At the moment, you may not have a particularly strong level of interest in watching Philadelphia 76ers basketball, given the lack of competitive fire shown by the team in Games 5 and 6 season-ending losses to the Miami Heat. But could I interest you in a loosely-affiliated Sixers squad playing at a competitive level somewhere in-between a scrimmage and a preseason game? You’re back in? I knew you would be.
This year, we won’t have to wait for the Summer Sixers to hit the sun-soaked boulevards of the Vegas Strip, as for the first time since 2017, Philadelphia will be participating in the Salt Lake City Summer League.
3-day passes for Salt Lake City Summer League are on sale now— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) May 18, 2022
Get all six games starting at $29. See you there! https://t.co/yqfx2ptcCW pic.twitter.com/ywqy83BqS0
Unlike NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, there is no “playoff” format in Salt Lake City. Teams play three games apiece, and a 3-0 team gets crowned “champion” (or a 2-1 team with a points tie-breaker), before everyone catches a quick flight to Vegas.
Still, if you like watching the young guys get to spread their wings with an enhanced role in a different playing environment, three more games should be fun. How will Jaden Springer’s offensive game look after a couple more months of offseason training? Will Charles Bassey maintain his G League-level dominance and make the decision not to give him a legitimate shot to earn a rotation spot last season look even more foolish?
Charles Bassey’s 37-point/21-rebound performance leads the Blue Coats to the third seed in the G League Eastern Conference. https://t.co/6K95VAzfWV— Liberty Ballers (@Liberty_Ballers) April 4, 2022
While the Sixers likely won’t have anyone on the roster who proves to be “too good for Summer League” like Tyrese Maxey last year, it’s looking like they may retain their first-round pick this season if Brooklyn defers to 2023, and Salt Lake City would be our first look at the new guy. Also, that Thunder game could be very intriguing if Josh Giddey participates and with Oklahoma City having just secured the second overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft.
I get the downsides of Summer League play (it’s often sloppy and disjointed, most of the players aren’t actually on “your” team), but it’s basketball (fun!) and a chance to take a look at guys in a no-to-low stakes environment where we don’t have to be super stressed out over the results like during the season. Three more games? Sign me up!