It’s been two years since the Sixers last played a basketball game. Or at least it feels that way. But finally: Vegas Summer League has arrived. There’s a ton to be excited about for the upcoming Summer League play. We’ll get into that in a bit, but first, the Sixers Summer League roster:
If you’d like to know (much) more about each of the players above, you can follow this link to a PDF, courtesy of the Sixers, that gives an in-depth background on each player, from NBA stints and Euroleague stints, all the way down to high school information.
The Sixers Summer League schedule is as follows:
- Friday July 6 (that’s tonight) 7:30 p.m. (watch: ESPN, listen: 97.5 The Fanatic)
- Saturday July 7 (that’s tomorrow) 11:30 p.m. (watch: ESPN, listen: 97.5 The Fanatic)
- Monday July 9 5:30 p.m. (watch: NBA TV or NBCSP)
It’s disappointing that Shake Milton won’t be playing in the Summer League. As a 2nd round pick, he’s no guarantee to make the roster and Summer League is typically important for a player who finds himself in such a circumstance.
Putting aside Milton’s absence, there’s a lot to look forward to. Some things I’ll be watching for:
- Zhaire Smith: Everyone’s excited for Zhaire. Athleticism and Summer League go together like the Sixers and red shirting rookies. But what I really want to see, is Zhaire playing more as a guard (whereas at Texas Tech, he played a lot of forward) and putting the ball on the floor. I don’t expect his handle to be high-level, because it isn’t. But I do want to see a willingness to create and drive off the bounce. And dunks. Lots of dunks.
- Jonah Bolden: Jonah’s in a weird situation. Not too long ago, it seemed nearly a lock that he’d be on the Sixers come regular season. But there’s no guarantee he gets a spot on the Sixers roster, now with a surplus of players currently under contact. And if he can’t find a spot on the Sixers roster, and they have to stash him again, what do the Sixers really have in Bolden? I want Bolden to show a strong defensive presence in Vegas, and a versatile one. Brett Brown loves a trustworthy defender, and if Bolden can prove he is as much, he may beat out Richaun Holmes for a roster spot. I’m also excited to see his willingness to shoot from distance. Love a near 7-footer who will sling it.
- Furkan Korkmaz: Furky Korkmano (credit Jim Adair on the nickname, IIRC) is one of the players I’m most excited to watch because he’s got maybe the best chance to contribute immediate offense to the Sixers next season. I just want to see aggressiveness from Korkmaz, some alpha mentality — take shot, lots of them, preferably catch-and-shoot scenarios. Assume you’re the best scorer on the floor for the Sixers, Furkan.
- Landry Shamet: We all know Landry can shoot, or at least he was a prolific shooter in college. What I’m interested in is Landry’s defensive IQ. He doesn’t appear to be the most explosive athlete, and that could be fine if he just knows where to be on defense, demonstrating an awareness and an ability to stay in front of his man. This league can find roles for anybody who can stroke it, but on Brett Brown’s now 50+-wins-capable team, inexperienced players will be hard pressed for minutes if they’re a turnstile on defense.
- Norvelle Pelle: Our Jake Hyman’s profile of Pelle got me excited. Alley-oops and blocking shots into the stands. That’s all I need out of Pelle.
Summer League commences this evening. We’ll have a game preview, open thread and post-game discussion covering tonight’s game, and every game of the Vegas Summer League. Today is a good day, enjoy and be responsible with your hot-as-flames takes.