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NBA - US Sports: 2k23 Summer League day 9 preview

The NBA 2k23 Summer League draws to a close this weekend in Las Vegas and plenty of youngsters will be looking to impress.

The Summer League Championship Game will be decided after this latest round of matches, with the sides boasting the top two records meeting each other on Sunday.

However, there are five teams level on three wins at the top of the standings, with a further seven hoping to join them with a win.

Day 9 also sees two of the top four draft picks in action, with the Oklahoma City Thunder's Chet Holmgren and the Sacramento Kings' Keegan Murray both set to feature.

Pacers lose Ayton and Mathurin

What:2022 NBA Summer League, Day 9
Where:Thomas and Mack Center and Cox Pavilion Paradise near Las Vegas
When:Friday 15th July 2022
How to watch:NBA TV

The Indiana Pacers had a difficult Thursday, losing their top new draft pick and missing out on their main off-season target.

The Pacers could finish towards the top of the standings with a victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday after winning two of their first three games.

However, they'll head into that game without standout rookie Bennedict Mathurin, who has been ruled out of the rest of Summer League.

The sixth-pick has posted 19.3 points per game in Vegas, playing a big part in their success. He made a name for himself shortly after being drafted last month by questioning if LeBron James was better than him, so he's clearly confident.

The Pacers looked to have some good news after tendering an offer sheet to Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, giving him the record-breaking $133million max contract offer the Suns had previously refused to offer.

The 2018 number one pick had an uncomfortable season in Arizona and looked set to leave until the Suns matched the Pacers' offer in a surprise U-turn.

As a restricted free agent, Ayton now can't take the Pacers' offer and returns to Phoenix on a four-year deal.

He had been rumoured to be a big part of the Suns' plans to trade for Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant, but this deal now makes that unlikely.

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Can Murray get Kings level?

Number four pick Murray has been a huge positive for the Kings this summer, delivering for a franchise which doesn't have the greatest record in the draft. However, even his impressive displays haven't led to a winning record for Sacramento.

They've lost two of three games in Vegas going into Friday's meeting with the Phoenix Suns. Murray dropped 29 points in their last game, the highest total posted by a player at this year's Summer League. That still couldn't stop them from losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Meanwhile, the Suns remain in the picture to feature in the Championship Game this weekend. After they blew out the Dallas Mavericks in their last game by 27 points, they should be confident of causing problems for the Kings.

While Sacramento have built their side around Murray this summer, the Suns had no fewer than seven players score at least nine points in that win over the Mavs.

However, despite that scoring potential and their superior record, the Suns are 7/5 on the Money Line going into this one, with the Kings available at 5/8.

Number two pick Holmgren also features as the Thunder meet the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

Can Heat or Raptors find another rough diamond?

It's hard to think of an NBA team who have a better record with undrafted talent than the Miami Heat or Toronto Raptors, who face off on Friday night. The pair have once again brought rosters stacked with development options overlooked by the league.

The pair are responsible for the two biggest undrafted contracts in league history in Duncan Robinson and Fred VanVleet, so they put real faith in undrafted talent.

That's been the case for the Heat again this year, with Javonte Smart leading them in scoring twice this summer, while Haywood Highsmith looks like another development prospect.

Jeff Dowtin has caught the eye for the Raptors, while Ron Harper Jr is another Toronto are gambling on.

There's little between the pair in the betting with Miami at evens on the Money Line, with the Raptors slight favourites at 4/5.

Expect to see a close contest, and potentially one or two more rough diamonds for these two franchises.

Friday's Summer League offering starts with the LA Clippers taking on the Utah Jazz. The Philadelphia 76ers are also in action against the Denver Nuggets, while the LA Lakers meet the New Orleans Pelicans in the late game

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