The Summer League will look vastly different for the Indiana Pacers following the 2018 NBA Draft given the cancellation of the Orlando Summer League. Long gone will be the familiarity of the Orlando Magic practice facility and the team personnel and writers who attended the games.
The Pacers will join the other seven Orlando Summer League teams in trading the humidity of Florida for the dryness of Nevada, while opting to not sacrifice any of the heat. It will be the first year in which all 30 teams will congregate in Las Vegas to compete in the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League.
The move makes sense given the rapid growth of the NBA as a year round product and the success of the Summer League in Las Vegas to bring in fans and create hype around the top draft picks playing against each other. That reached its peak last year when Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball led the Los Angeles Lakers to the Summer League title.
However, having three separate Summer Leagues limited the interactions between those top prospects. So because of that, the league opted to consolidate the product, bringing the Summer League Pacers to Vegas starting July 6.
It will be another two weeks yet before the team is set, though there should be plenty of representation from roster players like T.J. Leaf, Edmond Sumner, Ike Anigbogu, and Ben Moore, as well as any 2018 draft picks the Pacers make. The Pacers will play three “regular season” games, all of which will be televised.
On Friday, July 6, the Pacers will play the Houston Rockets at 3 p.m. Eastern, airing on NBA TV. The next day, July 7, they’ll face the San Antonio Spurs at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2. They’ll remain on ESPN2 for a third game on July 9 against the Cleveland Cavaliers at 5 p.m. From there, the league will shift into a single elimination tournament from July 11-17, giving the Pacers a chance to shine in pressure situations in their inaugural season in Vegas.