The Lakers start their Summer League play today, but this summer feels a lot different than the last couple.
The first, and most obvious, reason is the team chose to join the Vegas Summer League, which is now probably the hottest summer league going. (Pun intended.) The Lakers make it a lucky 21 teams that play their summer ball in Vegas, and that level of competition is hard to pass up (plus the reputation that the teams are treated better than they were in Long Beach).
But the other, larger reason is that the past couple of summers we got to watch a Devin Green or a JR Pinnock and say “I wonder if he can make the team?” The young “no name” guys playing along side Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar had a chance, albeit a slim one, to wear Laker colors come the NBA season. Not this year. The Laker roster is basically full and the team is not looking to take on more young projects in the spaces that are available. Farmar and rookie Jarvis Crittenton will be in Laker colors come October, and that’s it. There is no drama for us (there is for the other players as they try to get noticed by scouts and hook on, if not in the NBA, in Europe or the NDBL).
The Lakers start play at 7 p.m. tonight against the Nuggets, and you can watch the streaming video at this site. We’ll be following what happens in Vegas, but we’ll pine for the fun of the last couple summers while we do.