This article is part of our NBA Observations series.
If you're looking for players who are progressing in their development or hinting at impactful rookie seasons, the Las Vegas Summer League is the place to be. With all 30 teams in action, it's our first official opportunity to see names like Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith and Jaden Ivey on the floor against NBA-level competition.
The games might not always be pretty, but once Summer League goes dark, evaluators and fantasy managers will have to wait until the preseason for another preview of what to expect from many of the league's top first- and second-year players.
With 2022-23 fantasy upside in mind, let's look at a handful of players who have turned heads with impressive performances thus far in Las Vegas:
Paolo Banchero, Magic
It may seem like a no-brainer for the stock of the No. 1 overall pick to be on the rise while he's playing against fellow rookies and young role players -- but Banchero is flashing serious talent.
Banchero knocked down multiple threes against Houston on Thursday. He attempted 15 free throws against Sacramento on Saturday. He's showcasing and succeeding with his diverse offensive game immediately. Eight turnovers against the Kings is a humbling check, but it conveys how often the ball is in Banchero's hands.
Through two games he's racked up 12 assists, featuring mid-air passes and dimes in traffic. His projection as an offensive hub is coming to fruition.
Blake Wesley, Spurs
In his first game in Vegas, Wesley posted 20 points (7-16 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 3-4 FT), five assists, three turnovers, two rebounds and one steal against the Cavs. He followed that up with 22 points (7-20 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 4-6 FT) and five boards in Sunday night's loss to the Warriors.
While the lack of a single assist Sunday was a mild disappointment, Wesley is displaying shot-making ability that majorly curves his pre-draft weaknesses. He's connected on 7-of-11 three-point attempts through San Antonio's first two contests. Wesley is hitting catch-and-shoot, as well as off-the-dribble shots, with impressive fluidity. He remains far from a finished product in terms of finishing-ability and decision making (five assists, six turnovers through two games), but his early gameplay has been tantalizing.
The Spurs' rebuild should unlock respectable usage for Wesley. His continued growth could put him on fantasy radar down the stretch
Quentin Grimes, Knicks
Grimes averaged 17.1 minutes per game across 46 games for the Knicks last season. He hit 38.1 percent of his threes on 4.1 attempts per game, while grading as a plus defender. He's taken his name to another level at Summer League.
Through the Knicks' first two games, Grimes has accumulated 48 points, eight three-pointers made and 12 assists. The passing has been flashy. The Knicks look good when he's handling the ball and active in the offense.
The signing of Jalen Brunson will stifle some of Grimes' opportunities, but a strong and stout 6-foot-4 build is an edge that Brunson, Immanuel Quickley and Evan Fournier can't match.
Isaiah Livers, Pistons
Albeit in a smaller sample size, Livers is another player who flashed legitimate talent in the 2021-22 regular season. Averaging 20.2 minutes per game across 19 appearances, Livers canned 42.3 percent of his triples on 3.4 attempts per game. Livers was a career 41.2 percent three-point sniper throughout his tenure at Michigan, so there's reason to believe the shooting touch is real.
In Detroit's victory over the Wizards on Saturday, Livers boomed for 20 points, while collecting five rebounds and hitting four threes. He's logged 30 minutes in each of the Pistons' two contests thus far.
Marvin Bagley and Hamidou Diallo won't punish defenders with their shooting. Saddiq Bey shot 34.6 percent from beyond the arc on 7.4 attempts per game last season. Livers is one of the most intriguing options to receive a bump in playing for Detroit's wing and frontcourt rotations. For a Pistons' team that is developmentally focused, Livers has potential upside as a source of scoring, threes, and steals/blocks. However, he'll likely be stuck behind Bagley, Bey and -- for now, at least -- Kelly Olynyk in the rotation to begin the year.
Keegan Murray and Neemias Queta, Kings
As starting mates in the frontcourt, Murray and Queta have played efficient, two-way basketball for Sacramento.
Sunday vs. Indiana:
Saturday vs. Orlando (2OT):
Murray is the headliner -- the No. 4 overall pick has looked sharp. Letting it rip from beyond the arc, Murray has connected at a fine rate. That bodes well for his fantasy outlook. Outside of scoring, it's unclear the degree of impact he'll make, statistically, but he should be at least an average rebounder for his position.
Queta joins Domantas Sabonis as rebound-gobblers in the Kings' frontcourt. Queta, a seven-footer from Utah State, only logged 120 minutes as a rookie last season. Regardless, he's been extremely productive next to Murray in Summer League. His floor-spacing is a work in progress, but Queta could be capable of usurping Trey Lyles and Chimezie Metu for playing time. Ultimately, though, Queta is more of a long-term developmental project than someone fantasy managers should consider targeting in 2022-23 re-draft leagues.