NBA Summer League 2021: Rosters for Las Vegas, Utah and Sacramento Teams
Throughout August, there's going to be plenty of NBA Summer League action to help get you excited for the upcoming basketball season. In fact, things have already gotten underway in recent days, because the Summer League is divided between three cities.
The California Classic Summer League took place Tuesday and Wednesday in Sacramento, with the Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat taking part. Two games occurred each of the two days.
The Salt Lake City Summer League started Tuesday and concludes Friday. There are only four participating teams: the Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz Blue and Utah Jazz White.
But the main attraction for the Summer League takes place in Las Vegas, where all 30 teams will be represented. The action begins Sunday and runs through Aug. 17.
Not every team has announced its Summer League roster, but HoopsHype has compiled the known players who will be participating.
Here's a look at some of the top Summer League storylines with play in Las Vegas soon to get underway.
Kuminga, Moody off to Strong Start for Golden State
The Warriors played two Summer League games in Sacramento this week, the second of which marked the debuts of Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, the team's pair of first-round picks in the 2021 NBA draft. And both players got off to impressive starts to begin their summer.
Kuminga was the No. 7 overall pick in the draft, and he had 18 points while shooting 7-for-14 from the field in Golden State's 92-87 win over Miami on Wednesday. Moody, who was the No. 14 overall pick, led the Warriors with 19 points and also had seven rebounds.
With much of their core still in place, the Warriors are looking to return to the playoffs and get back to being a championship contender after missing the postseason each of the past two seasons. Moody will likely earn a spot in Golden State's rotation quickly, while Kuminga may need some development before making an impact.
However, the 19-year-old Moody will need to prove that he's worthy of immediate playing time, while the 18-year-old Kuminga could possibly show that he's further along than some expected. Both are young players with a lot of talent and potential, so it should be fun to watch them through the remainder of Summer League.
Cunningham Likely to Impress in First NBA Action
As the Detroit Pistons play their four Summer League games in Las Vegas, many eyes will be on Cade Cunningham, the potential new face of the franchise who was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft. The 19-year-old guard was the consensus top prospect in the class, and it had been long expected that he'd end up in Detroit.
Now, it's time for Cunningham to begin his NBA journey. He'll surely get plenty of playing time during his rookie season, but he's still got to prove what he's capable of during the Summer League and get off to a strong start for the Pistons.
Cunningham already has goals for himself and his new teammates for their time in Vegas.
"I want everybody to leave Summer League feeling like they became a better player, and that they became a better piece to this puzzle and add it to this team so that we can go into the regular season feeling good about ourselves," Cunningham said, per Lauren Williams of MLive.com.
There's the potential for Cunningham to put up big numbers in his first Summer League, and he should be among the most exciting prospects to watch.
Fredette Among Veterans Looking to Earn Roster Spots
Summer League isn't just about the youngsters. Sure, rookies and players entering their second and third NBA seasons make up the majority of the rosters. But there are also some veterans, some of whom may be looking to break back into the league after some time away.
On Thursday, the Denver Nuggets added Jimmer Fredette to their team's Summer League roster. The 32-year-old guard hasn't played in an NBA game since 2019. And although he's never been able to carve out a role in the league, he's a known shooter, so maybe he earns a roster spot with solid play in Las Vegas.
Like Fredette, neither Michael Beasley nor Kenneth Faried have played in the NBA since 2019. They'll both be on the Portland Trail Blazers' Summer League roster as they look to work their ways back into the league as well.
Another experienced player to keep an eye on is Brandon Knight, the 29-year-old point guard who will be on the Brooklyn Nets' roster. Knight last played in an NBA game in March 2020 (just before the league shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic), but he's been an efficient scorer in the NBA in the past.