It’s summer time and nothing says 4th of July like basketball indoors, am I right? The grill is fired up, the fireworks are displayed, the Busch Lights are on ice, and our former Cyclones are fighting for their professional lives in Las Vegas or Salt Lake City. With free agency dominating the sports landscape, it’s easy to lose track of the live action. So while we can only watch our favorite baseball teams stink it up so much, and so much oxygen can be taken up by where Kawhi Leonard’s private jet is flying, now is a great time to check in on the NBA summer league and what our former friends are up to.
Naz Mitrou-Long (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Another year and another new squad for Mitrou-Long. The former Jazz guard’s 2 way contract is done, but he was quickly scooped up by the Cavs. Thankfully, Naz didn’t have to pack up his Salt Lake City apartment just yet, as his summer started right where he’s been. The Cavs were beaten by the Spurs 97-89 in the opener on Monday. Mitrou-Long finished 2nd on the team in scoring, pouring in 16 points but struggling to find his shot, as he only made 6-16 field goals and was 2-8 from 3.
Things looked much better on night 2. Naz led the Cavs with 17 points on 7-14 shooting. That’s the only positive outcome from this game as the Cavs were beaten down by the Jazz 86-71. His form still looks as good as it does in Travis Ford’s nightmares.
Salt Lake City summer league concludes for Naz and the Cavs on July 3rd with a matchup against the Grizzlies. From there, it’s off to Vegas starting July 5th against the Timberwolves where he should be joined by #5 overall draft pick Darius Garland. That game will be on NBATV at 4:00 CST.
Nick Weiler-Babb (Miami Heat)
NWB’s NBA journey began on Monday night in the California Classic when the Miami Heat beat up on the Lakers 106-79. Babb did not start but played 23 minutes and scored 11 points. Encouragingly, he knocked down 3 of 5 3 point shots. True to his stuff-the-stat-sheet form, he also picked up 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal.
On night 2, Babb started and played 33 minutes in a nail-biting 89-88 win over the Kings. The efficient play continued by making 3 of 5 shots, with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. The California sweep ended on Wednesday with Babb scoring 9 points with 6 rebounds against the Warriors. Miami is off to Vegas where they’ll play Team China on July 5th at 4:30 central on ESPNU.
Marial Shayok (Philadelphia 76ers)
The surprise Sixers draftee will start summer league play in Las Vegas on July 5th against the Milwaukee Bucks on ESPN2. He’ll be fighting for a 2-way contract over the next couple of weeks.
Lindell Wigginton (Toronto Raptors)
Lindell will get to represent his home country for the defending NBA champions. The Raptors open summer league play late Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors. That game will be televised on ESPN. Lindell will need to shoot the ball well to maintain his spot with the Raptors. His athleticism is sure to impress regardless.
Cam Lard (Orlando Magic)
Cam’s summer ball starts on July 5th as the Magic play the Spurs in Las Vegas. The big man will hopefully be able to impress the staff enough to earn a spot in the G League this fall.
Talen Horton-Tucker hasn’t played for the Lakers yet as he recovers from a stress fracture in his foot. It’s unknown if we’ll see him this summer but at this point the Lakers may want to wrap him in bubble wrap as they’ll need all the warm bodies they can find to fill out their roster.