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.

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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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July 22, 2018 | 12:15 pm EDT Update
What does the late Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss have to do with LeBron James joining his team in 2018? The query sounds like a trick question, but a new story has come to light that makes it seem as though Dr. Buss was the one to kickstart the Lakers’ eventual pursuit and signing of their now-superstar all the way back in 2010. The Lakers didn’t have nearly enough cap space then to actually be a serious threat to sign James. But according to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times, Buss was thinking beyond that: Buss thought about calling James anyway. Over lunch with his kids, he mentioned the idea, offhandedly. “It’d be good to know that guy,” his son Joey recalled him saying.
One colleague during that period was Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who was an assistant with the Cavaliers from 2005-10. Impressed with Fernandez’s development in the organization, Malone hired Fernandez as an assistant coach in 2016. “He gets his foot in the door,” Malone said of Fernandez, “and he’s going to find a way to continue to fill gaps and do things that are necessary for the team and the staff to move forward.”
Now, the 35-year-old Fernandez is regarded as an up-and-comer in his field, perhaps a future NBA head coach. There are two primary reasons why. One, he has a thirst for knowledge. And two, as one former boss said, he’s the ultimate “people coach.” “He’s been around Hall of Famers, but he’s also been around the last guys in the G League,” said Mike Gansey, the Cavaliers’ assistant general manager. “Whoever walks through that door, he can relate to them … he’s either watched it, lived it or seen it. That’s why he’s so valuable. “He gives more than basketball. That’s why I think our guys got so much better and people liked him so much … He could read people and knew when he had to get on them and when not (to) and how to treat them to get the most out of them.”
July 22, 2018 | 5:42 am EDT Update
The Thunder, Hawks and Sixers agreed on a deal that involves sending Anthony to the Hawks, and the Hawks plan to buy out Anthony, per USA TODAY Sports. It’s reported that the Rockets are the favorites to sign Anthony once that happens. Morey was asked, “So are we for sure getting Carmelo Anthony?” He responded, “In the mix.” Morey also said, “Yes,” as a reply to, “Does Daryl still have something up his sleeve?”
Storyline: Carmelo Anthony Free Agency
“It would be a great acquisition for us,” said Harden, who did run into Anthony at Paris Fashion Week last month when Harden was making the rounds with teammate P.J. Tucker. “Melo’s a proven vet. He just wants to win at this point, so it would be great for him to be on our team. The current roster we have now, we’ve got good guys back and we keep making forward progress.”