The NBA Summer League is a chance for young talent to showcase their skills, prepare for the upcoming NBA season and also for teams to try out different summer rosters instead of their regular season line-ups.
The league typically consists of a mix of rookies, second year players, and unsigned free agents.
This year has been one of the most popular summer sessions. The coverage on social media as well as televised games has made the summer league a must for those craving basketball in the off-season.
Attendance is at an all-time high for summer league games and fans are showing up en masse to see the young talent the summer league has to offer.
The summer league also allows fans to see games at an affordable price and leagues are having to account for the increases in attendance with larger venues.
In a league that is becoming more and more dependent on younger stars, the summer league offers fans a sneak peek at the NBAs next generation.
Players like Kristaps Porzingis who some thought may have been a bad pickup for the N.Y. Knicks, mostly based on his unfamiliarity to U.S. fans, has had the opportunity to win over fickle NBA fans with a very good showing so far in the summer session. Porzingis has showed in his first three games that he has the strength and grit to bang with NBA players and that he was worthy of his status as the 4th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.
Averaging 10 points a game so far, but has made a much more significant and surprising contribution as a rim protector. He has drawn praise from former L.A. Laker James Worthy, who says the Latvian born baller is a mix of Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki.
Fellow lottery pick Jahlil Okafor, who has faced Porzingis calls him the real deal and worthy of being a top 5 pick. Okafor notched 18 points against the fellow rookie but was also blocked three times, including the game sealing block to win the game for the Knicks against Okafor's Sixers.
Another story out of the summer league this year has been the emergence of Aaron Gordon. A highly touted athlete known more for his athleticism than his basketball skills coming out of the University of Arizona, Gordon has shown major progress and has refined his game in his second year. Gordon has blazed a path through the summer session scoring 21.7 points per game in the Orlando league and is also averaging 11.7 rebounds. He has shown and improved his ability to handle the basketball, shows an improved mid-range jump-shot and is poised to make an impact this year for the Magic.
Duke product Seth Curry, younger brother of NBA MVP Steph Curry has also had a very strong summer league showing. Curry has shown for years the ability to hit the open shot from range but he has shown a much more all-around game. He is averaging 25 points a game in the Vegas league and also 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists a game.
Curry has had a tough time finding the right fit with a team in the NBA but continues to dominate both in summer league and D-league play. He is primed to get another shot to make his mark in the NBA this season.