With Summer League 2022 officially in the books, now is a good time to look at the second-year players who could take big steps forward in the 2022-23 regular season. This is typically the time prospects make a big jump, with Summer League play being a strong indicator of a player’s development. Here are the guys to keep an eye on as they enter their second season in the NBA.
Moses Moody, Golden State Warriors
Moody only played two games, but it was enough to see his potential impact. The forward averaged 27.5 points per game and should be able to crack Golden State’s rotation right away. With Otto Porter Jr. gone, Moody is likely to have an expanded role. He could be a good pickup late in fantasy basketball drafts. Moody played in the playoffs last season and has Steve Kerr’s trust, which also helps when it comes to his role and minutes.
Trey Murphy, New Orleans Pelicans
Murphy’s three-point shot was off in the two games he played, but he shot 38.2% from deep last year so this is likely due to small sample size. The overall output was outstanding, as Murphy averaged 26.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. He’s going to be part of what looks to be a loaded New Orleans rotation, especially if Zion Williamson is back at full strength. This team is set to make a quantum leap and Murphy will be part of it.
Cam Thomas, Brooklyn Nets
There’s a lot of negative buzz surrounding the Nets due to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but the franchise got it right with Thomas. His fall in last year’s draft was one of the night’s big mysteries and it’s going to haunt some teams who passed on him. Thomas averaged 27.4 points and 4.2 assists per game in five Summer League contests, setting himself up for another potential Summer League MVP award. The efficiency could be better, but Thomas still has a long way to go to reach his full potential.
Quentin Grimes, New York Knicks
On the other side of town, Grimes is looking like a solid player. Whether he ends up playing for the Knicks or not is a different question. Grimes is in trade rumors as part of a package for Donovan Mitchell and it’s easy to see why the Jazz like him. The guard averaged 22.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists in five contests while carrying the Knicks to the championship game. He had a bit of a clunker in the final, but the scoring potential is awesome.
Santi Aldama, Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies didn’t do much in free agency, so improvement is going to have to come from within. Aldama is one candidate to make an impact this season and give Memphis some roster flexibility. The big man put up 16.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, but the massive development was his three-point shooting. Aldama connected on 38.5% of his triples, and he averaged 3.3 attempts per game. If he can be consistent as a stretch big man, it opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for the Grizzlies.