Record 24 teams will compete in NBA Summer League in Las Vegas

During the down days of summer, while the NBA Finals hangover has ended and it seems like the next season is years away, a beacon of hope appears in the form of the NBA Summer League.

Sure, it's not the Golden State Warriors against the Cavs, but it's a bunch of guys playing their butts off trying to earn more playing time, prove doubters wrong, or just flat-out make an NBA roster. It's like watching the "Hunger Games," only if Katniss and Peeta wore reversible practice jerseys.

The NBA announced on Thursday that a record 24 teams will be participating in this year's NBA Summer League from July 7-17 in Las Vegas, including the teams that own the top five picks in this June's draft: the Boston Celtics , the Los Angeles Lakers , the Philadelphia 76ers , the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings .

The best part of Summer League is that it gives you a first look at the rookies for the upcoming season, since most of them participate to give themselves an early taste of NBA competition. Players like Damian Lillard have proven that a phenomenal performance in July can foreshadow an outstanding career, while players like Mario Hezonja , who looked like a can't-miss prospect in his Summer League stint, remind us that a couple good games against so-so competition doesn't always translate into immediate NBA success.

There's a good chance we'll get an up-close look at rookies like Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum this summer, which will allow us all to rush to snap judgments that we'll later regret. Welcome to Summer League!

Here's a list of the teams that will be participating in the 2017 NBA Summer League:

  • Houston Rockets
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Washington Wizards
  • Boston Celtics
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Miami Heat
  • Utah Jazz
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • L.A. Lakers
  • L.A. Los Angeles Clippers
  • New Orleans Pelicans
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