It’s that time of year, when you fire up the hot-take machine, and declare an undrafted rookie the next T.J. McConnell or Robert Covington. It’s 2018 NBA Summer League, and the Sixers are kicking it off with a game against their Summer League and Eastern Conference rivals, the Boston Celtics.
Markelle Fultz and Shake Milton will be sitting Summer League out, for shot rejuvenation and a stress fracture, respectively. Even without Fultz and Milton, there will be a lot of fun, young talent on display. Both Sixers’ 2018 first round selections, Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet, will be with the team in Las Vegas. After clearing FIBA waivers, 2017 2nd round selection, Jonah Bolden, is officially joining the Summer League roster, after spending last season in the Euroleague. Although on a 3-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv, the 6’10 Aussie is expected to use the NBA-out clause in his contract to join the Sixers this season. Furkan Korkmaz, fresh off a stint playing for the Turkish National Team in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, will also be in Vegas.
The Celtics will bring out their own young squad, headlined by 2017 second round selection Semi Ojeleye and 2018 first round pick Robert Williams III (if he shows up). Guerschon Yabusele, a 2016 first-round selection, will also be on the roster, after seeing playing time for both the Celtics and their G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, last year.
Although the games don’t mean much in regards to the actual NBA season, they can be used to gauge how these young players will fit in with the talented roster that the Sixers already have. Is Zhaire Smith’s shot actually much further along than everyone thought? Will Korkmaz make strides after an injury plagued rookie season? Will any NBA/G-League vets make their mark, and a spot for themselves, on the Sixers’ roster? And is Jonah Bolden really as good as Kevin Rice tells us he is? We’ll begin to find the answers to these questions, and more, tonight.
Time: 7:30pm EST
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