The NBA combine, individual workouts for NBA teams and the NBA draft have come and gone.
Hundreds of NBA aspirants have one more opportunity to impress front offices when the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas begins Friday.
That’s the task facing former Gonzaga point guard Josh Perkins. The program’s all-time assists leader worked out for numerous NBA teams but wasn’t selected on draft night. One day later he signed with Charlotte.
“I’ve got to make the most of it,” Perkins said while visiting Spokane for Hoopfest last weekend. “All I needed was a chance. Now it’s time for me to put the pedal to the metal, prove some people wrong and earn a spot.”
Charlotte’s first game is Friday at 6 p.m. against Golden State on NBA TV. Washington State University’s Robert Franks joins Perkins on the Hornets’ roster.
Zach Norvell Jr., who shared the backcourt with Perkins at Gonzaga, got a head start on Las Vegas in the four-team California Classic in Sacramento. Norvell drilled a winning 3-pointer Wednesday to help the Los Angeles Lakers finish 2-1.
Norvell, who agreed to a two-way contract with the Lakers one day after the draft, made a strong first impression. He averaged 14 points and had eight assists in Wednesday’s win. He probably couldn’t have picked a better situation as the Lakers, who are pursuing free agent Kawhi Leonard, will likely need affordable salary options to fill out a roster with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
“Just the pace and obviously the physicality of it,” responded Norvell, when asked the difference between NCAA and pro basketball. “Everybody here is a good athlete. Just trying to find what you do best and just trying to play within yourself.”
The Lakers debut in Las Vegas at 4:30 p.m. Friday against Chicago on ESPN.
Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke, who made Gonzaga history as the first pair of first-round selections in the same draft, are expected to take the court Saturday.
Memphis, which selected Clarke 21st overall via a trade with Oklahoma City, opens against Indiana at 4 p.m. on NBA TV.
Hachimura, taken No. 9 overall by Washington, goes up against No. 1 pick Zion Williamson and New Orleans at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The two squared off in Maui last November when the Zags beat Duke in the Maui Invitational championship game.
There are no games scheduled pitting GU players against each other, but that could change with to-be-determined matchups over the final four days (July 11-15).
Former Idaho Vandal Jeff Ledbetter has been a mainstay on San Antonio’s Summer League squad. The 31-year-old had three points in the Spurs’ opener in the four-team Salt Lake City Summer League before dropping five 3-pointers and scoring 15 points in their second game. Ledbetter has played three seasons with the Spurs’ G League team in Austin.
Former Vandal guard Perrion Callandret is on Chicago’s Summer League roster.
Tyler Harvey, a former Eastern Washington standout, scored 10 points for Memphis in a win over San Antonio on Tuesday.
Former North Idaho College standout Braian Angola-Rodas is back for his second year with Orlando’s Summer League team. The Florida State product played in 38 games last season for the Lakeland Magic, Orlando’s G League team.