While free agency still rages on in full force, the Atlanta Hawks are ready to begin their on-court journey toward the 2014-2015 season, and the first step takes place on Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas. While there are certainly some players on the Summer League roster that will not be in Atlanta when the "real" campaign opens, there are also recognizable faces and names that Atlanta fans need to become familiar with as the Hawks take on the Washington Wizards in the opener.
Dennis Schröder, John Jenkins, and Mike Muscala are making return trips to Las Vegas, and they will be joined by first-round pick Adreian Payne and second-round selections Walter "Edy" Tavares and Lamar Patterson. In addition, some high-profile college players, including St. Mary's guard Stephen Holt and Florida swingman Casey Prather, will be taking the floor, and it will be interesting to see what head coach Darvin Ham (that has an interesting ring to it!) elects to do as far as playing rotation is concerned.
On the Washington side, none of their "big guns" (i.e. John Wall, Bradley Beal, etc.) are in Las Vegas to participate, but Otto Porter, who was the 3rd overall pick in the 2013 Draft headlines their roster. Porter emerged from Georgetown with significant hype, but he had a disastrous rookie campaign headlined by injury and ineffectiveness, and all eyes on the side of the Wizards will be fixed on him.
In addition to Porter, the Wizards also have former Georgia Tech standout Glen Rice, Jr. on their roster, who was solid in his NBA debut last season, and he will team with current/former NBA players like point guard Maalik Wayns and center Daniel Orton. It is a bit odd to square off with the Wizards, simply because they did not have a 2014 draft pick, but it should be an intriguing match-up on both sides.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, July 12th, 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: No local TV, Summer League Live (Online, $)