A year ago, the Utah Jazz first got a whiff of Donovan Mitchell’s potential — not in October, but in July.
The Utah Summer League returns July 2-5, bringing the next round of NBA talent to Salt Lake City for first impressions.
Some of the participants have changed: The Atlanta Hawks and the Memphis Grizzlies will be joining the San Antonio Spurs and the Jazz for the annual round- robin format, spread over three days of competition with a break on July 4. The venue is also different. After two years at the Huntsman Center, the teams will play in Vivint Smart Home Arena, which underwent renovations last summer.
One of the main draws of Summer League — getting to see top draft picks in NBA uniform for the first time — will remain.
The Hawks own the third overall pick, and the Grizzlies have the fourth. The four teams currently host six first-round draft picks, with Atlanta boasting three.
In past years, Ben Simmons, Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum, Dante Exum and Mitchell have played Summer League games after being drafted.
“It’s an opportunity for NBA in the summer here,” Utah Summer League president Jonathan Rinehart said. “But it’s also a chance to see the stars of the future, the stars of tomorrow.”
Each night has a 5 p.m. and a 7 p.m. scheduled game, and the Jazz will play the later game each night.
The Jazz are selling tickets starting at $8 for one day, or $15 for all three days. The fan activities also will include a Fan Fest each day on the arena plaza, as well as a three-on-three tournament on July 2 across the street from the arena.
“We’re excited to host the teams and league executives who don’t normally come here, and give the fans a chance to see some basketball,” Rinehart said. “It’s a great showcase opportunity for Salt Lake City and the State of Utah, and it’s very affordable.”
Utah Summer League is one of three such events throughout the NBA. In addition to the NBA’s main Summer League in Las Vegas, the Sacramento Kings are hosting a Summer League this year. Summer League in Orlando has been discontinued.