The 2023 NBA Summer League is officially finished. On Monday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers captured the 2K24 Las Vegas Summer League title with their victory over the Houston Rockets. While no Atlantic division squad reached the finals, the Brooklyn Nets fell just short, losing to Cleveland in overtime in the semifinals on Sunday. Although, the Nets’ Jalen Wilson was named to the All-Summer League Second Team. Which other Atlantic division players shined and disappointed?
2023 NBA Summer League: Best and Most Disappointing Performances and Biggest Surprises for Each Atlantic Division Team
The Boston Celtics went 2-3 in Vegas. 2023 second-round draft pick Jordan Walsh and recent free agent signee Dalano Banton led the team. Jay Scrubb, Justin Champagnie, JD Davison, Udoka Azubuike, and Mychal Mulder were players with NBA experience.
Outstanding Performer: Jay Scrubb
While Walsh was excellent and led the Celtics with 16 points per game, Scrubb was just a little better. The six-foot-five shooting guard averaged 14.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.2 steals. He compiled a shooting slash line of .463/.400/.778 and a PER of 21.63. Scrubb scored at least 15 points in four of his five appearances.
Not only did he show off his shooting stroke from the perimeter, but Scrubb also had some quick, shifty drives to the basket that landed him a handful of impressive finishes and and-one opportunities. As a result of his performance, he earned a two-way contract. He will likely spend most of the season with the Maine Red Claws.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 16, 2023
Most Disappointing: JD Davison
This designation may seem harsh, as Davison played well overall. He tallied the second-most assists in the 2K24 league with 36 and produced two double-doubles. But the 20-year point guard, who is not a three-point threat, struggled shooting the ball and with turnovers. Davison committed ten turnovers against the Washington Wizards and totaled 22 in five appearances.
Davison is on a two-way contract for the second straight year. He is extremely talented and young, so expect him to split time between Boston and Maine this year. Last season, Davison appeared in 12 games for the Celtics but only saw 66 minutes of action.
Surprising Performance: Olek Balcerowski
Olek Balcerowski is an unrestricted free agent. The 22-year-old, a Poland native, went undrafted in 2022 and spent the last two years with Spanish Club Gran Canaria.
Balcerowski had a solid stint in Las Vegas. The seven-foot-one center excelled around the rim and on the glass on both ends. He also did a fantastic job getting to the free throw line and showed range on his jumper. Balcerowski averaged 7.4 points, 5.0 caroms, and 1.4 blocks in 20 minutes of action over five contests.
The Brooklyn Nets went 3-2 and reached the semifinals in Vegas. The Nets overcame an 11-point deficit to start the fourth quarter to force overtime. However, they still ended up falling to the Cavaliers 102-99.
Outstanding Performer: Jalen Wilson
Wilson was fabulous and saved his best game for last. In 37 minutes against the Cavaliers on Sunday, Brooklyn’s 2023 second-round pick compiled his first double-double. He finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds (five offensive) and four assists.
Wilson efficiently shot the ball, especially from beyond the arc, and got to the free-throw line. The 22-year-old forward was excellent on the offensive glass while also passing and defending well.
KU product & rookie Jalen Wilson called game for the Brooklyn Nets today!!! 🎯 pic.twitter.com/1ODi6USmz1
— OutOfSightSports🚀™️ (@OOSSports) July 14, 2023
Wilson averaged 17.6 points, 2.2 threes, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in five games. He shot 43.6% from the field but connected on 45.8% of his three-point attempts and 78.4% of his free throws on over seven shots per game.
Wilson signed a two-way contract with the Nets. While he will start with the Long Island Nets, Wilson will likely see some time with Brooklyn.
Biggest Surprise: Matt Lewis
Matt Lewis played in the Summer League for his second straight year, as he was a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. The James Madison product received a training camp invite from the Wolves in 2021. During the previous two seasons, he has developed into a three-point sniper with the G League Iowa Wolves.
Lewis played exceptionally well, particularly on the offensive end for the Nets in Vegas. The six-foot-five wing produced 11.2 points and 2.2 threes while compiling a shooting slash line of .541/.458/.714. Lewis also recorded a PER of 21.34.
Most Disappointing: Noah Clowney
Noah Clowney is very talented, and his defense is far ahead of his offense. While the 19-year-old forward did his thing defensively, he struggled mightily on offense. In five contests, Clowney averaged 4.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks over 20 minutes. He compiled a shooting slash line of .226/.235/.750.
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks didn’t put out a great Summer League squad, but they did manage to win two of the five games. Charlie Brown Jr. led the way, and Jaylen Martin also played well. DaQuan Jeffries only played one contest, while Trevor Keels and Isaiah Roby were mediocre.
Outstanding Performer: Charlie Brown Jr.
Brown knows how to score and has 41 games of NBA experience. However, he turned in his best Summer League performance this year. The 26-year-old averaged 19.8 points on 54.7% shooting from the field and made 2.3 threes at a 37.5% clip. He contributed 6.3 rebounds a game over four appearances and was fantastic defensively, recording 1.8 steals and 1.8 blocks.
Charlie Brown Jr. is about getting buckets 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/x6UPMx7Mqb
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) July 15, 2023
Brown lit up Boston for 27 points on July 14. The six-foot-six guard was ten of 16 from the field, including five of nine from deep. He also collected seven rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one block.
Most Surprising: Dmytro Skapintsev
Dmytro Skaptinsev got a chance with the Knicks after demonstrating his ability to rebound with the G League Westchester Knicks. Skapintsev didn’t disappoint, ripping down one board every two-plus minutes. The seven-foot-one center also showed nice touch around the hoop and did an excellent job protecting the rim.
The Toronto Raptors saved themselves from being one of two teams to go winless in Vegas. Toronto defeated the Golden State Warriors in their final game to finish with a 1-4 record. 2023 lottery pick Gradey Dick led six Raptors with 16 points per game.
Outstanding Performer: Moses Brown
Moses Brown is an unrestricted free agent. The seven-foot-two center was highly efficient around the rim, rebounded well, and, most importantly, provided rim protection. In less than 20 minutes a game, Brown averaged 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. He shot 68% from the field and posted a PER of 24.5.
GET OUT THE WAY MY BOYY 🔥 pic.twitter.com/cbjfSIIg7s
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) July 15, 2023
Brown turned in his best performance against the Nets, recording a double-double. The 23-year-old tallied 11 points, ten rebounds (six offensive) and blocked three shots in 25 minutes.
Most Disappointing: Gradey Dick’s Shooting
Attack the closeout and finish in traffic, Gradey 🔥
— NBA (@NBA) July 15, 2023
I don’t want to dwell on this because Gradey had a strong Summer League performance. But the 19-year-old is known for being a sharpshooter. However, he shot 40% from the field and 29.6% from the three-point line.
The Philadelphia 76ers were the only Atlantic squad participating in multiple summer leagues. In addition to Vegas, the 76ers partook in the Salt Lake City Summer League. The Sixers posted a 3-5 record. Jaden Springer filled the stat sheet, averaging 18 points in six contests.
Outstanding Performer: Javonte Smart
Javonte Smart, who appeared in 17 NBA games last year, was fantastic on both ends of the floor in Vegas and Salt Lake. The six-foot-four combo guard compiled 15.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and just 1.0 turnover in eight games. He shot 48.4% from the field and 36.1% from the three-point line, although just 68% from the charity stripe.
Surprising Performer: DJ Steward
DJ Steward participated in the third Summer League of his career, and the 20-year-old point guard turned in his best performance. Steward, an unrestricted free agent, averaged 14.7 points and 2.5 assists in 19 minutes over eight appearances. He shot 48.8% from the field and 45.2% from the three-point line while canning 1.75 threes a game. Steward played for the G League’s Stockton Kings for the last two seasons.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) July 16, 2023