I'm not going to lie: the cancellation of the 2011 Vegas Summer League left a lockout-sized hole in my heart a year ago. There's just something about basketball in July that offers critical summer sustenance to the hungry hoops fan, particularly when your team just finished its second straight season on the playoff periphery. But enough about that--the lockout is history and real* basketball (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) is just two weeks away.
The 2012 NBA Vegas Summer League tips off for the Bucks against the New Orleans Hornets on July 16 at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center, with the Bucks packing five games in seven nights between Monday and Sunday, July 22. First and foremost the week will be a chance to see newly-minted Bucks John Henson (14th overall pick) and Doron Lamb (42nd overall) competing against NBA-ish competition for the first time. And it will also mark the Vegas debut for second-year forward Tobias Harris--a victim of the lockout last year--and a return to Vegas for Larry Sanders, who put in a pretty good showing as a rookie back in 2010. Sanders' fellow 2010 draftee Ekpe Udoh will not be there, but overall it should be a good exercise for the four youngsters hoping to earn regular rotation minutes in 12/13.
Full roster and schedule after the jump.
Not to be overlooked are the non-roster invitees, which include a trio of quality(-ish) guards. While Lamb (SG), Harris (SF), Henson (PF) and Sanders (C) will likely start at the 2-5 spots, former Kansas standout Aaron Miles will presumably start at PG with former Syracuse combo guard Andy Rautins and ex-Memphis shooting guard Tarence Kinsey offering additional backcourt depth. The 29-year-old Miles averaged nearly 10 points and seven assists per game playing in Russia last season, while Rautins was a somewhat surprising 2nd round pick of the Knicks in 2010. However, he only played five NBA games with New York in 10/11 and struggled mightily with his shot in the Spanish league last season. Kinsey was a teammate of Ersan llyasova at Anadolu Efes last season and has played parts of three seasons with the Grizzlies and Cavs, making him the most accomplished NBA player among the Bucks' non-roster players.
The Bucks' opener against the Hornets on July 16 should have featured first overall pick Anthony Davis, but that's now been thrown into doubt after Davis suffered a severe ankle injury this week. Remainder of the schedule (all times central):