LAS VEGAS – Here’s a quick rundown of Wednesday’s top performances in the NBA 2K23 Summer League, which took place at Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion:
Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings
No doubt, Murray will encounter adversity during his rookie season even if he is a legitimate No. 4 prospect. But at this point, almost every Summer-League performance has looked similar. As shown in the Kings’ 86-80 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Murray will score a lot of points (29), shoot efficiently (9-for-17), grab some rebounds (seven) and make a few steals (four).
It did not sit well with Murray that the Kings lost. But Sacramento’s defeat on Wednesday had little to do with him. His three turnovers were a by-product of being aggressive. Though Murray is hopeful that his strong play will actually translate into winning games in the regular season, no need to scrutinize that part in a Summer League matchup.
Sandro Mamukelashvili, Milwaukee Bucks
It may have been a big ask for Mamukelashvili to assume a heavy role at the beginning of last season when Brook Lopez nursed a back injury. But Mamukelashvili appears ready to assume more than just spot minutes in the NBA. After becoming a focal point with the G League’s Wisconsin Herd last season, the 6-foot-9 forward-center looks polished as a versatile big man.
In the Bucks’ 87-75 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Mamukelashvili displayed his all-around game as a scorer (18 points), rebounder (15) and playmaker (four assists). He appeared just as comfortable taking a 3 as he did with banging inside. And his confidence showed just the same whether he was running the floor or running half-court sets.
Bryce McGowens, Charlotte Hornets
No matter what he did with the ball, McGowens became a threat. He drained 3s with a soft touch and drove to the rack with aggressiveness.
In the Hornets’ 91-80 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, McGowens’ comfort level showed as he recorded 24 points shooting 7-for-10 from the field. He was nearly perfect from deep (5-for-6) and from the free-throw line (5-for-6). McGowens recorded only one assist, but he did not force up too many shots.
The Hornets, who acquired the draft rights to McGowens, the 40th overall pick, from Minnesota, signed the 6-foot-7 guard-forward two-way contract. So, expect McGowens to further develop his reps in the G League and the occasional NBA game next season.
Deividas Sirvydis, New Orleans Pelicans
Sirvydis looked like a seasoned vet with how he shot the ball, spaced the floor and ran up and down the court. The result? In the Pelicans’ 106-88 win over the Washington Wizards, Sirvydis did it all with his efficient scoring (25 points on 9-for-17 from the field and 6-for-10 from deep) while adding five rebounds and two steals.
Sirvydis’ NBA career has not gone as planned since the Detroit Pistons selected him with the 37th overall pick in the 2019 Draft. After serving as a draft-and-stash and playing professionally in Israel, Sirvydis secured a three-year deal with Detroit only to get waived during the 2020-21 season. Since then, Sirvydis played with the Pistons’ G League affiliate in between a pair of 10-day contracts.
Though it’s potentially dangerous to take too much from Summer League play, Sirvydis showed that he at least deserves more opportunities to catch his big break.
D.J. Wilson, Toronto Raptors
Expect Wilson to be a part of the Raptors’ rotation.
Toronto signed him to a multi-year deal after serving three 10-day contracts this season. Wilson is a part of the Raptors’ Summer League team more for additional reps than actual talent evaluation.
— NBA (@NBA) July 14, 2022
But Wilson sure looked sharp in the Raptors’ 80-74 win over the Utah Jazz. He had 22 points with a 7-for-12 clip and 3-for-6 mark from deep along with nine rebounds.
Matt Mitchell, Denver Nuggets
Mitchell may have earned himself a two-way contract with the Nuggets.
In Denver’s 80-75 win over the LA Clippers, Mitchell had 17 points while going 6-for-12 from the field and 5-for-10 from deep, while adding six rebounds, three assists and two steals. That performance captured why the Nuggets have been intrigued with his big-man versatility as a shooter, post-up player, rim protector and more.
Mitchell played overseas in France last season after playing on San Antonio’s Summer League team in 2021. Before then, the 6-foot-6 small forward etched a productive four-year college career at San Diego State. The common thread at all those stops: Mitchell received quality instruction to focus on the fundamentals. Denver will surely value someone of Mitchell’s caliber next season as both a productive practice player and a body in case its training staff gets crowded.
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