The NBA Summer League game started last weekend with the California Classic, then the Salt Lake City Summer League earlier this week, but it’s at the Las Vegas Summer League. Vegas that Kentucky basketball fans will especially want to give their attention.
The Las Vegas league kicks off Thursday night with a pair of games that will feature the Cats’ two 2022 draft picks — Shaedon Sharpe (No. 7 Portland Trail Blazers) and TyTy Washington (No. 29 Houston Rockets via a exchange ).
Leaving aside the argument that Sharpe never played for Kentucky and therefore isn’t really an ex-Cat, this will be the first time the offside – which did spends several months training with the team — will play in an organized basketball game since last summer’s Nike Peach Jam, which pitted him against high school competition.
First on the Vegas court on Thursday will be Washington, however, when the Rockets take on the Orlando Magic, who had the No. 1 overall pick and took Duke’s Paolo Banchero. The Rockets also added Auburn’s Jabari Smith (No. 3) and LSU’s Tari Eason (No. 17) in the first round, and their summer roster includes the former Owensboro High School and Eastman standout. State of Mississippi Aric Holman.
Game 2 of Opening Night in Vegas is set to feature Sharpe’s debut when the Trail Blazers take on the Detroit Pistons, whose first pick was Purdue’s Jaden Ivey at No. 5.
Kentucky’s undrafted players from last year’s team, Kellan Grady and Davion Mintz, could make their summer league debuts on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Grady signed a 10-piece deal with the Denver Nuggets, and Mintz signed the same deal with the Washington Wizards.
Other former Kentucky players expected to play in Las Vegas:
▪ Isaiah Jackson, a rookie with the Indiana Pacers last season, averaged 8.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 2021-22. Tevin Brown, an undrafted free agent from Murray State, and former Bowling Green High School star Terry Taylor (Austin Peay) will also play for Indiana.
▪ Former UCLA star Johnny Juzang, playing his first season at Kentucky, signed a two-way contract with the Utah Jazz after not being drafted. Juzang missed the team’s Summer League opener in Salt Lake City on Tuesday due to a concussion he suffered in a car accident on Saturday.
▪ Brandon Boston, who averaged 6.7 points and 2.2 rebounds as a rookie, is on the Los Angeles Clippers’ summer roster, alongside former Central and Louisville Trinity High School standout Jay Scrubb and Xavier Moon, ex-Morehead State star.
▪ Nick Richards, who averaged 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 6.3 minutes over two NBA seasons, will play for the Charlotte Hornets.
▪ Nate Sestina, who played professionally in Turkey, is part of the Sacramento Kings summer roster. Sestina averaged 5.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in the Kings’ first two summer contests in the California Classic. He didn’t play the third game.
▪ Olivier Sarr, who played for the Oklahoma City Thunder late last season, is with the Phoenix Suns this summer.
▪ Ashton Hagans, undrafted in 2020, will play with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hagans averaged 10.8 points, 6.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds for the 905 Raptors in the G League last season.
▪ Mychal Mulder, who played two seasons at Kentucky (2015-17) and spent part of the last three seasons in the NBA, will play for Miami. He’s with the Heat on a two-way contract. He played 15 games with the Magic and two with the Heat last season, averaging 4.1 points. Mulder started all three games for the Heat at the California Classic, averaging 9.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.0 assists while struggling a bit from three-point range (5 for 23).
▪ Sacha Killeya-Jones, who spent two seasons at Kentucky and spent one season as a transfer to NC State before turning pro, has played in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland and Israel. He’s on the Los Angeles Lakers’ summer roster. Killeya-Jones was a DNP in the Lakers’ first California Classic contest, then averaged 7.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in the other two while shooting 2-for-6 from three-point range.
▪ Kahlil Whitney, who played 18 games with the Cats in the 2019-20 season before leaving the team, will play for the Minnesota Timberwolves as a free agent.
Ex-Cats on TV in Las Vegas
(Notes: All times Eastern; not all rosters have been announced and those that are are subject to change; Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17 times are TBD.)
Shaedon Sharpe: Trail Blazers vs. Pistons, midnight Thursday, July 7 (ESPN); Trail Blazers vs. Pelicans, 10 p.m. Saturday, July 9 (ESPN2); Trail Blazers vs. Knicks, 11 p.m. Monday, July 11 (ESPN2); Trail Blazers vs. Rockets, 9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14 (NBA).
Ty Ty Washington: Rockets vs. Magic, 10 p.m. Thursday, July 7 (ESPN); Rockets vs. Thunder, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 9 (ESPN2); Rockets vs. Spurs, 7 p.m. Monday, July 11 (ESPN); Trail Blazers vs. Rockets, 9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14 (NBA).
Davion Mintz: Wizards vs. Pistons, 6 p.m. Saturday, July 9 (ESPN2); Wizards vs. Suns, 5:30 p.m. Sunday, July 10 (NBA); Wizards vs. Pelicans, 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 (NBA); Wizards vs. Pacers, 9 p.m. Friday, July 15 (ESPN2).
Kellan Grady: Nuggets vs. Timberwolves, 9 p.m. Friday, July 8 (NBA); Nuggets vs. Cavaliers, 7 p.m. Sunday, July 10 (ESPNU); Nuggets vs. Clippers, 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 (NBA); Nuggets vs. 76ers, 6 p.m. Friday, July 15 (NBA).
Isaiah Jackson: Pacers vs. Hornets, 6 p.m. Friday, July 8 (ESPN2); Pacers vs. Kings, 3 p.m. Sunday, July 10 (ESPN); Pacers vs. Pistons, 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 12 (NBA); Pacers vs. Wizards, 9 p.m. Friday, July 15 (ESPN2).
Johnny Juzang: Jazz vs. Hawks, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 9 (NBA); Jazz vs. Mavericks, 10 p.m. Monday, July 11 (NBA); Jazz vs. Raptors, 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 (ESPNU); Jazz vs. Clippers, 5 p.m. Friday, July 15 (ESPN2).
Brandon Boston: Clippers vs. Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 9 (NBA); Clippers vs. Lakers, 11 p.m. Tuesday, July 12 (NBA); Clippers vs. Nuggets, 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 (NBA); Clippers vs. Jazz, 5 p.m. Friday, July 15 (ESPN2).
Nick Richards: Hornets vs. Pacers, 6 p.m. Friday, July 8 (ESPN2); Hornets vs. Lakers, 9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 10 (NBA); Hornets vs Cavaliers, 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 (ESPNU); Hornets vs. Bulls, 5 p.m. Thursday, July 14 (ESPN2).
Nate Sestina: Kings vs. Magic, 4 p.m. Saturday, July 9 (ESPN); Kings vs. Pacers, 3 p.m. Sunday, July 10 (ESPN); Kings vs. Thunder, 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 (NBA); Kings vs. Suns, 8 p.m. Friday, July 5 (NBA).
Olivier Sarr: Suns vs. Lakers, 10 p.m. Friday, July 8 (ESPN2); Suns vs. Wizards, 5:30 p.m. Sunday, July 10 (NBA); Suns vs. Mavericks, 10 p.m. Tuesday, July 12 (ESPN2); Suns vs. Kings, 8 p.m. Friday, July 15 (NBA).
Ashton Hagans: Cavaliers vs Spurs, 5 p.m. Friday, July 8 (NBA); Cavaliers vs. Nuggets, 7 p.m. Sunday, July 10 (ESPNU); Cavaliers vs. Hornets, 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 (ESPNU); Cavaliers vs. Pistons, Thursday, July 14 (NBA).
Mychal Mulder: Heat vs. Celtics, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 9 (NBA); Heat vs. Hawks, 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12 (NBA); Heat vs. 76ers, 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 (ESPNU); Heat vs. Raptors, 10 p.m. Friday, July 15 (NBA).
Sacha Killeya-Jones: Lakers vs. Suns, 10 p.m. Friday, July 8 (ESPN2); Lakers vs. Hornets, 9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 10 (NBA); Lakers vs. Clippers, 11 p.m., Tuesday, July 12 (NBA); Lakers vs. Pelicans, 11 p.m. Friday, July 15 (ESPN2).
Khalil Whitney: Timberwolves vs. Nuggets, 9 p.m. Friday, July 8 (NBA); Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies, 9 p.m. Sunday, July 10 (ESPNU); Timberwolves vs. Bucks, 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 (NBA); Timberwolves vs. Nets, 9 p.m. Thursday, July 14 (ESPNU).
This story was originally published July 5, 2022 6:10 a.m.