NBA Summer League is in full swing as it continues to grow year after year. The tournament provides the ultimate opportunity for many players to take the next step towards making a roster. With all teams located in one place, there is no better chance to impress NBA coaches and executives across the course of the multiple games. However for many players, being selected to a Summer League team is well deserved, but it is also just the beginning. The real challenge is what comes next.
The 11-day tournament in Las Vegas is where you will find an array of different players, all with similar yet different goals in mind. With teams playing multiple games in a short period of time, it's easy to think that every player will get a chance to showcase their skills. However, that isn't always the case, with teams having rosters full of up to 16 players, all fighting for minutes and exposure. Sixteen players and 10 minute quarters, provides a tough challenge for players trying to stand out and be noticed.
There are the most recent draft picks who get their first chance to impress on court. With that comes the second-round picks, who are fighting to prove they are worthy of one of the remaining roster spots or perhaps a two-way contract. Then there are those players, like Josh Giddey, who are coming off their rookie season and are back at Summer League. This is usually to both improve their game and grow some chemistry amongst the new signings. The rest of the rosters are comprised of undrafted players who have perhaps caught the eye of an NBA executive after strong seasons playing professionally or at college.
A lot of undrafted players who are part of Summer League often have to find a different way to impact the game. To find a different way to be noticed other than perhaps being a high volume shooter and scorer.
As the NBL continues to grow itself to be one of the best league's in the world, there is a big contingent of talent at the NBA2K23 Summer League. Some of Australia's best young stars have been given a well deserved chance to be part of what could be the next step in their bright futures.
Melbourne United star, Jack White, had one of the strongest performances of the tournament in just his second game. Scoring eight points and pulling down 15 rebounds in just 21 minutes of action for the Denver Nuggets, White knows what he can do to stand out from the crowd.
"I think what separates me from others is my versatility, rebounding and competitiveness," he said. "I just do what I can to impact winning, with whatever team I'm on. There's so much more to the game than just scoring"
White has been touted as a potential dark horse look for an NBA team this year, and his performances for the Nuggets have only strengthened that chance. The Nuggets have one two-way roster spot remaining, and many believe White will be featuring heavily in that contention.
"Summer League really feels like an audition for the NBA. I don't think I've been doing anything crazy. I just want to be solid and dependable every time I'm on the court," he said. "I think that's my best opportunity to carve out a role for myself in the NBA."
The former Duke Captain joined his Summer League team late due to national team commitments, which also added the challenge of physically acclimatizing as quickly as possible. With only a couple of days of training together in a new squad, with new players and learning a new system, the lead up to Vegas can be crucial to putting yourself in the best position to get solid playing time.
"This whole experience has been rewarding. It feels great to be able to be out here and show that I can hold my own at this level," he said. "Especially after coming back off an Achilles injury. It's been kind of surreal to be in Vegas and I'm just taking it all in.
White is one of many young Australians who is now getting his chance to compete against some of the best. With 19 players at NBA2K23 Summer League who have a connection to the NBL, it's further proof of the strength and pathway that Australian basketball is providing players.
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