Typically, only basketball diehards watch the NBA Summer League, which features rookies and other young players competing in tournaments in Orlando, Utah and Las Vegas.
One matchup this summer in Vegas, however, should draw a much larger audience.
The game, set for Saturday, July 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET, will pit the Boston Celtics against their longtime rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, in what should be a matchup of the top two picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
Boston owns the No. 1 overall selection thanks to a trade with the Brooklyn Nets, while L.A. is scheduled to pick second after finishing with the NBA’s third-worst record this season.
There are close to a half-dozen players who could go in the top two — and there’s a chance either team could trade its pick — but the most likely scenario involves the C’s selecting Washington point guard Markelle Fultz and the Lakers nabbing UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball.
Ball’s father, LaVar Ball, said earlier this spring his son would only work out for the Lakers. Lonzo Ball, who grew up just east of L.A. in Chino Hills, Calif., also has expressed a desire to play for his hometown team.
Other names who could be in play at No. 2 include Kansas’ Josh Jackson, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox.
Following their matchup against the Lakers, the Celtics will take on the Portland Trail Blazers on July 9 and the Philadelphia 76ers on July 11 in the opening round of the Las Vegas tournament. Philadelphia owns the No. 3 overall pick.
See the full summer league schedule right here.
Thumbnail photo via Jennifer Buchanan/USA TODAY Sports Images