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Day 3 NBA Summer League Standouts - 2023

Victor Wenbanyama (C - San Antonio Spurs)

Stats: 27 PTS (9-14 FG), 12 REB, 1 STL, 3 BLK

Victor Wenbanyama showcased the dynamic offensive and defensive talent that made him the No.1 Pick in the Spurs' second Summer League game against the Blazers. Offensively, Wenbanyama began to battle back against stronger and quicker defenders, making two pick-and-pop threes, getting good post positions for easy paint baskets, and attacking the offensive glass. On defense, his generational shot-blocking ability was on display with his three blocked shots and dynamic defensive positioning throughout the game. In the final 3 minutes of the game, Wenbanyama made a turnaround mid-range jumper, a pick-and-pop three-pointer, grabbed 2 rebounds, and blocked a shot to give the Spurs a chance for a late comeback. His performance in the clutch and his overall activity point to a bright future in San Antonio.

Cam Whitmore (SF - Houston Rockets)

Stats: 21 PTS (9-15 FG), 1 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL

Cam Whitmore had an excellent showing for the Houston Rockets against the Detroit Pistons. Whtmore’s athleticism, physicality, and skill were too much for opposing wings throughout the game. Offensively, Whitmore did an excellent job running in transition and got two early dunks and a late an and-1 through good anticipation. In the half-court, Whitmore got his jumper working, making two mid-range pull-ups and three self-created three-pointers. Defensively, Whitmore was very good at containing dribble penetration and was active in helping lanes. Whitmore’s growth as the No. 20 pick will add more intrigue to a revamped Houston Rockets roster this year.

Colin Castleton (F/C - Los Angeles Lakers)

Stats: 24 PTS (8-13 FG), 14 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL

Colin Castleton followed up a great Summer League debut with an even better encore performance against the Hornets. He was unstoppable in the paint with an array of post hooks, push shots, and rolls to the rim for layups and dunks on offense. Defensively, he was very good with his positioning despite not having a block. Castleton’s excellent showing in the Summer League will make him a name to watch in the G-League as a two-way player.

Hunter Tyson (F - Denver Nuggets)

Stats: 16 PTS (5-10 FG), 3 REB, 3 AST, 1 BLK

Hunter Tyson continued his hot start to Summer League with a great performance against the Hawks. Tyson shot 2-4 from three, with both shots being off the dribble pull-ups. He slashed more aggressively to the rim this game, which allowed him to create for his teammates as well. Tyson looks like a prime plug-and-play candidate for the Nuggets, and the defending champions will enjoy his presence this season.

D’Moi Hodge (G - Los Angeles Lakers)

Stats: 16 PTS (6-11 FG), 5 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK

D’Moi Hodge was a spark plug for the Los Angeles Lakers. The two-way undrafted guard used his top-level speed and pace to impact the game. He shot 2-6 from three but made his mark by slashing to the basket and cutting off the ball. He was also excellent with his point-of-attack defense and even managed to block shots from the guard spot. Hodge was an excellent player in college and will have a good chance to make a mark in the G-League with the Lakers this season.

Ausar Thompson (G/F - Detroit Pistons)

Stats: 12 PTS (6-13 FG), 8 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL, 2 BLK

Ausar Thompson had an excellent all-around performance to bounce back from a cold debut with the Detroit Pistons. The No. 5 overall pick showcased his top-level feel for the game on offense, positioning himself well for easy layups and orchestrating the Pistons' offense. On defense, he was a disruptor with active hands and great positioning to get rebounds, steals, and blocks. Thompson will have a lot of work to do to expand his offensive game, but his gameplay IQ is advanced enough to help the Pistons start winning games

Jalen Pickett (G - Denver Nuggets)

Stats: 16 PTS (5-11 FG), 3 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK

Jalen Pickett had a great offensive game for the Denver Nuggets. Pickett was the No. 32 overall pick for the Nuggets this year, and he showed excellent poise and shotmaking on offense against the Hawks. He nailed two three-pointers and had a few nice drives to the basket, in addition to being a very good playmaker from the guard position. Pickett’s veteran mentality and control will serve him well as he joins the Nuggets to start his NBA career.

Honorable Mentions

Jordan Hawkins (SG- New Orleans Pelicans): 16 PTS (7-15), 5 REB, 1 AST

Max Lewis (G/F- Los Angeles Lakers) 12 PTS (5-9 FG), 4 REB, 2 AST

Emoni Bates (G/F- Cleveland Cavaliers): 12 PTS (5-12 FG), 8 REB, 2 AST, 1 BLK

Bilal Coulibaly (G/F- Washington Wizards): 11 PTS (5-11 FG), 5 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK

Contribution by: Caleb Smith

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