One of the most anticipated events of the NBA offseason is set to start on Friday afternoon and many Duke in the NBA players are ready to put their skills on display.
The Las Vegas Summer League is ready to roll after the conclusion of the Utah Summer League and the California Classic and there are many former Duke Blue Devils scheduled to showcase their talents to the rest of the NBA community.
However, one ex-Dukie will not be suiting up in the Summer League is Detroit Pistons guard Luke Kennard. Kennard was set to play in the Summer League to demonstrate to new Head Coach Dwane Casey what his strengths are on the court, but Kennard strained his knee in a practice on Monday and will not play in Las Vegas.
The injury is not to be considered serious, but just as a precaution, Kennard will sit the next two weeks out.
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The only undrafted Duke player from the 2018 NBA Draft will be getting the Vegas Summer League started as Trevon Duval and the Houston Rockets Summer League team will take on the Indiana Pacers Summer League team.
In his one season at Duke, Duval averaged 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 5.6 assists.
Another former Duke point guard is set to make his long-anticipated professional debut as Frank Jackson will be back on the floor with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Jackson sat out last season with a foot injury he suffered training for the NBA Draft, but while at Duke he averaged 10.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.
In the late game on Friday night, it will be Amile Jefferson and the Minnesota Timberwolves making their Summer League debuts.
The former Duke captain signed a deal with the T-Wolves after domination the NBA G-League with the Iowa Wolves but did not see in the floor in postseason action. Jefferson then went on to play for Team USA in the qualifying rounds for the FIBA World Cup.
Jefferson will now try and show that he belongs in the NBA with a strong showing over the next two weeks with the Timberwolves.
The Portland Trail Blazers will be debuting its new shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. in their first game on Saturday afternoon. Trent a draft choice of the Sacramento Kings, was traded to Portland minutes after being selected by the Kings.
Trent will look to showcase his lethal shooting abilities as he averaged 14.5 points per game while at Duke, shooting 40.2% from beyond the arc.
In Trent’s first game with the Trail Blazers, he will be going up against former teammate Grayson Allen and the Utah Jazz Summer League team.
Allen has two games under his belt in the Utah Summer League where he struggled shooting the ball but showed great development in his passing abilities and defense while filling his stat line in every game that he played.
Jones and Giles were teammates at Duke for the 2016-17 season. Jones played for the Kings G-League affiliate Reno Bighorns last season who have just relocated and turned into the Stockton Kings.
Jones averaged 10.2 points per game while shooting 41.5% from the floor.
The Chicago Bulls Summer League team will unveil Wendell Carter Jr. on Saturday night as he will be the last former Blue Devil to make his professional debut.
Carter averaged 13.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while showing the ability to step outside the arc and drain the three-point ball, while still being a dominant force inside the paint.
The Las Vegas Summer League is a great opportunity for these players to demonstrate their skills to not only their respective teams but to the other teams around the league in case things do not work out and there is a trade or they are released.
It should be a very fun few weeks in Vegas and all the games can be seen either on NBATV or on the ESPN family of networks.