With this little thing called NBA free agency going on, and the news that the Jazz are further revamping their roster with the addition of former Pacers sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic, you could be forgiven if it slipped your mind that summer league play gets started Monday.
The newly rebranded Salt Lake City Summer League will be a three-day, four-team, six-game event taking place at Vivint Smart Home Arena. There will be two games nightly (at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.) on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Tickets are $9 for each day’s double-session.
The event will also feature entries from the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Memphis Grizzlies.
Utah’s team won’t feature any big-time rookies or roster additions this year, but that doesn’t mean the roster isn’t without intrigue.
With Derrick Favors on his way out now, there would seem to be some minutes available for a big man. Can former first-rounder Tony Bradley, now entering his third season with the team, finally make a leap? Can former G League draft No. 1 selection Willie Reed fulfill his dream of landing consistently on an NBA roster?
Meanwhile, with multiple bench pieces shipped out in the still-not-official-yet Mike Conley trade, there would seem to be a chance for the Jazz’s trio of second-round picks — Jarrell Brantley, Justin Wright-Foreman, and Mite Oni — to potentially carve out some minutes.
Jazz assistant coach Lamar Skeeter, who is heading up the summer league roster, is eager to see the players prove they have what it takes to make it with the Jazz.
“We’ll see when [Monday] comes,” Skeeter said. “We’ve had a great few days of practices, guys are engaged, guys are competing, playing the right way. Everything’s been pretty good. It’s about taking that from practice and translating it to the game.”
Bradley is eager to show that, after being largely relegated to the G League affiliate Salt Lake City Stars his first two professional seasons, that he is ready to be on the main roster full-time.
He said he’s been reshaping his body, and is eager to prove that he’s taken a step forward.
“I wanna be aggressive. Let that speak for itself,” Bradley said. “I really can’t tell you what I’m going to do. But I can promise you, I’m just going to try my best.”
As for the rookies, Skeeter said that while they’ve been trying to get used to going from playing for smaller schools to trying to make it to the NBA, he’s been happy with what he’s seen after three days of practice.
“The first couple days is always an adjustment — new terminology, new system, new philosophy. So there’s an adjustment phase for ’em,” he said. “But they’re all picking things up quickly, and they’re all unselfish, which is perfect for us and the way we wanna play.”
SLC SUMMER LEAGUE SCHEDULE
All games at Vivint Smart Home Arena
Tickets are $9 for each day’s double-session; available via Ticketmaster.com
Monday • Spurs vs. Cavaliers, 5 p.m.; Grizzlies vs. Jazz, 7 p.m.
Tuesday • Spurs vs. Grizzlies, 5 p.m., Cavaliers vs. Jazz, 7 p.m.
Wednesday • Cavaliers vs. Grizzlies, 5 p.m.; Spurs vs. Jazz, 7 p.m.