LA VEGAS – Here’s a quick look at Wednesday’s best performances in the NBA 2K23 Summer League, which took place at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion:
Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings
No doubt Murray will face adversity in his rookie season even though he is a legit No. 4 prospect. But at this point, almost every Summer League performance looks the same. As the Kings’ 86-80 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder showed, Murray would score a lot of points (29), shoot efficiently (9 for 17), grab a few rebounds (seven) and make a few steals (four).
It didn’t sit well with Murray that the Kings lost. But Sacramento’s loss on Wednesday had little to do with him. His three turnovers were a byproduct of his aggression. While Murray hopes his solid play translates to regular-season winning games, there’s no need to review that part in a Summer League game.
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It may have been a big ask for Mamukelashvili to take on a big role at the start of last season when Brook Lopez was nursing a back injury. But the Mamukelashvili looks set to take on more than just NBA minutes. After becoming a focal point with the Wisconsin Herd of the G League last season, the 6-foot-9 center forward looks polished as an all-around big man.
In the Bucks’ 87-75 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Mamukelashvili displayed his all-around game as a scorer (18 points), rebounder (15) and playmaker (four assists). He seemed just as comfortable taking a 3 as he was hitting inside. And his confidence showed the same whether he was running on the floor or running on a half court.
Bryce McGowens, Charlotte Hornet
No matter what he did with the ball, McGowens became a threat. He drained 3s with a soft touch and drove to the rack aggressively.
In the Hornets’ 91-80 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, McGowens’ comfort level showed as he recorded 24 points while 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 only registered one assist, but he didn’t force too many shots.
The Hornets, who acquired the draft rights of McGowens, the 40th overall pick, from Minnesota, signed the 6-foot-7 forward two-way contract. So expect McGowens to further develop his reps in the G League and casual NBA games next season.
Dividas Sirvydis, New Orleans Pelicans
Sirvydis looked like a seasoned veteran with the way he shot the ball, spaced the ground and ran up and down the field. The result? In the Pelicans’ 106-88 win over the Washington Wizards, Sirvydis went all out with his efficient scoring (25 of 9-for-17 from the field and 6-for-10 from deep) while adding five rebounds and two steals.
Sirvydis’ NBA career hasn’t gone to plan since the Detroit Pistons selected him with the 37th overall pick in the 2019 draft. After serving as a draft and hideout and playing professionally in Israel, Sirvydis has entered into a three-year contract with Detroit only to be canceled during the 2020-21 season. Since then, Sirvydis has played with the Pistons’ G League affiliate between two 10-day contracts.
While it’s potentially dangerous to take too much play in the Summer League, Sirvydis has shown he deserves at least more opportunities to catch his big break.
DJ Wilson, Toronto Raptors
Expect Wilson to be part of the Raptors rotation.
Toronto signed him to a multi-year contract after serving three 10-day contracts this season. Wilson is on the Raptors’ Summer League squad more for extra reps than actual talent assessment.
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But Wilson certainly looked sharp in the Raptors’ 80-74 win over the Utah Jazz. He had 22 points with a 7-for-12 clip and a 3-for-6 mark from deep with nine rebounds.
Matt Mitchell, Denver Nuggets
Mitchell may have earned 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. This performance captured why the Nuggets were intrigued by his big-man versatility as a shooter, post-up player, rim protector and more.
Mitchell played overseas in France last season after playing for Summer League team San Antonio in 2021. Prior to that, the 6-foot-6 small forward etched a productive four-year college career at San Antonio. Diego State. The common thread of all these stops: Mitchell received a quality education to focus on the fundamentals. Denver will surely appreciate someone of Mitchell’s caliber next season as a productive practice player and body in case its practice staff gets crowded.
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Mark Medina is a senior writer/analyst for NBA.com. You can email him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.
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