Less than three weeks after heading to Las Vegas to celebrate their NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors return to the city of sin, but this time for on-court action.
The 2015 Las Vegas Summer League tips off Friday with the Warriors playing the late game in a championship rematch against the Cleveland Cavaliers — with obviously much lower stakes.
First-round pick Kevon Looney headlines Golden State’s roster. After injury concerns caused him to drop in the draft the 6-foot-9 UCLA product will look to show what can do on the court.
He won’t have to wait for the regular season to play with teammates with a championship pedigree. James Michael McAdoo, who got on the court in the NBA Finals, is on the Warriors’ Vegas roster. McAdoo’s Summer League performance last year led Golden State to eventually sign him to a two-year contract.
NBA D-League champion and defensive player of the year Aaron Craft also returns after a strong showing last year led to him nearly make the Dubs roster before signing with the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Ognjen Kuzmic, who won a championship with both the Santa Cruz and Golden State Warriors, is back as well despite being a restricted free agent.
The vets are joined by a crop of rookie free agents who will look to prove they belong in the NBA.
The most highly touted is Michael Frazier, who left Florida after his junior season. Frazier was projected by many to be drafted in the late first- to early second-round — but didn’t hear his name called at all.
ESPN Insider NBA analyst Kevin Pelton even ranked Frazier as the 22nd-best player in the draft.
The rest of the team has a distinct West Coast feel to it, with players from California schools making up almost half the roster.
They include big man Stefan Nastic and all-time leading scorer Chasson Randle from Stanford and forward David Kravish from Cal.
One name noticeably absent from the roster is last year’s Summer League standout Justin Holiday.
Holiday, who parlayed his strong performance into a contributing role during the regular season, was not tendered a qualifying offer and became an unrestricted free agent.
With Leandro Barbosa re-upping with the Warriors, their roster currently sits at 13 without factoring in Looney, who hasn’t signed his rookie deal yet, and Kuzmic, which would leave no room for Holiday.
Unless Golden State waives newly acquired Gerald Wallace, who was just swapped for David Lee, via the stretch provision. But recent indications suggest that they will look to keep Wallace.
At least for a little while, as they have until August 31st to decide whether or not to use the stretch.
The Warriors also play Sunday at 5:30 p.m. and Monday at 3:30 p.m. against Atlanta and Sacramento respectively.
The schedule will then switch to a tournament style that will be dictated by wins and losses that concludes with a championship game July 20.
|Aaron Craft||G||6-2||195||Santa Cruz Warriors||R|
|Johnny Dee||G||6-0||185||San Diego||R|
|Ognjen Kuzmic||C||7-0||251||Golden State Warriors||2|
|Doron Lamb||G||6-4||210||Westchester Knicks||2|
|James Michael McAdoo||F||6-9||230||Golden State Warriors||1|
|Aqeel Quinn||G||6-3||200||San Diego||R|
|Dominique Sutton||F||6-5||212||Santa Cruz Warriors||R|