OPSL: Sixers-Magic Preview

by Max Rappaport
Sixers.com Writer

For NBA fans, the four months between the Finals and the start of the preseason feel like an eternity. Fortunately, the league’s two annual summer leagues – the Southwest Orlando Pro Summer League and the Samsung Summer League in Las Vegas – offer reprieve. Even more fortunately for Sixers fans, their team is one of three that will compete in both leagues.

Saturday at 1pm, Philadelphia tip off their first of at least nine summer league games when they take on the Orlando Magic on the opening day of OPSL play. (Full OPSL Schedule)

“Summer league is more about evaluation and development, but it’s a game, it’s competitive,” said assistant coach Lloyd Pierce, who will handle head coaching duties in Orlando. “These are the guys that have worked all summer to get to this position, and, as a player, you want to win every time you step on the court.”

Headlining Philadelphia’s OPSL roster is 2013 sixth-overall pick Nerlens Noel, who is slated to make his Sixers debut Saturday. For the 20-year-old center, it will be his first competitive game since a left knee injury ended his freshman season at Kentucky in February of 2013.

On Friday, team added 2014 second-round pick K.J. McDaniels to their OPSL roster, pushing the total number of invitees to 15. The Clemson swingman is also expected to participate in the Samsung Summer League in Las Vegas.

“As soon as the team told me I needed to be here, I made arrangements with the family,” McDaniels said of his late invitation to Orlando. “It’s a great feeling just to be in an NBA practice jersey and in an NBA-type environment. It’s going to be extremely exciting.”

The Magic will be led by Rookie of the Year runner-up Victor Oladipo and 2014 lottery picks Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton.

Catch the game on The Comcast Network if you’re in the Philadelphia area and on NBA TV if you’re not.