Ladies and gentlemen, we have Cavalier basketball! Tonight, the Cavs face off against the Lakers in what is sure to be a defenseless yet entertaining affair. Summer League basketball, everyone!
When? 8:00 PM Eastern
Where? Cox Pavilion -- Las Vegas, NV
Where on my eyeballs? NBATV / Summer League Pass
Tickets? Nahh, bro
Enemy/brother blog? Silver Screen and Roll
What the Cavs' roster looks like: The two most important players at Summer League for the Cavs are last year's first round picks, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller. It looks like we'll finally get to see if all of that work this offseason has paid off as we're anticipating it too. He has definite Summer League MVP potential if he tries hard.
This is also a pretty important offseason for Zeller, after the signing of Andrew Bynum on Wednesday. He needs to step up and perform better than he did last season if he can expect any minutes barring injury. Basically what I'll be looking for is just increased strength. Any sort of evidence that he'll be better equipped to hold his own in the paint since the end of last season would be good.
What the Cavalier roster doesn't look like: Undoubtedly the biggest news is that Anthony Bennett will not be playing in Vegas this week. He's still recovering from shoulder surgery. Also, Sergey Karasev will not be playing either. He's still over in mother Russia plying his trade. So while the two most recent, important draft picks aren't there, that doesn't mean it won't still be a party. It is Las Vegas Summer League, after all.
What random players am I most excited for? I wrote a nice feature here on Dellavedova today, and I think he's going to be an extremely fun summer league player. Expect crazy, unexpected passes and long-distance bombing. Also, Taylor is going to throw down a crazy dunk. Probably quite a few. He's fun to watch at least. Finally, seeing how Kadji performs is going to at least be interesting. He's a stretch 4 with athleticism, but limited upside because he's already 25.
What do the Lakers have on their summer league roster? Well first off, they pilfered Josh Selby from us. Yes, reigning Las Vegas Summer League MVP Josh Selby is playing against the Cavs tomorrow, and it's disappointing. He'll probably score 40, get everyone excited about this potential, then he won't make an NBA team out of camp. ANOTHER former Cavalier is with the Lakers in Lester Hudson. Those 12 games Hudson played with the Cavaliers will forever live in infamy. Lazar Hayward and Jordan Williams have NBA experience.
Michael Snaer, one of my favorite undrafted prospects, will be there. Kenny Boynton will probably embarrass himself by jacking up 45 threes over the course of five games, all while shooting 25%. They also have a Princeton grad and a rapper.
Wait, hold on. Did you say a rapper? Why yes, I did. Renaldo Woolridge, also known as Swiperboy during his days at Tennessee, will be suiting up for the Lakers. I have no idea how he is on a summer league roster because he never really proved himself at either Tennessee or USC. My assumption is that it's because his dad, Orlando, played for the team. But he's a pretty damn good rapper, actually. If he can get someone to start writing hooks for him, he might actually have a potential career here.
Other Notes? -I've always been a pretty big believer that Chris Douglas-Roberts is an NBA player. He's also on the Lakers' roster. He'll have fun trying to outscore Waiters in this game.
-Jamahl Mosley is coaching the Cavs' again. This should be a good setting for him because he doesn't have to worry about coaching the defense like he did last year during the regular season.
-More West Coast Conference madness! Elias Harris is also on the Lakers roster. The German international was at one point considered a surefire first rounder after his sophomore season at Gonzaga. Unfortunately, he regressed in both of his upperclass seasons. He still has some potential, but he's more than likely going to end up overseas after summer league ends.
-Also, the Lakers have a really cool story in Mitchell Watt. Watt has overcome Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can be a debilitating disease sometimes resulting in difficult life situations. This piece goes over the difficulty that Watt had in moving past the affliction, and it's fantastic.
Prediction: My summer league predictions are always based off of who has the more fun random players. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. In this case, I'll say the Lakers because why not. THEY HAVE A FREAKING RAPPER. Waiters probably scores 30 though because he's going to give a damn, so that'll be fun.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction: Lakers win, 84-79.