The NBA Summer League provided an early glimpse at the league’s future stars and dynamics. With trade rumors swirling around several marquee players, general managers used the Summer League stage in Las Vegas to provide insight into their plans.
Damian Lillard’s status in Portland remains uncertain, while Toronto reiterated its commitment to Pascal Siakam. Intriguing storylines also emerged around young guards Collin Sexton and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Top draft picks like Jalen Green and Evan Mobley displayed their potential for Houston and Cleveland. While no major deals materialized yet, the rumors and roster moves made it clear that seismic shifts still loom large this NBA offseason.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard’s future in Portland remains uncertain. He requested a trade, but the Trail Blazers have been reluctant. At Summer League, general manager Neil Olshey acknowledged Lillard’s desires to compete for a title but reaffirmed the team’s championship ambitions with Lillard on the roster.
Still, if the right trade package emerges, the Blazers may have to consider it. Lillard’s frustrated, but for now remains under contract in Portland.
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
Pascal Siakam’s name emerged in trade rumors, but Raptors general manager Bobby Webster downplayed those reports in Las Vegas. Siakam struggled at times last season following a breakout year that earned him Most Improved Player honors.
However, Webster expressed confidence in Siakam’s abilities and potential, emphasizing his importance to Toronto going forward. Barring an irresistible offer, Siakam appears likely to remain a foundational piece for the Raptors.
Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers
After drafting two guards, there are questions about Collin Sexton’s future with the Cavaliers. At Summer League though, Cleveland’s front office insisted they still valued Sexton despite bringing in some competition.
General manager Koby Altman pointed out that having a surplus of talented, young guards is a good problem to have in today’s NBA.
Sexton showcased improved playmaking skills in Vegas to go along with his trademark scoring ability. If he continues his upward trajectory, Sexton should maintain a key role as the Cavaliers rebuild.
The Thunder seem willing to patiently rebuild around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Pistons are committed to Cade Cunningham as the centerpiece of their new era.
Jalen Green and Evan Mobley looked like foundational pieces for the Rockets and Cavaliers, respectively.
The Pacers have high hopes for Chris Duarte. Overall it was a glimpse at the NBA’s bright future, with no shortage of young talent ready to step into the spotlight.