For those of you who feel like the 34 days since Boston-Philadelphia Game 5 have been an eternity, good news! In less than a month, the Sixers will be back on the court. Or, at least, guys wearing practice jerseys with Philadelphia Basketball written across the chest will be back on the court.
The NBA released the full schedule for this year’s Vegas Summer League, which is being blown out this year with all 30 teams participating. Unlike past years, the Sixers will not be heading to the Utah Summer League, so Vegas will be your only chance this summer to catch the new rookies, trying-to-prove-themselves youngsters, and training camp hopefuls.
The schedule for Philadelphia is as follows:
7/6 vs. Celtics - 7:30 EST (ESPN)
7/7 vs. Lakers - 11:30 EST (ESPN2)
7/9 vs. Wizards - 5:30 EST (NBA TV)
All three games will be on the main court at the Thomas & Mack Center. Tournament play will then get underway beginning on July 11.
Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is whether Markelle Fultz will participate. Just yesterday, Brett Brown said no decision had yet been made on whether Fultz will be playing summer league this year. While additional court time might be beneficial for a guy who played just 14 games in his rookie season, Fultz might also be best served just logging long days in the gym with trainer Drew Hanlen, rebuilding his shot.
Among guys you’ve already seen with the Sixers, expect Furkan Korkmaz to take the floor, as well as Jonah Bolden, who has come back to the states after a year in Israel and is widely expected to make the team. Overseas big men like Anzejs Pasecniks and Mathias Lessort might also make an appearance before heading back across the Atlantic. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot could be the third-year guy trying to iron out his game, never an ideal position to be in as a young player.
Then, obviously, we’ll get to see the new rookies. As a reminder, Philadelphia owns the 10th and 26th overall picks, as well as four selections in the second round. While some of those late picks are likely to be draft-and-stash guys, others may try and claw their way onto the back end of the roster, starting with what takes place in Sin City.
The NBA season just ended, but we are a little over a week away from the draft, and somewhat competitive basketball will return in less than four weeks. Truly, NBA basketball is a year-round obsession.