Washington Wizards basketball is back. Well, at least for the NBA Summer League.
Here’s how you could watch the opening game against the Atlanta Hawks.
When: July 12, 2014, 4:30 PM ET
TV: CSN Washington
Live Stream: NBA Summer League Live
Although the Washington Wizards did not have a first round pick during last month’s NBA Draft, the anticipation surrounding Otto Porter‘s play is perhaps just as exciting. Porter, who was picked third overall in the 2013 draft, dealt with injuries early in his rookie season and actually sat out the majority of last year’s summer league. Once he finally returned to action after missing all of training camp and preseason, he quickly fell out of Randy Wittman‘s rotation due to playing behind Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster. With that said, even when Porter did play, he wasn’t spectacular.
There’s been lots of debate surrounding Otto Porter, and summer league will give him an opportunity to somewhat prove himself to the doubters. Now that Ariza is an unrestricted free agent and Webster is expected to miss at least 3-5 months following backs surgery, Porter is expected to play a much bigger role next season. Porter played under 400 minutes in his first season with the Wizards, the least amount of minutes of any top three pick since Darko Milicic, but the former Georgetown Hoya did show some flashes of why Washington took him third overall during the latter half of the season.
Porter must play with confidence and show some improvement from this past season. His game won’t suit the summer league, but he should be able to play at a high level after getting a year of NBA basketball under his belt.
The Atlanta Hawks will also get a first look at Adreian Payne, who they selected in the first round of this year’s draft. The Hawks lacked front court depth this past season and Payne could potentially become a key contributor right out of the gate. Payne is a 23-year old rookie and has the skill to really impact the Hawks as a reserve. Payne is capable of playing inside and out and will fit right into Mike Budenholtzer’s system. The Hawks will also get a chance to see how much Dennis Shroeder has developed throughout the summer, and with Lou Williams gone, he could also crack the rotation this upcoming season.
So, although it’s merely a preseason game, there will be some intriguing story lines.