This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The Utah Jazz won't have a 2016 NBA draft lottery pick involved. Dante Exum isn't playing and other than Trey Lyles, there won't be a player on the Utah Jazz Summer League team expected to see rotation heavy minutes next season.
But that doesn't mean the four-day summer league in Salt Lake City won't have plenty of intrigue.
No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons is projected to make his Philadelphia 76ers debut on Monday night. Boston's Jaylen Brown, the No. 3 selection, will be in the building. Jazz fans will get a chance to see live basketball for the first time since mid-April.
Last season, Jazz fans came out in droves to watch Exum, Rodney Hood and company. Will that be the case this year? These are some of the inquires The Salt Lake Tribune examine.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ben Simmons, forward, Philadelphia 76ers
Simmons was the top pick in the draft and comes with significant pressure to perform instantly. Simmons can play four positions at the NBA level. He's a great passer and rebounder, and at 6-foot-10, can handle the ball like a point guard. He signed his contract with the 76ers on Saturday night and traveled into Salt Lake to make his highly-anticipated debut here.
2. Jaylen Brown, forward, Boston Celtics
University of Utah fans saw Brown three times during the college basketball season while he was playing for California. Brown is as athletic a wing as there was in this draft. He excels in the open floor, and he has the chance to be a good defender. When you think of Jaylen Brown, think Stanley Johnson, the rising second-year pro from the Detroit Pistons, but more athletic.
3. Joel Bolomboy, forward, Utah Jazz
Of the three second-round picks the Jazz made, Bolomboy is the one with the best chance of making the opening night roster. He's a highlight reel waiting to happen, thanks to his superior athleticism. He's explosion wrapped in a 6-foot-10 body, someone who tries to dunk everything in sight. There will be local excitement for everything the Weber State product accomplishes.
4. Dejounte Murray, guard, San Antonio Spurs
Word is he may not play this week. If he does, he has the chance to make fans wonder: How did this kid last until the end of the first round? Murray is quick, he's athletic, he has terrific length, and his handles are worth the price of admission. In a few years, we can all be saying the Spurs stole this kid from the rest of the NBA. His upside is that high.
5. Kyle Anderson, forward, San Antonio Spurs
Third-year players who were 2014 first-round draft picks don't typically play summer league, so Anderson's inclusion is pretty curious. At 6-10, Anderson is a good passer, good shooter, very good ballhandler, and has a variety of offensive moves. But his lack of athleticism has hindered his development. The Spurs will want to see Anderson dominate this summer league.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
1. Has Trey Lyles made the rookie/sophomore jump?
Last year, Rodney Hood showed quickly that he had outgrown the summer league level of play. Last year, Dante Exum was showing the significant improvement he made offensively before injury cut short his appearance. Can Lyles show the same kind of development? If he does, the Jazz may shut him down early this week.
2. What do Jazz fans want to see from Bolomboy?
If anything keeps Bolomboy in the league, it will be rebounding, the skill that made him a superstar at Weber State. The Jazz want to see if that translates to the pro level. Utah lost Trevor Booker, who brought athleticism and energy, on Saturday to the Brooklyn Nets. Can Bolomboy be the one filling that void?
3. What is a staple of summer league?
The undrafted sleepers! Those who grind overseas, or who went unselected at draft night. For the Jazz, remember Quincy Ford's name. The Jazz definitely like him. He's a 6-foot-8 small forward with a deft shooting touch. He's someone Utah's front office wants to take a good look at. Can he play well enough to turn heads?
4. What holds the key for Jaylen Brown?
His jumper, which was broken for most of his one year at Cal. If your name isn't LeBron James, you generally aren't going to live up to being a top-three selection if you can't consistently shoot well. Brown has to figure that out, improve, and find success from the perimeter. If he doesn't, he has a chance to be a productive player. But if he does, he has a chance to be a star.
5. Was summer league attendance a flash in the pan?
Last summer, Vivint Smart Home Arena was almost packed with Jazz fans excited to have the summer league back. Will the turnout and the enthusiasm be the same this week?
twitter: @tjonessltrib Summer league schedule
At Vivint Smart Home Arena
76ers vs. Celtics, 5 p.m.
Spurs vs. Jazz, 7 p.m.
At Vivint Smart Home Arena
76ers vs. Spurs, 3 p.m.
Celtics vs. Jazz, 5 p.m.
At Jon M. Huntsman Center
Celtics vs. Spurs, 5 p.m.
76ers vs. Jazz, 7 p.m.