Friday, July 8, 2016

The Comprehensive Guide to the 2016 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas

Always the most anticipated tournament of the NBA’s summer leagues, the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is sure to live up to the hype this year. The tournament, which runs from July 8 to 18 on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, features 24 teams, two conference champions and a slew of highly touted rookies and former first-round draft picks poised to breakout. We preview the games, venues and players to watch all tournament long!

Stephen Curry participated in the 2009 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Stephen Curry | 2009 NBA Summer League
Marquee Matchups

Tournament play opens Friday, July 8, at 3 p.m. local time with the defending champions, Cleveland Cavaliers, taking on a revamped Milwaukee Bucks squad at Cox Pavilion. The 10th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft back in June, South Sudan native Thon Maker looks to put the age controversy behind him and make a name for himself as an NBA-ready, 7-foot-1 power forward. Notable Buck Rashad Vaughn, who played collegiate ball for UNLV, is ready for his homecoming and second summer league roster spot.

Also on Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans square off at the Thomas & Mack Arena at 7:30 p.m. March Madness standouts Brandon Ingram of Duke and Buddy Hield of Oklahoma will take the court for the first time for their respective teams. Picks No. 2 and 6 overall back in June, the rookies are looking to make a splash in the desert.

The No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, Australian Ben Simmons continues his quest to NBA superstardom Saturday, July 9, at 5:30 p.m. when his Philadelphia 76ers take on the Lakers and their impressive draft class at Thomas & Mack Arena. This game has the makings to be the matchup of the tournament.

San Antonio Spurs, last year’s tournament champions, will face ’16-’17 season bounce back candidates in the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls just drafted Tom Izzo’s favorite son, Denzel Valentine. They are also expected to bring along 23-year-old Brazilian power forward Cristiano Felício, a 6-foot-11, 275-pounder who they hope can replace Pau Gasol.

Karl-Anthony Towns | 2015 NBA Summer League
Breakout Candidates

In addition to the names already mentioned, there will be a handful of intriguing names taking the court during 2016’s Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Players such as Toronto’s first pick in the 2016 draft and former Utah center Jakob Poeltl, Oklahoma City’s recently acquired Lithuanian forward Domantas Sabonis, and Detroit’s first pick of the draft and Marquette import Henry Ellenson all hope to catch the eyes of their respective general managers.

The Boston Celtics grabbed a handful of talent with their three first-round picks in this year’s draft. The No. 16 pick, Frenchman Guerschon Yabusele came down with 14 rebounds and scored 18 points over the course the team’s first two summer league games in Utah. He’s expected to make a bigger impact during the tournament in Las Vegas. The No. 3 pick, Jaylen Brown took a graduate-level course during his freshman year at Berkeley. The kid is pretty smart. He’s also a 6-foot-7 shooting guard often compared to the likes of Jason Richardson. Boston is hoping he’ll develop a more consistent jump shot in Sin City this summer.

Otto Porter Jr. | 2013 NBA Summer League
Where to Watch

If you want to see the NBA’s future stars in person, day passes for the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas start at $21. Tickets are general admission, and seats are first come, first served. If you’re really into basketball, you can purchase a tournament pass starting at $260. A day pass will grant you access to both Thomas & Mack Arena and Cox Pavilion, which happen to be neighbors. The initial slate of preliminary action takes place in both venues between July 8 and 12 starting 1 p.m. Tournament play begins Wednesday, July 13, and runs through July 17. The championship game is scheduled for July 18 at 6 p.m.

Most Strip casinos will be showing the games at their sports books. In the past, Westgate’s sports book has actually accepted wagers on summer league games. This isn’t the norm however. Any number of sports bars along the Strip will also tune their television sets to the ESPN and NBA TV broadcasts of all 67 games.

The Schedule

Kevin Durant | 2007 NBA Summer League
Friday, July 8
Cox Pavilion
Milwaukee vs. Cleveland, 3 p.m.
Atlanta vs. Houston, 5 p.m.
Sacramento vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.

Thomas & Mack 
NBA D-League vs. Memphis, 3:30 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Denver, 5:30 p.m.
L.A. Lakers vs. New Orleans, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 9
Cox Pavilion 
Phoenix vs. Portland, 1 p.m.
Boston vs. Chicago, 3 p.m.
Denver vs. Memphis, 5 p.m.
Dallas vs. Miami, 7 p.m.

Thomas & Mack 
Cleveland vs. Brooklyn, 1:30 p.m.
Washington vs. Utah, 3:30 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. L.A. Lakers, 5:30 p.m.
San Antonio vs. Golden State, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 10
Cox Pavilion 
Atlanta vs. Washington, 1 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Toronto, 3 p.m.
Utah vs. New Orleans, 5 p.m.
San Antonio vs. Portland, 7 p.m.

Thomas & Mack 
Milwaukee vs. NBA D-League, 1:30 p.m.
Houston vs. Sacramento, 3:30 p.m.
Chicago vs. Philadelphia, 5:30 p.m.
Phoenix vs. Boston, 7:30 p.m.

Tyus Jones | 2015 NBA Summer League
Monday, July 11
Cox Pavilion 
Milwaukee vs. Memphis, 1 p.m.
Houston vs. NBA D-League, 3 p.m.
Miami vs. Denver, 5 p.m.
Sacramento vs. New Orleans, 7 p.m.

Thomas & Mack 
Brooklyn vs. Atlanta, 1:30 p.m.
Toronto vs. Dallas, 3:30 p.m.
Cleveland vs. Minnesota, 5:30 p.m.
Golden State vs. L.A. Lakers, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 12
Cox Pavilion 
Washington vs. Brooklyn, 1 p.m.
Boston vs. Dallas, 3 p.m.
San Antonio vs. Chicago, 5 p.m.

Thomas & Mack 
Portland vs. Utah, 1:30 p.m.
Miami vs. Phoenix, 3:30 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Golden State, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 13
Seeds 9-24 will play in 8 games at the below times and locations:
Cox Pavilion: 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m.
Thomas & Mack: 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 14
Seeds 1-8 will play against the winners of July 13 games at the below times and locations:
Cox Pavilion: 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m.
Thomas & Mack: 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Friday, July 15
Losers from games on July 13 and July 14 will play at the below times and locations:
Cox Pavilion: 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m.
Thomas & Mack: 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 16 - Quarterfinals
Winners from games on July 14 will play at the below times:
Thomas & Mack: 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m.

Sunday, July 17 - Semifinals
Winners from games on July 16 will play at the below times:
Thomas & Mack: 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Monday, July 18 - Championship
Winners from games on July 17 will play at the below time:
Thomas & Mack: 6 p.m.

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