Summer League is always an exciting time of year for NBA diehards. You get to see if your team's young players are in shape, if they are progressing, and also get a look at what players might have a shot of becoming fringe rotation players should they make a team.
This year, it will have added meaning for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Allon Sinai, chief sports writer for the Jerusalem Post, broke the news:
David Blatt to coach Cavs in Summer League in order to get to know players better and help himself prepare for the real thing.— Allon Sinai (@AllonSinai) June 24, 2014
This makes a lot of sense. While the team's Blatt have coached have in fact used a 24 second shot clock, there will undoubtedly be an adjustment period as Blatt gets used to the style and structure of the NBA. How close Summer League gets to that style and structure is arguable. It is competitive basketball; guys are playing for their dream of making a team.
It goes beyond the adjustments Blatt is going to have to make, however. The Cavs could have a lot of roster turnover, and in any case the players will be new to Blatt. Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev (Blatt actually has coached Karasev in the 2012 Summer Olympics, where Sergey was used sparingly), Carrick Felix and the Cavs draft selections on Thursday night all figure to be part of the Summer League team. Building chemistry and trust with those guys could pay dividends down the road.
You probably didn't need another reason to pay attention to the Cavs' Vegas exploits this summer. But hey, what's one more?