Phoenix Suns to contend for the first ever Summer League Championship

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Just like every year before this the Phoenix Suns will participate in the Las Vegas Summer League, but this year there is a new wrinkle. Can they find another P.J. Tucker in the process?

This year the NBA has flipped the script on Summer League trying to add value to the games and the experience for the players as well as the teams. There will be a formal Championship Game after each team competes in at least five "regular season" games with a single elimination playoffs following.

The Phoenix Suns will be one of 22 teams in Las Vegas for the ninth annual Summer League in the Sin City. They are one of four teams to have competed in every Summer League since its inception in Las Vegas.

Last year the team finished 2-3 in Summer League losing to the D-League Select Team along the way. Kendall Marshall, Markieff Morris, P.J. Tucker, and Diante Garrett all participated last summer making the NBA roster after quality individual showings. There will be some change this year however with Dan Majerle no longer with the team after coaching the team last year in this event. They will need a new coach, but will likely send the same faces back to continue their development. Having said that, the team could benefit from sending more of the roster up there to develop this summer.

With three picks in the up-coming NBA Draft having a spot in the Summer League this summer is very beneficial for the team to get their young players on the court for competitive basketball before training camp.

The games will be broadcast on NBA TV and played at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas and at the Cox Pavilion. Games will be played from July 12-22 with the Championship being held on Monday, July 22nd.

Summer League is a great opportunity for prospects as well as another venue for teams to evaluate the professional potential of an individual player as made evident by Tucker this past year. He developed into one of the better defensive wings in the league last year, but easily could have been back in Europe if he did not participate in summer hoops affair.

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