Catching up with: Hoosiers in the Summer League

A handful of Hoosiers are aiming to impress this month in the NBA Summer League.

The Las Vegas leg of NBA summer ball, which tips off Friday and runs through July 17, is where the bulk of former Indiana players will see their action.

Here’s a look at who’s playing:

James Blackmon Jr. (Philadelphia 76ers)
Blackmon’s stint began Wednesday in the Utah Jazz Summer League, where he scored eight points in 19 minutes off the bench in Philadelphia’s 100-94 loss to Utah.

The former IU guard made three of his six field goal attempts, while going 1-for-3 from 3-point range. Blackmon also connected on one of his three free throw attempts, grabbed four rebounds and committed two turnovers.

Although Blackmon appears to be a long shot to make Philadelphia’s roster, this summer can serve as an extended audition for him to prove his value as a shooter on an NBA — and G-League — bench.

Philadelphia closes the Utah Summer League on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET against San Antonio. The 76ers begin play in Las Vegas on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. against the Golden State Warriors.

Thomas Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
There are no guarantees that Bryant begins next season on the NBA bench in Los Angeles, but this month is his first chance to make a case.

Bryant is one of three centers on the Lakers’ summer roster, joining Ivica Zubac, who played 38 games for Los Angeles last season, and Alec Brown, a rookie from Green Bay.

The Lakers begin the summer against the Clippers on Friday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Yogi Ferrell (Dallas Mavericks)
The former IU All-American demonstrated his value as an NBA point guard during an impressive rookie season. Now, he’ll share summer point duties with Dallas’ first-round pick, Dennis Smith.

This month will be a preview of how the Mavericks’ backcourt will play out next season. After using the ninth overall pick to land Smith, Dallas will be grooming him to become a starter in the near future. By the end of this past season, that job belonged to Ferrell, who earned NBA All-Rookie second team honors and recently had his $1.3 million option picked up for next year.

See how Ferrell fares on and off the ball this summer when Dallas begins its Vegas schedule against Chicago on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on NBA TV.

Troy Williams (Houston Rockets)
Williams appeared in 30 regular season games last year, including six for Houston. The athletic wing had a great debut for the Rockets, pouring in 21 points and hitting six of his nine 3-point shots in an April 2 win at Phoenix.

Williams spent last summer with the Suns, closing his stint in Vegas with a strong three-game run that ultimately earned him a partially-guaranteed deal with Memphis.

This summer should be viewed as another audition for Williams, a restricted free agent. Any team can sign Williams, though Houston will have a chance to match.

The Rockets begin their Vegas schedule against the Denver Nuggets on Friday at 10 p.m. on NBA TV.

Will Sheehey (Toronto Raptors)
Sheehey has bounced around since leaving Indiana in 2014. He’s played in Montenegro and France, and has also found temporary homes in the NBA D League — now called the G League.

Last season for Toronto’s affiliate, Raptors 905, Sheehey appeared in 38 regular season games and averaged 10.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and two assists per game.

Toronto begins play in Vegas on Friday at 6 p.m. against New Orleans.

OG Anunoby (Toronto Raptors)
Although officially listed on Toronto’s roster, Anunoby is not expected to play this summer while he continues to recover from season-ending knee surgery.

One comment

  1. Oh, the struggles of unofficial roster spot millionaires…..Play some YMCA ball in Vegas and cash the checks.

    Our ‘Sweet 16 League’ Hoosiers never knowing how to heat up in March now delight in being the hottest commodity in a town of sinful pleasures and scorching sun….Guess they got to heat up somewhere.

    If only a banner could guarantee a 13 million check for all on a boring college basketball roster to share? Maybe winning one would mean something again…?

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