The draft is over and the summer is officially here, which can only mean NBA Summer League hoops from Orlando to Utah to Las Vegas.
Sacramento will also be hosting a summer league schedule as well this year. The Atlanta Hawks will be sending a team to both Utah (July 2-5) and Las Vegas (beginning on July 7) and on that team will not only be the first round draft picks from Thursday’s draft but a second round pick from the 2017 draft, 6-10 forward Alpha Kabba and a few others looking to stake a spot on first-year head coach Lloyd Pierce’s bench.
Hawks first round draft picks Trae Young (fifth overall), one player who will most likely not be seeing too much bench time, and Omari Spellman (30th) will be getting their first tastes of NBA action while 19th overall pick Kevin Huerter will not attend while nursing a hand injury. All reports are that Huerter will be healthy for training camp in a few months.
Alongside the guaranteed spots afforded to first-round draft picks, there will be some veterans and undrafted camp invites on the team as well. Second-year forward and last year’s first round pick, and arguably along with Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell the surprise of the draft, Collins will be playing in a consecutive Summer League.
Collins opened some eyes last year with his summer performance, in particular his rim runs and dunking ability. After another season in France’s top league, Kabba, the 60th and last pick of the 2017 draft (and last draft under current Milwaukee Bucks head coach and former Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer), will also be playing on the summer squad along with 2017 second round pick Tyler Dorsey, third-year player DeAndre Bembry, Antonius Cleveland and Jaylen Morris. Both Cleveland and Morris joined the Hawks late last season and showed enough promise in spot duty to warrant a chance to make the 2018-19 roster.
Undrafted players Zach Smith, a 6-8 forward from Texas Tech who might have been drafted if he came out following a promising junior season but came back to campus for what was an injury-plaqued senior year, Brandon Sampson, 5-5 Mt. St. Mary’s guard Junior Robinson, Jaylen Adams and Zach LeDay, who played in Israel last season, are all scheduled to join the summer league teams as well.
The Utah Summer League will have the Hawks open against Memphis on July 2 before playing San Antonio a day later and the host Jazz on July 5.
The Las Vegas Summer League, taking place at both Cox Pavilion and at the Thomas and Mack Center will begin on Sat., July 7 with the Hawks playing the Knicks summer squad followed by games against Portland and Chicago. The playoffs will start on Wed., July 11.
ESPN and NBA TV will broadcast all Summer League games.