Las Vegas Summer League is the time to see how the youngsters of each competing team fare when pitted against each other. This year, the NBA has issued a change in format that will give birth to the first ever Summer League Champion. In the past, Summer League has been merely a series of scrimmages, finishing with the selection of an MVP (Damian Lillard won last year, in a tie with Josh Selby).
The new format will include preliminary face-offs to establish tournament seeding, according to the Blazers’ press release:
The Portland Trail Blazers will tip-off their 2013 NBA Summer League schedule on Saturday, July 13, against the Phoenix Suns at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, it was announced today by the NBA.
This summer’s event will feature the debut of a tournament style schedule on the campus of University of Nevada Las Vegas that will crown the first ever NBA Summer League Champion on Monday, July 22. Twenty-two teams will compete in three preliminary round games from July 12-16, before being seeded in a tournament running through the Championship Game on July 22. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games.
Following the July 13 game against the Suns (5:30 PM), Portland will play the Los Angeles Lakers at the Thomas & Mack Center on Sunday, July 14 (3:30 PM), completing the preliminary round Tuesday, July 16 vs. the Chicago Bulls at the COX Pavilion (5 PM).
More succinctly, the Blazers’ preliminary schedule is as follows:
|July 13th||Phoenix Suns||5:30 PM|
|July 14th||Los Angeles Lakers||3:30 PM|
|July 16th||Chicago Bulls||5:00 PM|
The results of these matchups will determine where the Blazers are seeded in the first ever Summer League tournament. Blazers expected to participate include Will Barton, Victor Claver, Joel Freeland, and Meyers Leonard. It will be a good measure of how far they have come in their training since the end of the 2012-2013 season.
Should Elliot Williams remain with the Blazers, he has also expressed an interest in participating.
The list of all 22 participating teams, as well as the full Las Vegas Summer League schedule, can be found here.