NBA Summer League 2013: Teams with Most to Prove in Vegas

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 10:  Bismack Biyombo #0 of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 10, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

While the Orlando Summer League gives a few squads an early view of their teams, the Las Vegas Summer League is where the action really happens.

This year's event features 22 teams, all of them vying to become the winner of the first-ever league tournament championship.

Although it is more important to develop the players than it is to win games, there is still plenty to prove for a few teams involved in this league. A number of young squads want to showcase their ability to generate some momentum heading into the regular season.

Even if the biggest stars are not participating, these teams need to do well in the coming weeks.


Washington Wizards

After a strong showing in the second half of the season, the Wizards are now expected to finally make the jump toward playoff contender.

John Wall and Bradley Beal have already proved themselves as legitimate stars last year, it is up to the rest of the young roster to contribute.

This starts with Otto Porter Jr., who will be the highest draft pick participating in the league. While the relaxed atmosphere doesn't suit the small forward's strength as an elite defender, he still can show off his other abilities in these games.

Meanwhile, Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely have been incredibly disappointing to this point and will need to come through with better showings this season. 

Additionally, Glen Rice Jr. will get an opportunity to show what he can do after being one of the more intriguing picks in the 2013 draft.


Charlotte Bobcats

Most squads involved in this league will leave the bigger stars at home while the remaining players try to earn minutes off the bench or a spot on the roster in the regular season. Unfortunately, the Bobcats are filled almost entirely with these young prospects with a lot to prove.

Charlotte has three recent draft picks who were taken early in the first round on this year's summer roster, and each of them have plenty to prove.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played well last year, but he must show he can take that next step towards being a go-to scorer for the struggling club. Of course, he is much further along than Bismack Biyombo, who still has not improved on the offensive end.

The team will hope that the forward can play better this season and live up to the expectations that were placed upon him when he was drafted.

Finally, Cody Zeller must live up to being the No. 4 draft pick after being taken over more highly-rated prospects like Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore and Alex Len. Fans certainly were not excited about the pick:

However, these games will give him a chance to show that he is really worth the selection.


Minnesota Timberwolves

Like the Wizards, Minnesota is expected to make a big jump after struggling for much of last season. As long as the team stays healthy, it should be able to compete with the better teams in the Western Conference.

However, the Timberwolves will be counting on contributions from a pair of rookies this year.

Shabazz Muhammad might have slid down draft boards, but the No. 14 pick is still a big-time shooter and will help provide plenty of scoring on the perimeter. 

Also joining the summer league roster is Gorgui Dieng, who is one of the most NBA-ready players in the class. He is an elite interior defender who should find his way into the rotation right away. Of course, both players will have to prove themselves against professional competition.

Another interesting inclusion on the team is Chris Johnson, who was impressive in limited minutes last year for Minnesota. The former LSU player can also help himself with a positive showing in these games.


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