NBA Summer League Tickets
NBA Summer League Las Vegas Tickets
Al Horford is headed north, Kevin Durant is headed west, Dwayne Wade is at last headed home, and a majority of the impact free agents are off the board as the league’s 30 teams combined to spend a staggering $3 billion in less than a week. This fast-hitting spending spree should, undoubtedly, facilitate a smooth transition into the NBA Summer League Las Vegas which opened on Friday.
While the 2016 draft class may have drawn somewhat mixed reviews, Summer League is turning out to be especially buzzworthy largely in part to the presence of all the top 10 picks in the various rosters to play in Las Vegas. Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons? Is Buddy Hield the man to help return the Pelicans to the playoffs? Who is Dragan Bender? What were the Bucks thinking when taking Thon Maker at No. 10? Has Jamal Murray slipped too far? All of these draft night debates and pre-draft questions will start to be answered in the coming days. Below, we take a look at what to expect over the next two weeks as follows:
The Las Vegas Summer League- What is it?
Having started as a low-key and casual league, the Las Vegas Summer League has steadily grown into an organized series of scrimmages between players who work professionally overseas and NBA teams with rosters that are mostly comprised of rookies, undrafted players, and second-year players. The games feature more offense than defense, and are generally dominated by guards, although a tournament format instituted in recent years has seen competitive levels raised.
The event also doubles up as an extended try for fringe NBA players hoping to fill out a roster on a minimum deal as well as high draft picks entering their rookie seasons. From its roots as an off-season haven for basketball fanatics, Summer League has grown into an event with a wider appeal.
When is it?
The 2016 edition begins on Friday 8th July and runs until July 18, when a championship game is scheduled to be played. Games are played simultaneously and in two gyms- Cox Pavilion and Thomas & Mack Center- with starting times staggered by half an hour. During the opening round, as many as eight games are played each day.
All told, a D-League select team and 23 NBA teams will compete. The NBA teams are the Wizards, Warriors, Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, Suns, Sixers, Rockets, Pelicans, Nuggets, Nets, Mavericks, Lakers, Jazz, Heat, Hawks, Grizzlies, Celtics, Cavaliers, Bulls, and Bucks. The seven teams absent- Thunder, Pistons, Pacers, Magic, Knicks, Hornets, Clippers- all competed in last week’s scaled down Orlando Summer League. Additionally, the Jazz, Spurs, Sixers, and Celtics competed in the abbreviated Utah Summer League that also ran last week.
This year’s Las Vegas Summer League features a tournament-style round that will culminate in a championship game for the fourth year running. Each team approaches the tournament as they deem fit- while some rest guys as the week drags on, others compete hard in pursuit of the title. The Warriors, Kings, and Spurs have won the Summer League for the last three years, respectively. This year, the tournament portion begins on July 13 after each team has played three games against predetermined opposition.
2016 Draft Picks Present
In no particular order, the following 2016 draft picks are expected to showcase their talent:
1. Brandon Ingram, Lakers- Following a one-year stopover at Duke University, this 6’9" small forward is, undoubtedly, L.A.’s face of the future.
2. Dragan Bender, Suns- After playing limited minutes in Israel last season, this 18-year-old Croatian big man is headed stateside. What is to come in his rookie year is dependent on whether or not he hits the ground running against the opposition in Las Vegas.
3. Ben Simmons, Sixers- The Australian point forward exhibited flashes of his vision and elite passing during last week’s Utah Summer League, with all that 'process’ expected to finally pay off on the court in the next two weeks.
4. Buddy Hield, Pelicans- Anthony Davis needs all the help that he can get, New Orleans needs firepower after the off-season departures of Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, and the Pelicans fan base needs someone that they can rally around. Buddy will look to prove that he is the answer to all these needs, and he should thrive in the Summer League format.
5. Kris Dunn, Timberwolves- After spending four years at Providence, this 22-year-old has developed well enough and is expected to make an immediate impact in Las Vegas. And should he excel, the Ricky Rubio trade rumor mill is likely to get going sooner rather than later.
6. Jaylen Brown, Celtics- The Celtic’s decision to select this Cal product after a less than stellar freshman year drew criticism on draft night. However Brown displayed a high level of physical tools in Utah Last week.
7. Taurean Prince, Hawks- This 6’8" Baylor forward was acquired from Utah by Atlanta in a 3-way trade that saw George Hill depart for the Jazz. Prince is on the Hawks’ roster for Vegas where he is likely to try and fit into a '3 and D’ role.
8. Marquese Chriss, Suns- One of the biggest 'bust or boom’ names in the 2016 class, this 19-year-old foul-prone forward will be glad to know that players in Las Vegas can draw up to 10 fouls before getting the boot.
9. Jamal Murray, Nuggets- This Canadian guard quietly slipped to Denver, where he will potentially team up with 2015 lottery pick Mudiay Emmanuel as an intriguing future backcourt. In Vegas, he will play alongside both the incumbent starting shooting guard Gary Harris and Mudiay.
10. Denzel Valentine, Bulls- The Bulls’ off-season backcourt additions of Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo obviously move Denzel Valentine down the pecking order, but this accomplished and versatile Michigan State guard should still get plenty of looks in Vegas.
11. Georgios Papagiannis, Kings- The Kings did not need a center, no one had Georgios pegged for the lottery and Divac has not exactly lit up the world with his moves since taking up the Kings’ front office. That aside, this 7’2" Greek teenager has found himself on the Kings’ roster thus making him one of the most intriguing names to be on the lookout for over the coming weeks.