NBA Summer League 2018: Friday Game Times, Full Las Vegas Schedule and Rosters

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 6, 2018

Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton answers a question during a news conference as the team introduces its new players after the NBA basketball draft Friday, June 22, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The brightest young stars in the NBA, some of whom were drafted in June, take center stage during the Las Vegas Summer League, which opens play Friday.

The Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers start the 10-game slate Friday, but most of the attention is on the matchups later in the day, when members of the rookie class participate in their first games. 

While the summer league is the first of many professional tests for high draft picks, it's also a proving ground for undrafted free agents, G League players and those from other backgrounds who are attempting to make a NBA roster. 

A handful of teams got an early start to the summer-league process, as four sides apiece participated in the Utah Jazz Summer League and California Classic in Sacramento.

The Las Vegas Summer League starts with five days of action at two venues before the teams are placed into an elimination bracket to determine a champion. 


Las Vegas Summer League Schedule

All Times ET. 

Friday, July 6

Houston vs. Indiana (3 p.m., NBATV) 

Toronto vs. New Orleans (3:30 p.m., ESPNU)

Brooklyn vs. Orlando (5 p.m., NBATV)

Oklahoma City vs. Charlotte (5:30 p.m., ESPNU)

Milwaukee vs. Detroit (7 p.m., NBATV)

Boston vs. Philadelphia (7:30 p.m., ESPN) 

Cleveland vs. Washington (9 p.m., NBATV)

Dallas vs. Phoenix (9:30 p.m., ESPN) 

Denver vs. Minnesota (11 p.m., NBATV)

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State (11:30 p.m., ESPN) 


Saturday, July 7

Portland vs. Utah (3 p.m., NBATV)

San Antonio vs. Indiana (3:30 p.m., ESPN2) 

Miami vs. New Orleans (5 p.m., NBATV)

New York vs. Atlanta (5:30 p.m., ESPN) 

Oklahoma City vs. Brooklyn (7 p.m., NBATV)

Phoenix vs. Sacramento (7:30 p.m., ESPN) 

Detroit vs. Memphis (9 p.m., NBATV)

Chicago vs. Cleveland (9:30 p.m., ESPN2) 

Boston vs. Denver (11 p.m., NBATV)

Philadelphia vs. Los Angeles Lakers (11:30 p.m., ESPN) 


Sunday, July 8 

Minnesota vs. Toronto (3 p.m., NBATV)

Washington vs. San Antonio (3:30 p.m., ESPN2) 

Charlotte vs. Miami (5 p.m., NBATV)

Portland vs. Atlanta (5:30 p.m., ESPN2) 

Dallas vs. Milwaukee (7 p.m., NBATV)

Golden State vs. Houston (7:30 p.m., ESPN2) 

Utah vs. New York (9 p.m., NBATV)

Memphis vs. Orlando (9:30 p.m., ESPN2) 

Sacramento vs. Los Angeles Clippers (11 p.m., NBATV)

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago (11:30 p.m., ESPN2)


Monday, July 9

New Orleans vs. Detroit (3 p.m., ESPNU)

Toronto vs. Oklahoma City (3:30 p.m., NBATV)

Indiana vs. Cleveland (5 p.m., ESPN2) 

Washington vs. Philadelphia (5:30 p.m., NBATV)

Charlotte vs. Boston (7 p.m., ESPN2) 

Golden State vs. Dallas (7:30 p.m., NBATV)

Milwaukee vs. Denver (9 p.m., ESPNU)

Orlando vs. Phoenix (9:30 p.m., NBATV)

Brooklyn vs. Minnesota (11 p.m., ESPNU)

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Houston (11:30 p.m., NBATV)


Tuesday, July 10 

San Antonio vs. Portland (4 p.m., NBATV)

Utah vs. Miami (4:30 p.m., ESPNU)

Atlanta vs. Chicago (6 p.m., NBATV)

Sacramento vs. Memphis (6:30 p.m., ESPN2) 

Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York (8:30 p.m., ESPN2) 



All 30 rosters for the Las Vegas Summer League can be found on NBA.com.


Ayton Makes Suns Debut Friday Night 

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft will make his debut for the Phoenix Suns in summer-league play against the Dallas Mavericks.

Arizona product Deandre Ayton will be one of many top attractions from this season's rookie class in Las Vegas.

Ayton is excited to receive his first NBA challenge Friday, and he's embracing the physicality of the game in the paint, per Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic.

"Now I'm playing against some competition," Ayton said. "We're scratching each other, fighting each other. Now I know how the NBA works. It's a grown man's game, for sure. It fits me because I'm throwing it right back at them."

Ayton has an opportunity to form an immediate on-court bond with some of the other young stars on the Suns roster, as Dragan Bender and Josh Jackson will also take the court in Las Vegas.

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 22: James Jones, George King, Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton, Elie Okobo, and General Manager Ryan McDonough of the Phoenix Suns pose together during a press conference on June 22, 2018, at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
Michael Gonzales/Getty Images

Another intriguing storyline surrounding the Suns is how first-round pick Mikal Bridges, who was acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, and second-round selection Elie Okobo fit into the squad. 

If chemistry is there between Ayton, his fellow rookies, Bender and Jackson during summer league, it could translate to a fast start by the Suns, who are attempting to burst out of the Western Conference cellar with their young core.


Doncic's Summer League Status Still Up in the Air

While Ayton is guaranteed to set foot on the hardwood Friday, the opposing team won't have its first-round draft pick available. 

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: Draft Pick Luka Doncic speaks at the Post NBA Draft press conference on June 22, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photo
Glenn James/Getty Images

Luka Doncic won't play in Dallas' summer-league opener against the Suns because the team is still in the process of buying out his contract from Real Madrid, as Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle told Dwain Price of the team's official website:

"He has not participated in a live practice yet because he needs to have his buyout completed with Real Madrid, he needs a FIBA letter of clearance, he needs a physical and he needs to sign his contract. We're getting close to getting those things done, but we're not there yet and he has not had a live practice yet. But he will be in Vegas."

The last part of Carlisle's quote gives some hope the 19-year-old will participate in at least one game.

Doncic was one of the most heralded prospects in the draft class along with Ayton, and there are plenty of fans waiting to see what he can do on a NBA court.

After Friday's contest against the Suns, the Mavericks take on the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

If Doncic isn't cleared by Monday, he would have a chance to play later in the summer-league schedule.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.