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NBA Summer League 2023: Victor Wembanyama vs. Scoot Henderson rematch headlines top matchups to watch

The 2023 NBA Draft has passed us by and the league’s next crop of prospects have found homes with new franchises.

For the majority of the rookies, their careers begin at the Las Vegas Summer League, which is set to tip off on Friday, July 7, and run through Monday, July 17.

All eyes will be on the 7-4 phenom Victor Wembanyama, who will reportedly be available for the Spurs in Las Vegas despite his French league championship ending just days before the NBA Draft.

The draw will be massive for the larger-than-life No. 1 overall pick, but what are some matchups that are worth tuning into when Summer League tips off?

The Sporting News has five can’t-miss games to watch below.

Five must-see matchups at 2023 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas

Spurs vs. Hornets: The top-two picks face off

Date & Time: Friday, July 7 at 9 p.m. ET

Channel (US): ESPN

Every year, the Las Vegas Summer League schedule does NBA fans a favor by matching up the top two picks in the recent NBA Draft. They’ve done so again, pinning Wembanyama and Brandon Miller against each other on the first night of action.

This contest will mark Wembanyama’s debut, so the crowd will have more of a regular season feel than a mid-summer exhibition game. And while the generational talent will look to put on a show for fans who may be seeing him for the first time, Miller will look to steal the spotlight and turn any Hornets fans who had reservations about the No. 2 pick.

Thunder vs. Mavericks: Chet Holmgren’s return

Date & Time: Saturday, July 8 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Channel (US): ESPN2

It has not yet been announced if Holmgren will suit up for the Thunder in the Salt Lake City Summer League again, where the 2022 No. 2 pick made a loud debut last season.

But if he sits out Salt Lake City this year, expect him to make his highly anticipated return to the floor in Las Vegas. Holmgren missed his entire rookie season after suffering a Lisfranc injury during a Pro-Am pickup game in the late summer.

The 21-year-old’s return would come against a talented rim protector in Duke product and No. 12 overall pick Dereck Lively II. This will also give fans a chance to see Oklahoma City’s No. 10 pick, Cason Wallace, make his debut.

Pistons vs. Rockets: The battle of the Thompson twins

Date & Time: Sunday, July 9 at 6 p.m. ET

Channel (US): ESPN2

Amen and Ausar Thompson were inseparable, all the way down to being selected back-to-back at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, on draft night.

Now, the two twins will shift from driveway matchups to the NBA hardwood as they face off in their Summer League debuts. Since they play similar positions, don’t be surprised to see the Thompsons matched up with each other throughout the night.

This could also be an opportunity to watch Rockets rookie Cam Whitmore, who was a projected top-five pick but fell to No. 20 on draft night due to injury concerns.

Spurs vs. Trail Blazers: Victor Wembanyama vs. Scoot Henderson Pt. 3

Date & Time: Sunday, July 9 at 8 p.m. ET

Channel (US): ESPN2

Prior to the start of the 2022-23 season, the NBA set up a pair of showcase games in Las Vegas for the projected top-two prospects in the 2023 draft class — Wembanyama and Henderson.

The first showcase game did not disappoint as Wembanyama exploded for 37 points and seven 3-pointers, but Henderson delivered 28 points and nine assists, coming up with several clutch plays down the stretch to lead the G League Ignite to victory.

The second matchup was cut short after Henderson was pulled due to injury precautions, but we’ll have another chance to see these two go head-to-head again in Las Vegas on July 9.

Trail Blazers vs. Hornets: Revenge for the No. 2 pick

Date & Time: Tuesday, July 11 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Channel (US): NBA TV

The biggest question of the pre-draft process was, “Who will go No. 2 to the Hornets?” Charlotte even invited Miller and Henderson in for multiple workouts before settling on the former with the second overall pick.

This late into Las Vegas Summer League, there is no guarantee either prospect will still be playing. But Miller and Henderson will both want to prove a point if they do suit up, setting the table for a highly competitive back-and-forth battle between two of the best rookies in this year’s class.

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