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Day 1 NBA Summer League Standouts - 2023

Amen Thompson (G/F, Houston Rockets)

Stats: 16 PTS (6-13 FG), 5 AST, 4 REB, 3 STL, 4 BLK

Thompson had a very good showing in his first summer league action being matched up with Scoot Henderson. Offensively, Thompson showcased his athleticism and fluidity with multiple floaters and off-hand touch finishes at the rim while playing through contact. He complimented his scoring with an array of great passes in pick and roll, drive and kick, and transition scenarios. Thompson was also extremely active on defense by forcing turnovers and also rim protecting at times with his elite athleticism. In the clutch, Thompson made a top of the key catch-and-shoot three pointer and had a great block to prevent an easy putback layup before suffering an ankle injury that removed him from the game.

Scoot Henderson (PG, Portland Trail Blazers)

Stats: 15 PTS (5-13 FG), 6 AST, 5 REB, 1 STL

Henderson had a very hot start to Summer League, flashing his undeniable offensive talent in his matchup with Amen Thompson. He made numerous off the dribble jump shots and driving finishes by changing pace, reading ball screens, and getting to his spots. He also ran the point and facilitated well for the Blazers, having multiple paint touches that led to open threes for his teammates, and dump down passes for easy layups and dunks at the rim. Unlike the vast majority of other young players, Henderson controlled the game’s pace, and his leadership was evident on the court. Unfortunately, Henderson suffered a shoulder injury midway through the third quarter that forced him to sit for the rest of the game.

Hunter Tyson (F, Denver Nuggets)

Stats: 21 PTS (7-13 FG), 5 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK

Tyson put on an offensive clinic for the Denver Nuggets in his first Summer League game. Coming off the bench, the Nuggets second-round pick shot 3-7 (43%) from the three point line and had two very impressive off the dribble mid range shots in the mid post area. He also attacked the rim well and played with passion and aggression throughout the game, talking to opposing players and celebrating himself and his teammates as well.

Jazian Gortman (G, Milwaukee Bucks)

13 PTS (5-7 FG), 1 AST

Gortman, who is a two-way rookie with the Bucks, flashed an impressive scoring arsenal from the guard position in his first Summer League game. He made multiple tough off the dribble shots from the mid-range and the three point line, helping the Bucks to a comeback win over the Nuggets. Most importantly, Gortman’s he was steady with his ball handling and shot creation all came within the flow of the offense and wasn’t forced, which is a great sign to see in a young prospect.

Markquis Nowell (PG, Toronto Raptors)

17 PTS (6-12 FG), 5 AST, 4 REB, 3 STL

Nowell, who is a two-way rookie for the Raptors, showed out in his game against the Chicago Bulls. He was dominant at the point guard position, using his speed and athleticism to make some amazing layups at the rim and pinpoint passes off the dribble as well. However, his most important and impressive skill was his shot making. Nowell shot 4-6 (67%) from three, with his last three pointer being a 30-foot bomb from the left wing. To add onto his great offensive production, Nowell also had three steals and was a pestering on-ball defender, despite his small stature at 5 '8. Nowell’s style of play should be highly effective in the Summer League, and his name will be one to watch during this year’s G-League season.

Leonard Miller (F, Minnesota Timberwolves)

16 PTS (7-11 FG), 11 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK

Miller had a dominant showing in the first Summer League game in Vegas. Miller showed the upside to his unique offensive game by making 2 out 4 three pointers, having multiple tip-ins at the rim, and showing some slashing ability off the dribble. On the defensive end, Miller was also a great help side defender that closed down drives and passing lanes, and finished defensive possessions with strong rebounds. Miller is the sole draft pick of the Timberwolves this year, so his progression through the Summer League and the NBA season will be interesting to watch.

Colin Castleton (C, Los Angeles Lakers)

13 PTS (4-5 FG), 7 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK

Castleton had a very solid two-way game for the Los Angeles Lakers at the center position. On offense, Castelton scored all of his baskets in the paint area, and showed a unique passing touch with 6 assists with a variety of deliveries in the short roll. On defense, Castleton played good position defense and rebounded well. Castleton will spend significant time in the G League, but his development could lead to him becoming a nice rotational center in a few years.

Jalen Wilson (G/F, Brooklyn Nets)

17 PTS (6-14 FG), 5 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK

Wilson put on a slashing and defensive clinic for the Brooklyn Nets in his first summer league game. The late second round pick showed his burst and physicality on offense, making multiple difficult layups through contact. On defense, Wilson had active hands and played great position defense as well. Wilson will have a lot to prove as a low second round draft pick, but he has started his campaign to make the Nets rotation on the right foot.

Contribution by: Caleb Smith

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