Jul 18, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Miami Heat guard Tony Taylor dribbles the ball through center court as the first quarter of play begins against the Chicago Bulls during an NBA Summer League game at Cox Pavillion. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Wizards: Summer League Preview

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The Washington Wizards will be participating in the Las Vegas Summer League, which begins July 11. The team is currently participating in a mini-camp before the summer league starts.

Here is all you need to know about the Wizards summer league this year.

Schedule

Summer league starts off with three preliminary round games before teams are seeded 1-24 and participate in a single elimination tournament. Seeding for the tournament is based on the results of the three preliminary round games.

July 12: Hawks vs. Wizards, 4:30 p.m.
July 13: Wizards vs. Timberwolves, 10:30 p.m.
July 15: Heat vs. Wizards, 6:30 p.m.
Tournament: July 16-17, July 19-21

All times Eastern Standard Time

Roster

via, CSN Washington

Players To Watch

Apr 11, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; [Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) shoots in front of Orlando Magic forward Maurice Harkless (21) in the first half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, all eyes will be on the returning second year players to the Wizards in Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr. Both had disappointing rookie seasons that were affected by injuries so it will be good to see them get some run and be the top options for the Wizards summer league team.

For Porter, I think this year’s summer league is crucial for him. He will get a chance to work on what he has been improving in the offseason while also playing freely and not worrying about playing time.

While summer league will not make or break his sophomore campaign, I am hoping to see a newly installed confidence in Porter and also play that shows he could be a contributor next season.

Those two players are locks to make the team next year, but the other 14 players will be fighting to make a roster or get noticed by potential D-League suitors. The Wizards only have $19 million remaining to stay under the cap and they are still looking to sign Trevor Ariza and six other players, via The Washington Post.

So there are going to be multiple minimum deals available.

My favorite player on the roster is Deonte Burton. The Nevada guard is someone I really wanted the Wizards to select in the second round of this year’s draft.

The Wizards sold their pick and Burton went undrafted.

Burton is a scoring point guard. He averaged 20.1 points per game on 47.1 percent shooting from the field his senior year. Burton also averaged 4.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.

Burton will be the primary guard during summer league and I am interested to se how he performs. With Andre Miller most likely done after the upcoming season and Garrett Temple a free agent, Burton could be a nice potential backup point guard to John Wall.

Former first round pick Daniel Orton is also someone to look out for. You can never have enough big bodies and at 6-foot-11 and 255 pounds, the 23-year-old certainly fits that mold.

Khem Birch is a long, athletic forward, who will certainly attract some attention throughout summer league. At 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, and a 35.5-inch vertical, Birch could potentially be a solid defender.

However, at only 209 pounds, it will be interesting to see how he holds up in a more physical style of play than college.

Final Word

If you decide to watch some Wizards summer league action, please don’t overreact by every missed Porter jumper or Burton turnover. Summer league is mostly for the lower level guys to get work and rookies to get a feel for the NBA games.

You will have a much better viewing experience if you just sit back and enjoy some summer basketball.

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Tags: Daniel Orton Deonte Burton Glen Rice Jr Khem Birch Nba Summer League Otto Porter Washington Wizards

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