NBA Summer League tips off in Las Vegas on Friday, giving all teams an opportunity to seek out those diamonds in the rough worth taking a chance on once and for all.
Some teams look for cheaper bargains to help fill existent voids on their rosters. Other squads look for promising up and coming youngsters with potential to develop in the years to come. Regardless of the objective, it's safe to say each and every team will be highlighted (or at the very least, sprinkled with) by some of the best players to have played in the NBA D-League in the past season or two.
Some may say that this is what NBA Summer League is all about. Still, as many minor leaguers find opportunities with NBA squads over the next week or so, a select few (pun intended) will fall back on the support a league like the D-League continues to provide.
In addition to the vast majority of NBA teams taking part in the summer competition, the NBADL has assembled its own "Select Team," and is poised watch it match up against the slew of NBA talents ready to hit the hardwood in Vegas.
There's an ongoing debate amongst players, coaches, and executives of both the D-League and NBA regarding the players representing the Select Team. Did such players have difficulty catching on with an NBA team, or did they choose to represent the minor league instead? When push comes to shove, which opportunity boasts the most benefits?
On one hand, playing for the D-League Select Team will allow certain athletes to shine and rise up as the stars of the team. With the focus on them and the ball coming their way, respective individuals will hope to bask in the limelight of Las Vegas.
But with that being said, they'll each have to work all the more intensely to ensure they stand out with solid play. This is how they'll get noticed. Players on the D-League Select Team won't necessarily have the opportunity some others youngsters have to receive personal attention from NBA staffers, whether that be during games, or in practice.
Playing for an NBA team during Las Vegas allows such D-League alumni to get a much closer look from specific NBA teams. That said, they'll likely be put in a situation where they'd be losing minutes to already present NBA rookies and other youngsters. Perhaps players on the D-League Select Team have more freedom to let loose and simply strut their stuff.
There are certainly pros and cons to each side, but if one thing's for sure, it's that the D-League Select Team is guaranteed to put up a strong showing either way. Fresh off a 4-1 record last summer, this year's squad features talents like Co-MVP Ron Howard and NBA vet Devin Ebanks.