NBA Summer League affords fans and front office executives alike with the opportunity to see the newest stars.
This year, all 30 NBA teams will participate in the event at Las Vegas’ MGM Resorts.
The NBA also arranges smaller fields in Sacramento and Utah where teams and fans get additional looks at this new and emerging talent.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
Summer League seems like the regular season for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
A team rebuilding in recent years, the Thunder hoarded draft assets and continue to do so.
But the players on this year’s roster might very well be regular contributors to Oklahoma City’s team in 2021-22.
The headliner for the Thunder remains top draft pick Josh Giddey.
Drawing comparisons to Luka Doncic, Giddey led Australia’s NBL with 7.4 assists per game at 18 years old.
Another prospect to watch, who could receive regular season minutes, is Tre Mann.
The third of Oklahoma City’s three first-round picks in 2021, Mann might very well be the most exciting guard in Las Vegas.
A 6-foot-5 combo guard, Mann could pair well with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the backcourt.
As a sophomore at the University of Florida, Mann scored 16 points per game, shooting 46 percent from the floor and 40.9 percent from three-point range.
— CloseUp360 (@CloseUp360) August 9, 2021
2. New York Knicks
The New York Knicks surprised the basketball world by earning the four-seed in last year’s NBA playoffs.
It had been too long since meaningful basketball had been played in Madison Square Garden.
So the Knicks faithful can look to Summer League this season and be rightfully excited about what it might mean for next year’s team.
Toppin, meanwhile, must make a leap in his second season.
The 23-year-old played sparingly as a rookie, despite being the No. 8 overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Rookie guard Quentin Grimes, the No. 25 overall selection in 2021, could push for a regular season role as well.
Grimes helped lead Houston to the Final Four last year, shooting over 40 percent from three.
The Summer League roster is set 🗽 pic.twitter.com/H6rqkZEzTt
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) August 2, 2021
1. Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets might be one of the most interesting teams to watch come the 2021-22 NBA season.
Although their Summer League team won’t feature the 2020-21 Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball, his older brother LiAngelo will get his shot to make the main team.
While the Balls will steal much of the spotlight in Vegas, the depth of the Hornets roster remains intriguing.
James Bouknight, the No. 11 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, headlines Charlotte’s Summer League squad.
Bouknight’s ability to create and score will provide a tantalizing look at what might be once he and LaMelo share the floor.
Last year’s second-round pick (No. 32 overall) Vernon Carey Jr. will also get an extended look in Las Vegas.
The 6-foot-9 forward flashed his potential during his one season at Duke, but played a limited role as a rookie.
Carey stands as a breakout candidate, as does 2021 first-round pick Kai Jones.
Introducing your 2021 NBA Summer League roster 👊
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) August 2, 2021
Players to watch hoping to find minutes at the guard position, considering the departures of Devonte’ Graham and Malik Monk, include LiAngelo Ball, 2021 second-round pick Scottie Lewis, and 2020 second-rounder Grant Riller.