This year, all 30 NBA teams will be participating in the Las Vegas Summer League for the first time ever, as the basketball world will descend on the desert for two weeks in July. The event tips off on Friday, July 6, running through Tuesday, July 17 and the league released the full schedule of action for the opening rounds of games before the tournament begins.
As always, the games to watch at Summer League are those between teams with the top draft picks, as those figure to be the first opportunities to see the top prospects go head-to-head in NBA action. This year is no different, and the opening weekend schedule is headlined by Phoenix vs. Sacramento in the Thomas & Mack Center at 4:30 p.m. PT, broadcast live on ESPN. Prior to that game, ESPN will also carry the Knicks vs. Hawks in a matchup of the No. 3 and No. 9 overall picks (pending trades).
The game to watch on the opening night of action is Dallas vs. Phoenix (6:30 p.m. PT, ESPN), a matchup of the No. 1 and No. 5 overall picks, preceded by Boston vs. Philadelphia (4:30 p.m. PT, ESPN). What makes this year so interesting for those top draft pick matchups is that, aside from Luka Doncic, the top of the draft is heavily loaded by big men who will legitimately go head-to-head when playing each other.
The full schedule, with times (all Pacific) and TV stations, for the first weekend of Summer League action can be found below, with the best matchups in bold.