hardy fits well in the Mavericks’ win-now mentality, which should be the perfect setting 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 pick James Wiseman. And despite winning four championships in the past decade, Golden State has still been without a consistent big man. Prior to his injury, the former No. 2 pick showed flashes of stardom during 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. During his 3-game stint, Wiseman tallied double-figures in scoring while grabbing at least six rebounds in each contest. His highlight performance came against the G League Ignite, where he racked up 19 points and 14 rebounds. In addition to Wiseman, the Warriors’ Summer League roster includes 2022 first-round pick Patrick Baldwin Jr. and rising star Moses Moody.

10. Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings

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

The Kings’ No. 4 pick Keegan Murray made a significant jump from projected mock drafts. The Iowa standout tripled his production from his freshman year, averaging 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks his sophomore season while leading the country in points per possession and earning Consensus First Team All-America honors. While Murray, a 6-foot-9 forward, isn’t the prettiest scorer, his gritty style and his ability to exploit mismatches will hep him get points. Murray showcased his fluidity as a scorer in his California Classic Summer League debut by scorching the Miami Heat for 27 points. Be on the lookout 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 moment. Branham exploded in the second half of his freshman season at Ohio State, averaging 20.2 points over his last 10 games. The first-round pick earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors while helping his team to its 2022 NCAA Tournament appearance. The Spurs are currently in rebuilding mode and Branham is a part of the new wave of potential entering San Antonio. The incoming rookie class of Branham, Jermey Sochan and Blake Wesley will be fun to keep an eye on in Las Vegas. 

12. Patrick Baldwin Jr., Golden State Warriors

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

Most first-round picks aren’t considered sleepers, but that’s not the case for No. 28 pick Patrick Baldwin Jr. The former McDonald’s All-American has already played alongside lottery picks Jaden Ivey and Chet Holmgren during the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup. After being ranked the fifth-best prospect coming out of high school, many were surprised to see Baldwin Jr. commit to a mid-major, the University of Milwaukee. As a result of an underwhelming freshman year, Baldwin Jr. fell significantly in mock drafts. At 6-foot-10, Baldwin has great size for a forward and can space the floor with his solid handles 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 the Magic selected Paolo Banchero with the No.1 pick. The Duke star led his team to a Final Four appearance while averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Standing at 6-foot-10 with a 250-pound frame, Banchero has the build and physical tools to be a dominant force in the NBA. His transition from being the No. 1 option at Duke to sharing the floor with NBA talent will be worth the watch.

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 from the 2022 Draft due to forgoing his re-classified freshman year at Kentucky. Despite not playing a single collegiate game, Portland’s lottery pick showed serious flashes during his high school career, averaging 22.6 points in the Nike EYBL circuit. Standing 6-foot-5, Sharpe has the ideal size for a shooting guard to go along with an impressive blend of fluidity and leaping ability.

15. Sharife Cooper, Atlanta Hawks

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

After being drafted by a guard-heavy playoff team, the 2021 second-round pick hasn’t had the chance to showcase his skills yet in Atlanta. Cooper spent the majority of his rookie season developing with the College Park Skyhawks while receiving a few call-ups throughout the season. Considered one of the premier guards in the G League this past season, the 21-year-old guard averaged 17.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists with the Skyhawks. Expect to see this second-year prospect make a leap in this year’s Summer League.