Yes, free agency is in full swing and the NBA Draft happened just a week ago. And yet here we are, with the brief Utah and Sacramento Summer Leagues beginning tonight. Four games are on the schedule – the first live NBA action in 24 days, since the Warriors swept the Cavs – and we’ve got some insight on where to place your money. These three odds come from 888sport.
The Hawks were busy on draft night, dealing two times and making three picks in the first round. Two of those picks will all be in action tonight, headlined by Oklahoma guard Trae Young and Villanova center Omari Spellman. 2017 draftees John Collins and Tyler Dorsey are also playing and give Atlanta a surplus of talent; Collins averaged 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 74 games as a rookie. He should dominate in this setting, and Dorsey averaged 10.7 points in 24.2 minutes after the All-Star break. This is a talented Summer League squad.
On the other side the Grizzlies are led by No. 4 overall pick Jaren Jackson Jr., who reportedly has been turning heads in camp. He’s joined by Deyonta Davis, who showed flashes in his second NBA season a year ago. They also have NBA-experienced guards in Kobi Simmons and Wayne Selden Jr., who both figure to match up with Young.
This feels like the kind of setting Young, the first player in NCAA history to lead the country in point and assists, will thrive in. He was widely scrutinized during the pre-draft process and will want to make a statement early. Combine Young with Collins, the best player on the floor, and we like the Hawks to roll in the first game of the summer.
It’s safe to say Jordan Bell will be the first player to participate in the Summer League after logging significant minutes in the NBA Finals. The Warriors also have NBAer Damian Jones and first-round pick Jacob Evans ready to roll. Kendrick Nunn will also play for Golden State, and he could thrive in a setting after averaging 25.9 points and 4.5 3-pointers per game in his senior year at Oakland.
The Heat will counter with a solid big of their own in first-year center Bam Adebayo. He was stellar in a limited role for Miami as a rookie and could be in line for a major role if Hassan Whiteside is dealt. He’ll be the focal point of the Summer League team, as will guards Derrick Jones Jr. and Rashad Vaughn, both of whom have NBA experience.
These are two of the better Summer League rosters, and Bell vs. Adebayo will be a joy to watch. We’ll go with the Warriors here. Evans and Nunn will be difficult covers, and Bell was guarding LeBron James less than 4 weeks ago.
Playing at “home” as its advantages, and so does the stellar lineup the Jazz will put out this summer. It starts with Grayson Allen, the No. 21 pick in the draft who should step in right away and contribute. The senior should acclimate right away with a pair of bigs who starred in the G-League last season. 2017 first-round pick Tony Bradley and stretch forwards in Georges Niang and Naz Long give Utah offensive threats all over the floor.
The Spurs will get to show off two-way guard Lonnie Walker for the first time. The No. 18 pick will pair with last year’s first-round pick Derrick White in the backcourt, giving San Antonio a pair of lockdown athletic defenders.
The Jazz look like the play here. Allen won’t be fazed in his professional debut and Utah’s versatility in the frontcourt should give the Spurs fits. Give the points here.