With the 2023 NBA Draft in the history books, it’s time we get a look ahead and talk about the Summer League players to watch in 2023.
As you may know by now, Summer League gives us the first chance to watch the stars of tomorrow doing their thing, and some of them prove to be special and to be way ahead of the pack right away.
Summer League players to watch in 2023
Of course, Summer League competition isn’t always elite, so it’s hard to jump to conclusions — for good or bad — after a couple of performances against rookies, second-year players, and undrafted guys. Still, we’ll let you know about the top five Summer League players to watch in 2023.
5. Anthony Black
Our list starts with Anthony Black, but not just because of his obvious gifts. The Orlando Magic, despite its record, showed glimpses of untapped potential last season, and the only thing holding them back was the lack of a franchise point guard — an issue they addressed in the NBA Draft with Black.
Black is the ultimate dog, an elite playmaker, a great rebounder and athlete. He’s a fierce competitor who’s always looking to prove his doubters wrong, but his lack of a reliable jump shot could be a big hurdle for him. How will he respond in the league? We’ll have to see.
4. Scoot Henderson
You know that Scoot Henderson has a massive chip on his shoulder after falling to number three in the draft. If that wasn’t motivation enough, the fact that Damian Lillard chose not to play with him and requested a trade only puts more weight on his shoulders going forward.
Despite his size, Henderson has the makings of a potential superstar. He’s perhaps the most athletic player in the draft, and his combination of raw power, strength, and quickness is just mesmerizing. He’s a highlight waiting to happen every time he pushes the break, and he’ll look forward to proving that he was the best player in this class.
3. Brandon Miller
Taking a look at the top three, there’s a chance this will go down as one of the best Draft classes of all-time.
Brandon Miller was a quick riser in most mock drafts for very good reason, as he boasts the potential to be a lockdown defender, an elite and efficient scorer from all three levels, and an outstanding playmaker.
The San Antonio Spurs’ scouting department drew comparisons between him and Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, and the resemblance is definitely there. He’s got an impressive shot-making ability, and he could turn out to be a two-way star.
2. Chet Holmgren
Not so long ago, people were talking about Chet Holmgren quite similar to what they were saying about Victor Wembanyama, both for good and bad. He missed his entire rookie season, but that helped him bulk up, hit the gym, watch tape, and get ready to dominate now.
Holmgren will be a man on a mission from day one. He’ll look to prove he’s a true unicorn. It’s the USA vs the rest of the world; it’s the battle of two towers. Holmgren is an elite rim protector with a handle, but he needs to prove he’s healthy.
1. Victor Wembanyama
Victor Wembanyama sits alone in the list of the most-hyped NBA Draft prospects, even ahead of Zion Williamson. People might be setting him up for failure with all the unrealistic expectations being put on him right now, but that’s just how good he could be.
Wembanayma will be must-watch television from day one, and that includes the NBA Summer League. His skill set is something like we have never seen before, but people will also look to pick his game apart and rush to call him a bust if he doesn’t dominate right out of the gate.