The long awaited return of summer league basketball to Salt Lake City is over! Today Utah fans will get to see NBA hopefuls, young draft picks, and others battle it out for a chance to impress a team, in the hopes of getting a training camp invite a few months from now. Sure, you'll see big names like the Philadelphia 76ers rookie Jalil Okafor. You'll see players trying to take that next step, in Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz guards Marcus Smart and Dante Exum. And if you get there early, or stay there late enough, you'll see guys like the San Antonio Spurs bigman Stefan Nastic, and find out if he's any good! The Summer League is about as far from the NBA Playoffs as you can get, but bereft of any actual NBA action, it's something most fans need after a hyped up NBA Draft and NBA Free Agency period. And while this does not have the official branding of the Rocky Mountain Revue, the previous Jazz run summer league, some of the memories should persist. Who can forget Greg Ostertag housing Tim Duncan? Jazz fans will never forget that for sure.
There are some differences between the RMR and the USL, and the big one is venue. These games will be played at the Energy Solutions Arena. Also, they are going to be televised by both KJZZ and NBA TV. It's a bigger show, even if the first year of the USL starts off with just four teams, the 76ers, Celtics, Spurs, and Jazz.
Monday, July 6th:
- 5:00 PM MT: Philadelphia 76ers vs. San Antonio Spurs
- 7:00 PM MT: Boston Celtics vs. Utah Jazz
Tuesday, July 7th:
- 5:00 PM MT: Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers
- 7:00 PM MT: San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz
Wednesday, July 8th:
- No games
Thursday, July 9th:
- 5:00 PM MT: Boston Celtics vs. San Antonio Spurs
- 7:00 PM MT: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Utah Jazz
Friday, July 10th:
- Las Vegas Summer League
Three days, and all the three day passes are already purchased. So which players are going to be participating?
76ers: Furkan Aldemir, Deonte Burton, Jerami Grant, Corey Hawkins, Richaun Holmes, T.J. McConnell, Jahlil Okafor, Sam Thompson, and J.P. Tokoto. But for reals, shouldn't Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid be playing in this too?
Celtics: Eric Buckner, C.J. Fair, Jonathan Holmes, R.J. Hunter, Colton Iverson, Jordan Mickey, Malcolm Miller, Royce O'Neale, Phil Pressey, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Marcus Thornton, Corey Walden, and James Young
Jazz: Tibor Pleiss or Raul Neto.), , , Jerry Evans, Dante Exum, , , , , , Trey Lyles, Jesse Morgan, , J.J. O'Brien, , Wesley Saunders, and . (No official word yet on
Spurs: Kyle Anderson, Casper Ware, Ryan Manuel, Marcus Denmon, Wayne Blackshear, Cady Lalanne, Livio Jean-Charles, Shannon Scott, Roscoe Smith, Treveon Graham, Dairis Bertans, Stefan Nastic, Darion Atkins, and Will Cherry
There are only six games, and these rosters aren't overwhelming. So far we've seen some great performances over in the Orlando Summer League. I hope we see some good ones here, and this isn't just a high contact tune up for Las Vegas.
These games will be good for the Jazz, as they'll hopefully gain some clarity on what they are doing this off-season. Jack, Bryce, and Chris are on non-guaranteed contracts. Olivier is also fighting for one as a 2nd round pick he has little to no security right now. And then there's the curious case of Trey Lyles, who isn't practicing with the team just yet. That doesn't prevent you from actually playing in summer league, it's just funny. Raul Neto wasn't allowed because of a contract snaffu years ago, yet he was able to get into a few games after it was taken care of. Time will tell what we learn from the first year of the USL, but for us rabid Jazz fans -- we finally get to see some more games!