LAS VEGAS, Nev. —
Friday marks the start of the 2019 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where several heralded rookies will be making their professional debuts.
Without question, the game of the night features the New Orleans Pelicans facing off against the New York Knicks at 6:30 p.m. Pacific. Former Duke University stars Zion Williamson (2019 no. 1 overall pick by New Orleans) and R.J. Barrett (2019 no. 3 overall pick by New York) will start their hyped careers in front of a sold-out Thomas and Mack Center.
Riding Zion Williamson excitement, Las Vegas Summer League has sold out 17,500 seats for Friday's Pelicans vs. Knicks.— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) July 5, 2019
- General admission day passes are being scalped for $80.
- Lower bowl tickets re-selling for $400+.
- 1,000 media credentials have been issued, a new record. pic.twitter.com/DdGHxTgI02
The two former Blue Devils aren't the only rookies looking to show out. Coby White (no. 7 pick by the Chicago Bulls), Rui Hachimura (no. 9 pick by the Washington Wizards) and Tyler Herro (no. 13 pick by the Miami Heat) will also be playing in Vegas.
Five other top rookies are expected to make their debuts at some point during the summer league festivities. Ja Morant, the no. 2 pick by the Memphis Grizzlies, is recovering from knee surgery and could play at some point.
Four players were involved in trades on draft day that cannot be finalized until July 6. Once those trades go through, look for these four names to start their careers as early as Sunday:
- De'Andre Hunter (no. 4 pick by the Atlanta Hawks)
- Jarrett Culver (no. 6 pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves)
- Jaxson Hayes (no. 8 pick by New Orleans)
- Cameron Johnson (no. 11 pick by the Phoenix Suns)
Both hardcore and casual fans should tune in to see Williamson routinely defy the laws of gravity. Other players to watch include his former teammate Barrett and the speedy White. Teams have filled out their summer league rosters with young draft picks and basketball journeymen trying to make a roster.
The Las Vegas Summer League will run from July 5 - 15, with 83 televised games over 11 days of basketball.