While the unpredictable storm that is NBA Free agency continues to rage on throughout the league with nearly every headline either hypothesizing about Kawhi Leonard or poking fun at the New York Knicks, the NBA Summer league begins this week with plenty entertaining headlines of its own likely to arrive.

Although the league’s top stars refrain from participating apart this summer tournament, rookies and second–year players log the most minutes as they prepare to elevate their play to the NBA level over the summer. Most notably, this crowd included New Orleans Pelicans phenom, Zion Williamson. Former Duke teammate R. J. Barret, Ja Morant, Bol Bol, and Coby White round out the rookie class alongside Williamson as likely candidates to put on a show, as most expect this draft class’s stars to take the league by storm. Today’s top players such as LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, and countless others all began their careers after stepping into the summer league to sharpen their skills, which Williamson and co. will now look to do.

 

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Congrats to #NBASummer League alum @giannis_an34 on being named #KiaMVP

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Players outside this year’s draft class add into the mix as well. Michael Porter Jrexpressed his excitement to suit up after missing last year’s entire season as he stated, “I feel good. I just can’t wait to test myself in a real game.” Despite his inexperience, Porter remains an intriguing player with great talent… talent which warranted his selection at 14th overall during the 2018 NBA Draft even with an injury set to sideline him all season.

Aside from younger players, the summer league this year also includes fan favorite and veteran point guard Jimmer Fredette. Fredette frequently hops between the NBA and foreign leagues, as although his deep three–point shooting skills always excites fans, his overall lackluster talents restrain him as simply expendable, borderline NBA player. The 30–year old currently remains unsigned to a team as he looks earn himself an NBA contract during the tournament this summer.

The league will continue with a regular season type format as teams look to build up their records before entering into a bracket for a single–game elimination tournament, and eventually crowing a summer league champion. The New York Knicks hold the best odds to win the contest, at 10-1.

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