The Los Angeles Lakers expect to unofficially headline the 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas for the third year running.
In what has become an annual summer spectacle, the first half of July attracts a healthy audience of Lakers' supporters to the middle of the desert for a showcase of the NBA's future stars.
The Lakers have the no. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, which most experts expect to be Lonzo Ball. Josh Jackson, De'Aaron Fox and Markelle Fultz appear to be the three other possible selections with the pick, but regardless of who the Lakers take, the Summer League is the first opportunity to see the newest young Lakers' star on a basketball court.
The Summer League will tip-off on Friday, July 7, and the Lakers will take on the LA Clippers on opening night at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.
Then, on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time, the Lakers face the Boston Celtics in a match up that should place the no. 1 and no. 2 picks of the 2017 NBA Draft head-to-head for the first time. Over the past couple of seasons, the Saturday night showdown of the top two picks in the draft has led to growing crowds and even the upper rafters being forced open due to high demand. It's open seating, so fans would be wise to arrive early for this game.
Traditionally, only rookies and sophomores take part in the Summer League, so Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac and David Nwaba expect to be the only three returning players on the Lakers' Summer League roster, though the team should be further filled out by the no. 2 and no. 28 picks of the 2017 NBA Draft.
After the Friday and Saturday games, the Lakers will have Sunday off with a late 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time tip-off against Sacramento on Monday. From there, the tournament goes into tournament seeding, with each team guaranteed at least five games for the tournament, which runs from July 7 to July 17.