NBA Summer League 2023: Hot Takes About Top Players from Day 8 Las Vegas Results

NBA Summer League 2023: Hot Takes About Top Players from Day 8 Las Vegas Results

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 14: Ausar Thompson #9 of the Detroit Pistons handles the ball during the 2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League on July 14, 2023 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Some top-10 NBA draft picks have been shut down for the remainder of Las Vegas summer league action, but a few of them are still playing out the string as they get ready for their rookie seasons.

Four of them took the court on Friday: the Detroit Pistons’ Ausar Thompson, the Washington Wizards’ Bilal Coulibaly, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Cason Wallace and the Indiana Pacers’ Jarace Walker. Here’s a look at how they all did, along with Jalen Hood-Schifino, who went 17th overall to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ausar Thompson

The play of the day belonged to the No. 5 overall draft pick, who levitated on this putbank dunk:

Detroit Pistons @DetroitPistons

All we got to say is, rook got hops

Naturally, people have been impressed with his work.

PistonsThoughts @PistonsThoughts

I might be overreacting, but I think Ausar Thompson can start day one if he’s surrounded by Cade/Ivey/Bojan. He does EVERYTHING that contributes to winning and he just can’t stop making the right play

Keith Langlois @Keith_Langlois

That’s what Jaden Ivey was talking about when he said Ausar Thompson just “floats.” He floated over everyone for a one-hand put-back dunk that roused the Las Vegas crowd.

Nick Kalinowski @kalidrafts

I was admittedly very wary of Ausar Thompson coming into this draft, but if he plays like *this* every night, the sky is the limit

𝓕 πŸͺ„ @Fiizop

This a crazy quote, but Ausar Thompson’s brand of basketball can do that to a person

Thompson added an 18-point, 14-rebound double-double in a 79-73 win over the San Antonio Spurs, two days after dropping a statsheet-stuffing 17 points, nine rebounds, four steals and two blocks versus the Toronto Raptors. Needless to say, Thompson has been tremendous and looks ready to ball out come October.

Bilal Coulibaly

The No. 7 overall pick dropped his best summer league performance on Friday, scoring 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting to go with four blocks, four rebounds and three assists.

He brought it on both ends and helped put the exclamation point on a 105-89 win over the Thunder with this dunk:

Washington Wizards @WashWizards


The Washington Wizards rookie impressed onlookers with his outing:

Kevin O’Connor @KevinOConnorNBA

Bilal Coulibaly showed major flashes for the Wizards today:

19 points (16 in 2nd half)
4 rebounds
4 blocks
3 assists

Already good on defense with blossoming offense. Coulibaly doesn’t even turn 19 until later this month.

Ben Standig @BenStandig

I very much enjoyed watching this. Coulibaly is already one of the most explosive athletes on this team in years, and his defense might be rotation-worthy already.

Olafimihan Oshin @olafimihanoshin

Bilal Coulibaly could be the best draft pick the Wizards made since Bradley Beal. Kid is already filling that stat sheet and showing flashes of potential.

Jojo @HofDotson

Bilal Coulibaly had the best performance out of the lottery picks today.

Overall, it was a highly encouraging performance from the 18-year-old Coulibaly, who has shown incredible maturity thus far.

Cason Wallace

The former Kentucky guard and No. 10 overall pick received plenty of praise for his defensive efforts in the Thunder’s aforementioned loss to the Wizards.

Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar

Cason Wallace had 2 steals in the first half and caused at least 2 other turnovers.

Wallace was one of the NCAA’s leaders in steals at 2.0 per game.

SGA was #4 in the NBA in steals, JDub had more steals than any player in 2023 and Lu Dort averaged 1 steal a game.

OKC Plunder.

Draft Dummies @DraftDummies

Thoughts on Cason Wallace:
– I buy the C&S jumper
– indicators show he’s got upside as a driver and pull up shooter. If one or both hit, he’ll be set offensively
– big ? w/ him: will he be merely solid defensively, or can he be all-def. level as smaller guard?

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles

Cason Wallace gets such good leverage when guys try to post him up. Really sturdy.

Shervon Fakhimi @ShervonFakhimi

Both Cason Wallace & Bilal Coulibaly’s defense is already translating. Both have had good possessions staying in front of a drive and forcing a contest at the rim

Thunder Film Room @ThunderFilmRoom

Cason Wallace is going to be an all-hustle player.

𝘈𝘭𝘦𝘹 @AlexDrProf

Cason Wallace is going to be one of the peskiest on ball defenders in the league rather sooner than later:

Just watch him stay glued to Ryan Rollins, anticipating the passing lane and hustling for the ball

Wallace didn’t have the greatest offensive game (10 points on 3-of-8 shooting, four turnovers), but he has plenty of time to develop that aspect of his repertoire. His hustle and defensive effort looks NBA ready right now, and that should help him make an immediate impact.

Jarace Walker

The No. 6 overall pick entered Friday with an impressive summer league stat line of 14.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.

He’s in line to become a menace on both ends of the floor in the NBA if he reaches his sky-high potential. Like any rookie, there will be some growing pains along the way, though, and Walker experienced some Friday in a 112-91 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Walker shot just 6-of-21 and missed 9-of-10 three-pointers. He ended up with 13 points and five rebounds, but the Mavs outscored the Pacers by 19 with him on the floor.

He was outplayed by fellow first-round pick Olivier-Maxence Prosper, who ended with 18 points and five boards and played great defense.

alex @newlyalex

Jarace Walker shot 6-21 today.
OMAX had him in HELLπŸ”’

Coopz @Coopz___

Jarace Walker is 1/9 with OMAX as his primary defender

OMAX is 4/6 with 10 points with Jarace Walker as his primary defender

Do with this information as you must

Slightly Biased @BiasedSlightly

why am i watching OMAX destroy elite defensive prospect Jarace Walker off the dribble

Ultimately, one tough game doesn’t eliminate the fact that Walker has shown flashes of brilliance this summer.

Jalen Hood-Schifino

After turning in some impressive performances over his first few summer league outings, guard Jalen Hood-Schifino struggled mightily in the Lakers’ 100-69 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.

While few Lakers players performed well in the blowout loss, it can be argued that Hood-Schifino had the worst outing by far.

The former Indiana University standout went just 3-of-17 from the field, including 2-of-9 from beyond the arc, finishing with eight points, five rebounds, two steals and one assist.

That led to plenty of criticism from fans on Twitter, including a great deal of banter regarding whether the Lakers should have taken Cam Whitmore with the 17th overall pick instead:

Jay @JadLaker9

Jalen Hood Schifino is one of the biggest Lakers busts ever. Anybody watching Cam Whitmore?

Uche @I_amSteady

The Lakers should have just taken Cam Withmore with that 17th pick. How the hell is Hood-Schifino scoring 8 points on 3-17 shooting in a summer league game? 🀦 Cam Withmore on the other hand has been balling out.

cam 🩸 @six2you

lakers took hood-schifino over cam whitmore LMFAAAOO

Anti @famalytics

Lakers taking Hood Schifino over Whitmore gonna go down as a disaster for sure

Stefan @babadook

This man jalen hood schifino shot 17%

wenki @ThisIsWenki

Jalen Hood-Schifino is getting locked up by a gas station clerk named Frank Ferrari I’m going to be sick

Whitmore, who starred collegiately at Villanova, was considered a potential top-five pick entering the 2023 NBA draft, but he surprisingly plummeted in the draft and wasn’t taken until the Houston Rockets nabbed him with the 20th overall selection.

In four summer league games, Whitmore is averaging 19.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists, plus he leads all players with 3.5 steals per contest.

Of course, summer league success does not always foreshadow success in actual NBA games, but Whitmore does have the makings of a potential steal in the 2023 draft.

Hood-Schifino likely won’t be asked to play a huge role as a rookie for a stacked Lakers team, which is a good thing since Friday’s game suggests he has plenty to work on.

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