The NBA summer league has turned into the biggest out of season attraction in professional sports. The NFL, MLB, and NBA preseasons are virtually meaningless and the teams show very little. The summer league, however, is filled with guys striving to get a tryout, to secure a future for themselves and their family.
The summer league is always loaded with incredible talent, and that is particularly true this season. Among the players that are already showing out this season are: Deandre Ayton, Dennis Smith Jr, De’Aaron Fox, Jaren Jackson, Mo Wagner, John Collins, Josh Hart, Grayson Allen, Mo Bamba, and the list keeps going.
Many of the summer league games start as the World Cup ends, allowing you to binge on sports all day every day this summer.
Games are available both online and on NBA TV, and best of all you can enter fantasy summer league contest at DraftKings.com.
DraftKings Summer League Contests
We included a screenshot of some of the featured contests in today’s summer league lobby on DraftKings. You will find a wide variety of contests, including some of the games you would find in a typical DK NBA slate.
Most of our readers will recognize contests like the sharpshooter, triple threat and And-One from this past NBA season.
Beyond the contests themselves, rosters and scoring carry over from the regular season NBA format as you might expect.
With all of those similarities to the regular season game, your research and process will be completely different with summer league. While there is some basic data available, box scores, statistical averages, etc… there is a much smaller sample size and much bigger emphasis on watching the games and knowing the players.
Those of you familiar with these rookies from this past CBB season, should find building lineup easier than owners that are just learning names and players for the first time.
Tips for Building Your Lineups
Here are a few basic tips to help you get started with building your summer league lineups:
Sophomores tend to dominate. If you look at the current top 10 leaders in nearly every statistical category, they are second year players. Look for second year players that are getting minutes. You would expect a player like Dennis Smith, Jr to dominate, and he will for stretches, but his minutes are going to be managed all summer.
Watch the games and box scores. Some teams will play with a ton of pace and push any time they can, while others will put an emphasis on ball possession and defense. Targeting players facing teams that play with pace is a great way to ensure your targets reach value. Looking for more data? Good luck, there isn’t a ton, but NBA.com/summerleague has all sorts of stats to help you build your lineups.
Watch for last minute scratches. This is absolutely crucial… if a player is scratched, which happens a ton in summer play, the guys playing behind him are going to immediately become nice value plays.
Vegas is a great resource. If you aren’t sure what to expect from a slate, take a look at the Vegas spreads and totals. Start your research with players on teams with the highest totals.
Enjoy this summer league, my it help bridge the gap to football. The summer league is only here for two weeks, then the long NBA offseason really begins.