In early July, the 2016 edition of the NBA Summer League will get underway. While you're celebrating the birth of America, the NBA's various hopefuls will be competing for a chance to live their pro basketball dreams.
Several former Syracuse Orange basketball players are expected to participate in this year's summer league, including this year's draftees Malachi Richardson and Michael Gbinije.
Gbinije, who was drafted No. 49 by the Detroit Pistons, will get his summer started this Saturday, when the Pistons take on the Knicks in the Orlando Summer League.
Perry Farrell of the Detroit Free Press reported that Detroit head coach Stan Van Gundy plans to play Gbinije at point guard to see if he can sufficiently handle the position at the NBA level. Van Gundy believes that Gbinije's performance this summer could not only affect his position with the team, but also Detroit's other offseason activities. Here's Van Gundy's quote from the Detroit Free Press:
"Michael can play three positions, we think. His size and everything else. How much point guard he can play to the question of do we sign just one point guard? That's a question that I think we'll sort out in Summer League. That will be a good thing for us to look at coming out of Summer League. We know he's a good player, but if we think he could be ready to be our third point guard we would only go out and sign one. If we think he's more of a wing and it's going to take time as a point guard we'd probably go out and sign another."
Arinze Onuaku and Rakeem Christmas are other former members of the Syracuse family who will be in the Orlando Summer League. Onuaku will play for the Orlando (White) team and Christmas will play for Indiana, with both teams also starting their summer schedule this Saturday.
The rest of the Syracuse alums will be playing in the Las Vegas Summer League, including this year's No. 22 pick for the Sacramento Kings, Malachi Richardson. He doesn't officially become a King until July 1, when his trade from the Charlotte Hornets becomes final. Mali will start his summer league experience next week on July 8 when the Kings face the Raptors.
Chris McCullough (Nets) and James Southerland, who will be playing for the Washington Wizards, will also play in the Vegas Summer League.
Here are the dates and times for the former Syracuse players in the NBA Summer Leagues. You can watch games on NBA TV or via live stream, although the NBA has not yet released specific TV information.
Quick note: This schedule may be updated should Trevor Cooney end up joining a summer league team. The same is true for C.J. Fair.
11 a.m. - Onuaku (Orlando White) vs. Charlotte
1 p.m. - Christmas (Pacers) vs. Orlando Blue
3 p.m. - Gbinije (Pistons) vs. New York
1 p.m. - Christmas (Pacers) vs. Charlotte
3 p.m. - Gbinije (Pistons) vs. Orlando Blue
5 p.m. - Gbinije (Pistons) vs. Christmas (Pacers)
1 p.m. - Onuaku (Orlando White) vs. New York
5 p.m. - Christmas (Pacers) vs. Oklahoma City
3 p.m. - Onuaku (Orlando White) vs. LA Clippers
5 p.m. - Gbinije (Pistons) vs. Miami
All Day - Orlando League playoffs
10 p.m. - Richardson (Kings) vs. Toronto
4:30 p.m. - McCullough (Nets) vs. Cleveland
7:30 p.m. - Southerland (Wizards) vs. Utah
4 p.m. - Southerland (Wizards) vs. Atlanta
6:30 p.m. - Richardson (Kings) vs. Houston
4:30 p.m. - McCullough (Nets) vs. Atlanta
10 p.m. - Richardson (Kings) vs. New Orleans
4 p.m. - McCullough (Nets) vs. Southerland (Wizards)
Las Vegas playoffs