May 27, 2014, 5:06 PM EST
The NBA’s Summer League is more like spring training for NBA fans — smaller venues and a more casual atmosphere where you can get closer to the game and the players, it’s a chance to watch young players get extended minutes, and it’s where you “fall in love” with some guy on your team’s bench (or hope ends up on the bench) and pull for him to get big minutes next season.
Th 2014 edition of Summer League could have more players to fall in love with than ever.
The teams with the top three picks in the upcoming NBA Draft and 10 of the 12 teams with picks are coming to Las Vegas for the event, the NBA made official. That means if you want to see guys like Jabari Parker or Dante Exum or Joel Embiid (not to mention Nerlens Noel) make their professional debuts, you need to be at the Thomas and Mack/Cox Pavilion for the event. Plus, if you come to Las Vegas in July you don’t need a jacket (the Summer League runs July 11-21).
There will be 24 teams in Las Vegas, competing in a tournament-style format to name the Samsung NBA Summer League Champion. Teams will compete in three preliminary round games from July 11-15, then be seeded in an elimination tournament. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games.
The teams coming to Vegas are Houston, Golden State, Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Denver, Phoenix, Minnesota, Portland, Toronto, Dallas, Sacramento, New York, Washington, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans, Utah, plus there is one team made up largely of D-League players.
If you don’t want to brave the melting heat of Las Vegas in July there will be extensive coverage on NBA TV. However, if you’re an NBA junkie you need to make it out there at least once.
You can get tickets to all the games. Find out more at the Summer League Web site.
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