The Los Angeles Lakers have become a staple team at the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League through the years.
Sin City served as the primary stage for incoming rookies and G League players to debut their skill set. However, the Sacramento Kings started their own summer tradition with the California Classic back in 2018.
The Lakers have taken part in each classic since it started with the exception of last year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Fortunately, it appears they will now be making their return.
According to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, the Purple and Gold are going to take part in the 3rd annual California Classic:
The Sacramento Kings will host the 3rd annual California Classic Summer League on August 3-4, sources tell @TheUndefeated. Returning to the Classic will be the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat, joining the Kings for the two-day event.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) July 8, 2021
The Lakers will be joining the Kings, Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors in this year’s festivities. The exhibition tournament will begin on August 3.
It remains to be seen who exactly from the organization will be taking part in the action. L.A. has long shifted gears toward title contention upon the arrival of LeBron James and now mostly consists of veteran players.
Of course, the Lakers are not too far removed from the time they boasted one of the most promising young cores in the league. Players like Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson have gone on to become All-Star players in their own right.
Depending on what L.A. opts to do with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, this could very well be the first time fans get to see their newest rookie. Even if it is a later pick, all eyes will be on whether or not the young prospect is NBA-ready.
Following the California Classic, the Lakers will go to Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League. The rosters for both events will be revealed after the draft on July 29.
NBA Las Vegas Summer League returns in earnest
With L.A. taking part in the California Classic, they are going to experience a short turnaround with the Las Vegas Summer League beginning on August 8. All 30 teams will play five games and will culminate with a championship game on Aug. 17.
Unlike last year, the Lakers’ young prospects will have ample opportunities to make their presence felt.