The marquee matchup — if you can categorize a summer-league game as marquee — pits Sharpe, the seventh overall pick in last month’s NBA draft against Detroit Pistons rookie Jaden Ivey, the fifth overall selection. The game tips off at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
Portland’s summer-league squad is full of NBA players from its regular-season roster. In addition to Sharpe and fellow rookie Jabari Walker, second-year players Trendon Watford, Keon Johnson, Greg Brown II and Brandon Williams, and third year guard Didi Louzada will play for the Blazers in Las Vegas.
Sharpe will be one of the main attractions in Las Vegas. Not only is he a Top 10 pick, but he also hasn’t played organized basketball in more than a year. Projected to have one of the highest ceilings in the draft, he’s a mysterious figure for NBA fans because of his meteoric rise as a high school prospect, his commitment to Kentucky, his decision to reclassify to the Class of 2022, enroll early at Kentucky, then sit out the entire college basketball season only to declare for the draft instead of return to play his freshman season with the Wildcats.
Fans just want to see the kid play.
Their first chance will be Thursday night against the Pistons. Detroit's summer-league roster is loaded. In addition to Ivey and fellow rookie Jalen Duren, who was drafted 13th overall in the 2022 NBA draft, the Pistons' roster features Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart and Killian Hayes, among others.
Portland will play four preliminary games from July 7-14. All 30 NBA teams will participate and after the first four games, the teams with the best records (here’s a look at tiebreakers) will play in the championship game on July 17, while the other 28 teams will play a fifth game on July 16 or 17.
The games will be played at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
BLAZERS SUMMER-LEAGUE SCHEDULE
- Thursday: vs. Detroit Pistons, 9 p.m., ESPN
- Saturday: vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 7 p.m., ESPN2
- Monday: vs. New York Knicks, 8 p.m., ESPN2
- Thursday, July 14: vs. Houston Rockets, 6:30 p.m., NBATV
BLAZERS SUMMER-LEAGUE ROSTER
- Shaedon Sharpe, 6-6, 200 pounds
- Keon Johnson, 6-4, 185
- Brandon Williams, 6-2, 190
- Josh Gray, 6-1, 170
- Craig Randall II, 6-4, 185
- Colbey Ross, 6-1, 180
- Trendon Watford, 6-9, 230
- Greg Brown III, 6-8, 200
- Didi Louzada, 6-5, 215
- Jabari Walker, 6-9, 215
- Kyle Alexander, 6-10, 216
- George King, 6-6, 220
- Romello White, 6-8, 235
- Luka Garza, 6-10, 243