Semi-embarrassing fact: I’ve never been to Las Vegas. My friends, my long-time girlfriend, and even my younger siblings have all been to Vegas. Me? I’m the uncool dweeb who still holds onto his Vegas flower.
To be fair, however, I am only in my mid-20s. I highly doubt I’m in this boat alone, and I have plenty of time to still hit the strip and see things that many can not unsee. The eagerness to get the trip out of the way is building, though. And I do think I’ve come up with the perfect excuse to spend a couple of days in the sin city.
• NBA SUMMER LEAGUE IS BACK BABY!! We learned the NBA planned to host the event again a couple of weeks back, but the league finally announced more details on Wednesday. The tournament will consist of all 30 NBA teams, and each will play a total of four games. Things will tip-off on August 8th, with the two teams with the best record eventually competing in the Championship Game set on August 17th.
The NBA today announced the competition structure for the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2021.
The event will feature all 30 NBA teams playing five games apiece during the 10-day, 75-game event.
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) June 9, 2021
• Patrick Williams was quick to announce that he would attend Summer League at his end-of-season press conference. The 19-year-old, obviously, did not have an opportunity to participate in the event the last offseason due to the pandemic. The event should be a great opportunity to not only see the things Williams has been developing over the course of the offseason but see how dominant he can be as one of the top players competing.
• One of the key areas Williams knows he has to work on is his mental fortitude. Too often last season we saw him defer to the Bulls two stars, and while it’s a perfectly reasonable response from the second-youngest player in the league, it’s still not something that should continue from a player with his potential. Summer League will be an opportunity where Williams is the star. Whenever he is on the floor, the offense should be running through his fingertips. So while this may not be the sexiest or sinful way to take in Vegas for the first time, that is something I want to see. Tickets go on sale on June 23rd!
• I need a spray bottle so I can spritz anyone who tweets a crappy Kemba Walker trade proposal. Bleacher Report shared news that the Celtics and Kemba Walker might want a breakup this summer. Nothing about this came as a huge surprise, especially after Walker struggled to produce at his normal level this past season. The All-Star point guard also turned 31 years old last month and has a lingering knee issue that held him to just 43 games this season. With no real clue whether he can ever reach full health again, and with $36 million owed next season and $37.6 million owed in 2022-23 (player option), acquiring Walker would be a massive risk.
Sources: Both the Boston Celtics and Kemba Walker want a breakup. The team tried trading him once in 2020, and it put a strain on the relationship since then.https://t.co/yiyJIexaoz
— Farbod Esnaashari (@Farbod_E) June 9, 2021
Missed 31 games this season due to lingering knee issues. Also fewest points since 2014-15 season.
People around the league recently told @JaredWeissNBA that they believe he has negative trade value. So teams are either dumping a bad contract or asking for more to take him on.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 9, 2021
• No team, especially the Bulls, should give up any real assets to grab Walker. The Celtics are likely going to have to be the team to throw in a first-round pick or something for a team to eat that Walker’s money. The other option would be to do one of those “overpaid-star for overpaid-star” trades. It’s basically what the Rockets and Washington did with their John Wall and Russell Westbrook exchange. Perhaps someone like Kristaps Porzingis or Kevin Love can be thrown into the conversation.
• Meanwhile, the Celtics are also in the midst of an important coaching search. Several names we saw come up last season in the Bulls pursuit have now popped up on Brad Stevens’ list.
Stevens completed interviews with the Celtics assistant coaches in recent days and now has started reaching out to talk to outside candidates, sources said. The initial pool of candidates is expected to be expansive. https://t.co/tu9tuszqLS
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 9, 2021
• I can’t help but feel like this might finally be Chris Paul’s year. He got past his typical playoff injury blip, and he is now helping the Suns cruise past a Jamal Muray-less Denver Nuggets team. The Clippers and Jazz would both be a tough out, but the Suns have the perfect combination of scoring and defensive versatility to get the job done. Now, could the Suns beat a team like Brooklyn? That would be a different story.
• Is that good?
2020-21 NBA Defensive Player of the Year: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. This is Gobert's third DPOY.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 10, 2021