The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team’s three-game preliminary round schedule for the NBA Summer League 2016 in Las Vegas. The Wolves, who own the No. 5 selection in Thursday’s 2016 NBA Draft, begin their schedule with a contest against the Denver Nuggets, who own the No. 7 pick, on July 8 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
From July 8-18, 23 NBA teams and a team of NBA Development League select players will participate in a tournament-style format to crown the Samsung NBA Summer League Champion. Teams will compete in three preliminary games beginning on July 8 before being seeded in a tournament that leads to the Championship Game on July 18. Each team will play at least five games in Las Vegas.
This summer will mark the 10th NBA Summer League in Las Vegas appearance for the Wolves (2006-10, 2012-16). A year ago the Wolves went 1-4 in Summer League play. Minnesota is 21-26 all-time in Las Vegas.
ESPN will present all 67 games from Las Vegas across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU and WatchESPN. Coverage of Samsung NBA Summer League will tip off on ESPN on July 8 with opening-day clashes between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets at 8:30 p.m. ET and the Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans at 10:30 p.m. ET. In total, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will broadcast 25 games, including all four quarterfinal games, both semifinal games and the Championship Game on Monday, July 18 at 9 p.m. ET at the Thomas & Mack Center. Fans can also log on to ESPN3, where all 67 games will be live-streamed.
NBA TV will also present a full slate of Samsung NBA Summer League action, televising a total of 30 games. The network’s coverage will begin on July 8 with an opening-day tripleheader featuring the Cavaliers and Bucks at 6 p.m. ET followed by the Hawks against the Rockets at 8 p.m. ET and the Sacramento Kings vs. the Raptors at 10 p.m. ET.
The 24-team field at Samsung NBA Summer League 2016 is composed of 11 playoff teams from the 2015-16 NBA season, 12 teams with lottery picks in NBA Draft 2016 presented by State Farm and an NBA Development League Select Team. Teams will compete in three preliminary round games from July 8-12 before being seeded in a tournament that starts onJuly 13 and concludes with the Championship Game on July 18. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games.
Samsung NBA Summer League has long served as the launch pad for future NBA stars. Two-time Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry of Golden State played in Las Vegas before his first season, as did the last two Kia NBA Rookies of the Year: Karl-Anthony Towns (2015-16 winner) and Andrew Wiggins (2014-15) of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Top prospects for the June 23 draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., include Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Dragan Bender, California forward Jaylen Brown, Washington forward Marquese Chriss, Providence guard Kris Dunn, Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield, Duke forward Brandon Ingram, Kentucky guard Jamal Murray and LSU forward Ben Simmons.[Minnesota Timberwolves press release]