The past few years have seen quite a bit excitement surrounding the summer league as the Sixers have continually trotted out high-end draft picks, but the hype has never been as high as it has been this year.
That’s because the team will showcase the No. 1 overall pick and the man who appears to have completed the puzzle that is The Process, Markelle Fultz.
What else should fans be watching for when the Sixers kick things off on Monday night at 7 p.m.?
Guards: Brandon Austin (Oregon), James Blackmon Jr. (Indiana), Isaiah Briscoe (Kentucky), Markelle Fultz (Washington), Aaron Harrison (Kentucky), Melo Trimble (Maryland)
Forwards: Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (Sixers), Jonah Bolden (UCLA), Larry Drew II (North Carolina), Isaiah Miles (St. Joe’s), Darryl Reynolds (Villanova), Alex Poythress (Sixers), Charles Jackson (Tennessee Tech)
Center: Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona)
Utah Summer League
July 3, 7 p.m. – Boston Celtics
July 5, 9 p.m. – Utah Jazz
July 6, 7 p.m. – San Antonio Spurs
Samsung Summer League in Las Vegas
July 8, 10:30 p.m. – Golden State Warriors
July 9, 10:30 p.m. – San Antonio Spurs
July 11, 6:30 p.m. – Boston Celtics
Two draft picks in action
In addition to Fultz, the team’s second-round pick, Jonah Bolden, also will be suiting up. Bolden hails from Australia, having played collegiately at UCLA before the Sixers chose him at No. 36. He averaged 12.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season. The 6’10” big has hopes of earning a spot behind Joel Embiid alongside Richaun Holmes. A strong showing in the summer league would only increase his odds of making the NBA out of the gate rather than the development league.
Workouts turned invites
Before the NBA Draft, the Sixers conducted a handful of group workouts consisting mainly of second round talent and guys likely to go undrafted. It’s worth noting that the team must’ve liked what they’ve seen from a handful of those guys as four of them will be dressing in summer league: James Blackmon Jr. (Indiana), Isaiah Briscoe (Kentucky) and Darryl Reynolds (Villanova) and Melo Trimble (Maryland). The Sixers have brought on summer league invites in the past, so a good performance from either of these guys could result in a spot on the bench.
Off the court, Austin’s image is far from squeaky clean. He has dealt with two separate sexual assault accusations with none of them resulting in charges filed. That being said, he has faced the scrutiny that comes with accusations, having been dropped from two different colleges. The Imhotep alum is looking to get back on track, potentially securing a spot in the G-League with a good showing in the summer league.