The NBA Summer League has been gaining popularity over the years, but some teams think that its tournament portion should be scrapped.
Per Keith Smith, a coach said that the tournament portion of the Summer League ‘does nothing’ for them.
One note from Summer League: A lot of teams would prefer to do 5-6 guaranteed games each and completely scrap the tournament portion of SL. One coach told me: “We just want to be out after the regular schedule. The tournament does nothing for us. We won’t play our rostered guys.”
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 12, 2019
This year’s Summer League featured all 30 NBA Teams as well as the Chinese and Croatian men’s basketball team. Per Summer League rules, only the top eight teams will qualify for the single-elimination tournament. The 24 remaining teams, meanwhile, play in a consolation game on either July 12 or 13.
This offseason League has seen the performances of former top prospects such as Blake Griffin Damian Lillard, John Wall, among others — all of which have turned out to become superstars. As such, fans have flocked to watch the summer tourney to see who’s the next big thing. Apart from which, it has been seen as a great platform for young players to develop their game and slowly adjust to the high-level brand of basketball in the NBA.
A big problem, though, for this part of the NBA calendar is the injuries which have cropped up and bitten high-profile players. Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans has been a Summer League casualty. Michael Porter, Jr., dropped out of the summer slate due to injury concerns. Caution about handling young players has led teams to wisely step away from playing some of their more important new assets. It raises legitimate questions about the structure of the league.
Not everyone is in agreement on how the league schedule should be arranged. As the coach said, they don’t intend to play their rostered guys. These players are usually the team’s top lottery picks. As valued assets, inserting them into a game that has little bearing on a team’s larger fortunes would pose a risk.
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