Who cares about summer league right now, right?
Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. Just peruse the information provided at your leisure and file it away for a later date, then you can get back to cloud nine.
The Thunder will again compete in the Orlando Summer League. It’s being held this year from July 9-13. The event is hosted by the Orlando Magic, and joining the Magic and Thunder will be the newly relocated Brooklyn Nets along with Boston, Indiana, Detroit, Philadelphia and Utah.
Six out of the eight teams competing in Orlando made the playoffs. One of the remaining two, Brooklyn, foolishly forfeited what turned out to be the No. 6 overall pick for Gerald Wallace. (Joke’s on me if the Nets land Dwight Howard). But all that to say, this year’s crop of youngins in Orlando won’t be the most decorated that we’ve seen. The Pistons, who select ninth in this year’s draft, are the only team that will bring a lottery pick to Orlando.
But when it comes to summer league, the prized rookies are a distant second to Thunder heads, right? You want to see how the young guns on your team are developing. This year, both Cole Aldrich and Reggie Jackson are pretty much locks to compete. Aldrich is probably No. 2 on the depth chart at center next year, so this is an important summer for him. Jackson, meanwhile, could use some summer competition to boost his confidence. Who knows where it stands after Derek Fisher came in and took his job? Also, keep in mind that the Thunder might not be able to hang onto Eric Maynor much longer. Jackson is now being groomed for the primary backup spot behind Russell Westbrook whether you like it or not. So it’s a big week for him as well.
Other candidates to compete are Tibor Pleiss, the 31st overall selection in 2010 who the Thunder acquired in a draft-night trade. There is still no word on when Pleiss will make the transition to the NBA, but the folks over in Germany seem to think he’s a goner. Also, old friend of the program Latavious Williams is a possibility. Williams tore it up over in Spain this year while playing with Joventut, proving himself ready for a spot in the NBA. Williams was the 48th overall pick in 2010 and also was acquired by the Thunder in a draft-night trade. With Nazr Mohammed and Derek Fisher unlikely to return, Pleiss and Williams are two likely candidates to land on the roster next season so we’ll have to see what happens with them.
As for the schedule, if you’re planning on tuning in via live stream again this year — if the Magic make it available again this year — you couldn’t have asked for a better slate. The Thunder is playing at noon central Monday through Thursday before wrapping up with a 7 a.m. central tip on Friday. That last day is sometimes a day of rest for the main guys, so you might not be missing much if you don’t want to wake up early and wash your breakfast down with basketball. But the first four contests are perfect. You can watch ball from your desk on your lunch break. Does it get any better?
THE THUNDER SCHEDULE AT THE ORLAND SUMMER LEAGUE
Monday, July 9 vs. Boston 12 p.m.
Tuesday, July 10 vs. Indiana 12 p.m.
Wednesday, July 11 vs. Detroit 12 p.m.
Thursday, July 12 vs. Brooklyn 12 p.m.
Friday, July 13 vs. Utah 7 a.m.