In 2004 the NBA organized a six team "league" that allowed interested teams to send squads filled with prospective players to Las Vegas to test their mettle against other similarly skilled players. In the last 10 years, "Summer League" expanded to Orlando and, for a brief time, Utah. This year, the two leagues take place over the course of two weeks starting today. Vegas alone has 22 teams participating.
Orlando Summer League is played from July 5th to July 11th. Las Vegas Summer League runs from July 11th to July 21st. The Mavericks participate in the Las Vegas Summer League and Editor-in-Chief Tim Cato, Doyle Rader, and myself will be attending and covering games.
The all Orlando games will be shown live on NBA TV, with the schedule being posted daily here on NBA.com. Las Vegas Summer league games are shown both live in NBA TV and on tape delay since there is more than one game being played at a time.
However, it's important to note that a large number of games are played during the day; with such a volume of games (40 or so in Vegas) there's just not enough time in the evenings to play games where a larger audience might be able to see them. As a result, the NBA has created a Summer League companion to it's in-season League Pass.
Strangely enough, NBA Summer League Live might be the very best product the NBA offers. For $15 you get access to both leagues in HD quality (my cable provider doesn't have NBA TV in HD), the ability to watch on your computer, tablet or phone, live box scores, and the ability to go see any game you missed or want to watch again.
As a Mavericks fan this product is pretty awesome for anyone interested in following the Summer League team. We don't have much news at the moment in terms of roster, but expect Ricky Ledo and Jae Crowder to be key members of the squad. We expect a great deal of news regarding the summer league roster to happen this week. With so much of the actual Maverick roster up in the air, it's entirely possible that a member of the summer league team makes the Mavericks as an end of bench player.
We here at MavsMoneyball will keep everyone posted on when games are being played, but with so many day time games, it's hard to watch the games if you live in the US and have a day job. I love this product because during these two weeks I'm able to keep a game up on one of my computer monitors at all times (well maybe not ALL times... lots of watching out for my boss). As a basketball addict, summer league basketball is a bit like an oasis in the desert. The basketball isn't great, but the chance to see the various first round draft selections play in an environment with no pressure is pretty awesome.
I really recommend following along with Summer League in whatever capacity your able. We'll have as much coverage as we can muster and we're really looking forward to hearing what you all think about the progress of Ledo and Crowder as well as any prospects from the team.