An Introduction To Summer League

Tuesday, July 10 (2:48 p.m.)
Submitted By Warriors.com


Harrison Barnes surveys the floor at Monday's Summer League practice in Las Vegas. (warriors.com photo) VIEW PHOTO GALLERY
There are 16 players on the Warriors’ 2012 Summer League roster, and they have four combined years of NBA experience. Needless to say, Summer League is a young man’s game, and just about everyone who’ll be competing in Las Vegas over the next few weeks will be looking to make an impression, whether it be for their team or another NBA squad.

This year, a record 24 teams will participate in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Typically, teams send their younger players to Summer League in order to get them ready for the grind of the upcoming regular season. There, they can take part in an off-season training camp under team supervision, as well as participate in the club’s five-game schedule. Klay Thompson, Charles Jenkins, Jeremy Tyler and Chris Wright are all on the Warriors’ Summer League roster this year, and Monday marked their first practice. (Thompson did not participate in the practice, as he is currently participating in the USA Basketball Training Team as a member of the Select Team. For more on that, click here.)

In addition to the experience for younger players, Summer League also serves as an audition of sorts for undrafted free agents trying to find their way into the NBA. Of the 12 players without NBA experience on the Warriors’ Summer League roster, three have played professionally overseas, and the other nine last played in the NCAA. Each of these players has a chance to play their way into an NBA training camp invite, and some may actually make a regular season roster. And there’s even a chance, however remote, of NBA stardom.

Who can forget the Summer League triumph of Jeremy Lin? After going undrafted out of Harvard, the young guard became the darling of the 2010 NBA Summer League when, as a member of the Mavericks’ squad, he held his own against John Wall, that year’s No. 1 Draft pick. His Summer League success eventually earned him a guaranteed contract from the Warriors and less than two years later he is now a household name, having been behind the Linsanity movement and on multiple covers of Sports Illustrated.

The Summer League success stories don’t stop there. Four years ago, an undrafted free agent by the name of Anthony Morrow played his way into a training camp invite, and the sharpshooting guard from Georgia Tech went on to start 17 games for the Warriors that season. Morrow is now one of the NBA’s top 3-point shooters and he’s averaged more than 25 minutes per game over each of the last three seasons.

Two years later, Reggie Williams was an All-Tournament Team selection after leading the Warriors’ summer squad with 22.6 points per game. After joining the Warriors midseason in 2009, Williams solidified his spot on the roster with a stellar summer campaign before going on to average 9.2 points on 42.3 percent 3-point shooting in the 2010-11 season. The left-handed swingman has since signed a multi-year contract with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Who will be the next Summer League gem? Take a look at the Warriors’ Summer League roster by clicking here and stay tuned for the next entry in which we take a closer look at each of the club’s 16 players.

And just a heads up, we will soon be back with full coverage of the Warriors' Summer League squad. Similar to Draft Central, our Summer League section will include behind-the-scenes access to the team, and Laurence Scott will be on location in Las Vegas providing us with daily videos for your enjoyment. We have a few other surprises up our sleeve, so be sure to check back with us soon.