With the 2018 NBA Draft in the rearview mirror and free agency beginning July 1, the Los Angeles Lakers and other teams are also preparing for the start of Summer League. For the Lakers, action tips off with the California Classic Summer League in Sacramento.
Beginning Monday, the Golden State Warriors, Kings, Lakers and Miami Heat will be part of doubleheaders at Golden 1 Center over three consecutive days. The quartet will then send their respective teams to the desert for the annual Las Vegas Summer League.
This year marks the first time in NBA history that all teams are participating in the annual Las Vegas exhibition schedule.
The Lakers announced a 14-player Summer League roster that includes this year’s draft picks, Moritz Wagner and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, along with members of the 2017 draft class.
Included in that is Thomas Bryant, who might miss the Lakers’ first game on Monday because of a sprained ankle suffered in practice, per Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet:
Lakers PF/C Thomas Bryant sprained his left ankle at today’s summer-league practice.
It’s unclear if he’ll be ready for Monday’s summer-League opener in Sacramento.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) June 29, 2018
Bryant, who was selected 42nd overall in the 2017 Draft, spent the bulk of this past season playing in the G League for the South Bay Lakers. In 37 games (35 starts), he averaged 19.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists, while shooting 59.5 percent from the field and 36.4 percent behind the arc.
Bryant appeared in 15 games for the Lakers, though was used sparingly. He logged a career-high 18 minutes in the team’s season finale against the Clippers.
If the 20-year-old does miss Monday’s game, he presumably will still see the court at some point during either of the Summer Leagues. A strong showing could prove key for Bryant possibly cracking the rotation this season.
“With Thomas, the biggest thing is defensively, being able to switch onto guards because the game is changing,” said Lakers assistant coach Miles Simon, who will lead the Summer League roster.
“You saw throughout the NBA playoffs, all the switching that goes on. So, can he stay in front of guards and contain them? And run the floor, be a factor in the paint.”
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