NBA Summer League tipped off on Monday as the Utah Summer League and California Classic in Sacramento opened with eight teams combined in action. Those two are a precursor for the main event in Las Vegas, where for the first time ever all 30 teams will participate.
Vegas Summer League has become a legitimate event, growing from a scattering of fans and media in Cox Pavilion and Thomas & Mack to a massive gathering of the NBA world, with hundreds of thousands of people passing through the doors at UNLV. The basketball itself is, well, not great, to be generous. These are mostly players that won’t be on an NBA roster next season and the lack of continuity between these thrown together teams that have practiced for maybe one week is noticeable.
Still, there are things to be learned from Summer League and things to enjoy watching. There is the opportunity to, briefly, watch last year’s mid-tier rookies dominate until they are sent packing by their teams to avoid any silly injuries. There are also the star attractions, which are the top draft picks from this past June. NBA Summer League knows the people want to see the top picks go at it, and they oblige by creating plenty of tantalizing matchups in the opening weekend prior to tournament play.
Below you’ll find the best matchups of the first five days of Summer League, including when they’ll play and where to watch in person and on TV (all times Pacific).