BOZICH | NBA Summer League assignments for former U of L, UK, IU stars
Donovan Mitchell, De'Aaron Fox, Thomas Bryant are part of a string of former Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana players who will compete in the NBA Summer League.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Only two days remain until the first of three NBA Summer Leagues open play, and the rosters posted at the NBA website still feature the 2016 lineups.
Time for an update, fellas. There’s basketball on the schedule for eight teams in Orlando on Saturday.
All the lack of information did was stir me to make the best list I could build of the summer league outlook for players with local connections.
This is what I discovered:
For Donovan Mitchell, his official introduction to the NBA will come at 6 p.m. July 8 when the Jazz open summer league play in Las Vegas against Portland. ESPNU is scheduled to televise.
Chinanu Onuaku did not play much for the Houston Rockets last season – five games, 52 minutes, seven field goal attempts, 10 rebounds. He should play considerably more for the Rockets’ squad in Las Vegas, starting July 7.
De’Aaron Fox will officially become the face of the franchise (with former Oklahoma star Buddy Hield) when he runs Sacramento’s summer team in Las Vegas on July 7.
Malik Monk will likely bypass summer competition with the Hornets. The team announced Monk suffered an ankle injury during the pre-draft workout process and will concentrate on getting ready for training camp next fall.
Shooting has become the most desired skill in the NBA. Derek Willis can shoot. His defense and rebounding need work. But Willis has a shooter’s chance to make the Detroit Pistons, who play Oklahoma City at 5 p.m. Saturday on NBA TV.
Isaiah Briscoe believed that his best move to make it professionally was to leave Kentucky after his sophomore season rather than anchor John Calipari’s backcourt again. Look for him with Philadelphia as a free agent guard in Las Vegas.
The Miami Heat had enough faith in Bam Adebayo to take him with the 14th pick in the draft last week. Look for Adebayo to play forward, center and other spots when the Heat compete in Orlando on Saturday.
Some people bet against Dominique Hawkins' ability to hold a spot in the playing rotation at Kentucky. Now they’re betting he won’t smell the NBA. Don’t dismiss him yet. He’s scheduled to play with Fox for Sacramento. (Another former Wildcat, Skal Labissiere, is likely to join them).
The consensus was that Isaac Humphries would return to Australia to play pro ball. Not yet. Humphries is scheduled to play for the Washington Wizards in Las Vegas.
Former UK forward Kyle Wiltjer, a member of the Wildcats’ 2012 NCAA title team before he transferred to Gonzaga, was scheduled to compete with the Houston Rockets. But Wiltjer was traded to the Clippers Wednesday leaving his summer league status unknown.
OG Anunoby’s recovery from knee surgery will keep him on the sidelines while the Raptors play in Orlando.
James Blackmon Jr. will try to follow Yogi Ferrell’s playbook and make his way into the NBA as an undrafted free agent. The Sixers will give him first shot in Las Vegas.
Troy Williams had to go through Memphis before landing with the Rockets. But he finished the season with gusto. He’s listed by several websites as a likely Summer League participant for Houston.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been looking for a quality inside player since Pau Gasol left town. I’d never call Thomas Bryant the next Gasol, but he should earn major minutes for the Lakers’ squad in Las Vegas in his attempt to impress Magic Johnson – and LaVar Ball.
Will Sheehey’s last season with the Hoosiers was 2014, but he’s not ready to delete his NBA dream. He played for the Raptors’ team that won the D-League title last spring, so Sheehey will compete for Toronto in Las Vegas.
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