Storyline: Summer League Rosters

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These are the real boys of summer, the grinders using the 12-day audition in the desert to impress NBA executives enough to earn the honor of an invitation to training camp. Take Cooley, 27, the unofficial dean of NBA Summer League stars. This is Cooley’s sixth stint in Vegas. He’s a member of the Phoenix Suns now, a teammate of Ayton’s. Before that he was a Sacramento King, setting screens for De’Aaron Fox, and before that a Cleveland Cavalier, throwing outlet passes to Andrew Wiggins. For Cooley, this was never a dream. In 2009, he chose Notre Dame, not for a springboard to the NBA, but because it had a top business school. “I used basketball to get the best education,” Cooley said.

There’s Justin Harper, with the New York Knicks. Casper Ware, with the Portland Trail Blazers. Brady Heslip with the Memphis Grizzlies. There are no paychecks for playing in Summer League. There’s per diem, around $100 per day. There’s a hotel room, two-hour practices, daily bus rides and no guarantee of playing time. “It’s a grind, man,” Machado said. “Every time you come out to Summer League, everyone is trying to prove themselves. Me, trying to facilitate, sometimes you overthink it. Every time you come back, you think, ‘Man I did this already.’ It’s a constant grind and constant pressure you put on yourself.”

As Summer League winds down, most of the boys of summer will disperse. Some will sign on with G League teams, to maximize exposure. Others will ink European contracts, where the money is better. They will ride buses to small towns in the U.S. or live in isolation in far-flung cities around the world. They will do it, and they will hope for an invitation back to Las Vegas next summer, for the opportunity to impress once again. “There’s only about 1% of me that thinks about not playing,” Cooley said. “This life is pretty intense. But I love it, I’m glad it’s not easy. Not playing would be a terrible itch that I wouldn’t be able to scratch. I know once the time comes, I will definitely be a part of the game, because I’ll go crazy if I go cold-turkey out of basketball. But right now, I’m a player. The body of work I have put together has caused a pretty good stir here. I believe I’m an NBA player. I believe I can play in the league for a long time.”

Jovan Buha: The Clippers announced their Las Vegas Summer League roster, which notably includes Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jerome Robinson, Sindarius Thornwell, Jawun Evans and Angel Delgado (two-way). Clippers begin summer league against the Warriors on Friday, July 6.

Harrison Wind: As expected, draft picks Michael Porter Jr and Jarred Vanderbilt will not play at Summer League for the Nuggets. Here’s the team’s full roster including 2017 draft-and-stash Vlatko Cancar, who’s playing for Slovenia in 2019 World Cup qualifiers right now.

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday their rookie/free agent camp roster. Highlighting the roster are 2018 first-round pick Aaron Holiday from UCLA and second-round pick Alize Johnson from Missouri State, as well as returning players TJ Leaf, Ben Moore, Alex Poythress, and Edmond Sumner.

Kristian Winfield: Nets Summer League roster includes Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen and rookies Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs. Assistant coach Jacque Vaughn will be head coach during Summer League. Kenny Atkinson coached last season.

Josh Lewenberg: Raptors announce their Summer League roster, which includes OG Anunoby, Alfonzo McKinnie, Malachi Richardson, Malcolm Miller and Canadian Chris Boucher. Nick Nurse will coach. pic.twitter.com/JgV5ksCsdA

The Charlotte Hornets announced today the 19-man roster for the team’s mini-camp beginning July 2 in advance of the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018 in Las Vegas. The team’s full mini-camp roster is listed below. The four-day mini-camp will take place at the Novant Health Training Center inside Spectrum Center from Monday, July 2 through Thursday, July 5. Hornets Head Coach James Borrego and players participating in the mini-camp will be available to the media after the first practice each day.

Former Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball star Shawn Long became the second alum to earn an invitation to the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League when he selected by the Chicago Bulls in an announcement Wednesday. The Morgan City native and member of the 2015 U.S. Pan American Men’s Basketball Team, will join former UL great Jay Wright in the Summer League. Wright, a three-year letterwinner for the Ragin’ Cajuns, earned an invitation Tuesday with the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

After finishing off the 2017-18 season with the Memphis Grizzlies, Omari Johnson will play for the Golden State Warriors during NBA Summer League, RidiculousUpside.com has learned. This news comes just two days after the Grizzlies waived him. The 28 year old received a late season NBA call-up (the first of his career) and appeared in four April contests for the big league club. He spent most of the campaign playing for the G League affiliate Memphis Hustle, averaging 16.5 points on 46% from the field and 42% from deep to go with 6.4 rebounds. He provided an invaluable veteran presence for a young and scrappy squad full of up and comers.
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April 24, 2019 | 12:06 pm EDT Update
Following successful contested jump shots over Lillard, Westbrook would occasionally trot back on defense making the “rock the baby” gesture. For Lillard, it was not warranted, but he didn’t view it as crossing the line. “He was doing that on jump shots,” Lillard told Yahoo Sports. “That’s not when you’re supposed to rock the baby. You rock the baby after overpowering someone in the post. He had one layup in the post on me. Look it up. I’ll live with his jump shots. He wasn’t rocking no baby on me.”
After Westbrook scores on a player, he often gets animated, shouting and showing up opponents, and this series was no exception. “I’m not even paying attention to it,” Lillard told Yahoo Sports. “But when I do see it, that’s cool. He does it every game, so it doesn’t bother me. I don’t celebrate in someone’s face and try to disrespect my opponent. But if a team calls a timeout, I’ll go acknowledge the crowd and celebrate with my teammates as I’m going to the bench. I’m not going to say some wild s—. I think with him, he’s pounding his chest and talking s— and that’s what gets him going. That’s the difference between us.”
Westbrook was clearly overmatched in the series and often played into the Trail Blazers’ game plan by attempting so many jumpers. Lillard, who is perhaps the best point guard in the league not named Stephen Curry, said he wanted to dominate his position, but he never wanted to go outside of the team’s scheme to outplay Westbrook. “I took it personal from the jump, but not in the sense of a one-on-one battle with Russ,” he told Yahoo Sports. “Throughout the series, I never bought into the discussion of what people on the outside were saying about our so-called beef. It was never personal with me. I wasn’t going to come down and try to match him shot for shot. I was trying to win. And it’s not hard because it’s OK to embrace the battle. But I wasn’t emotional about it. It’s cool because I know the game is still going to be the game regardless of what he’s saying or doing. My team needs me to keep my cool and lead the right way. Nothing was going to get in the way of that.”