It’s that time of the year again—the NBA Summer League is back in action. This is the part of the summer where the finals are over, the NFL season hasn’t begun yet, and MLB is essentially the last thing to watch for sports fans. With that, sometimes we put too much strain on the summer league and the players that perform in it.
It’s exciting for sure—we get to see top draft picks finally play against some pro players. However, there’s some ups and downs that come with the summer league.
Pro: We see hometown heroes play on television
Not everybody makes it to the NBA. And when players that come from a small town or city gets signed to a summer league, the people back home get excited. Guys that went undrafted get their chance to play on tv as a pro player. It’s an exciting time. Young guys and other players that came from overseas finally get their chance to impress scouts.
Cons: Not everybody makes it
With that, it’s worth noting that not everyone can make it to the NBA regular season. Most of the time guys are signed to the summer league to fill up the roster. Most times teams already know their roster. The eyes are set on the high prospects out of college and not the guys from a random league in France. The storylines are certainly there for entertainment, but for most players, this is the closest they’ll get to a NBA jersey.
Pros: Top prospects get to shine
Over the years, the NBA Summer League has gotten more and more coverage. John Wall, Zion Williamson, and now Chet Holmgren all get the shine in the summer. No longer we have to see them in a college system running plays against some players who will never play professionally. It’s our first look at what they can really do against grown men.
Cons: The hype isn’t always real
Plenty of times we’ve seen guys show out in the summer league but do nothing during the regular season. Players create hype during these summer months. ESPN is going to play highlights from games and get excitement surrounded by guys that don’t deserve it. Sometimes fans get too excited about these games because there’s no other men’s basketball going on. It’s easier to drop 30 on a undrafted guy out of Israel than it is a 6’8 all-star during a NBA season.