by RENALDO DORSETT
The fanfare of the draft and introduction to his new team have subsided, now the next step on the NBA journey for Buddy Hield will be the proving ground for all rookies and players still in search of a roster spot.
Hield and the New Orleans Pelicans will compete in the Samsung NBA Summer League hosted July 8-18 in Las Vegas Nevada.
Some of the leagues top prospects of the future will invade the Thomas and Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus.
Hield, the sixth overall pick in the draft will headline the Pelicans roster alongside 33rd overall pick Cheick Diallo.
The Pels roster at the moment also includes NBA D-League veterans Larry Drew II, Nick Minnerath and Michale Kyser. Drew starred for New Orleans in last year’s Vegas Summer League and spent the year with Monaco in France.
Other noteworthy players on the roster include former North Carolina State guard Anthony “Cat” Barber, and one of the fastest growing prospects out of China, He Tienju.
Hield and the Pels will open Summer league play Friday, July 8 in a matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers and second overall pick Brandon Ingram at 10:30pm local time. In game two they will face the Utah Jazz, Sunday, July 10 at 8pm local time. They will complete the prelims against the Sacramento Kings, Monday July 11 at 10pm local time.
Teams will compete in three preliminary games 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.
The Las Vegas Summer League is the biggest of the popular trio of NBA leagues, which also includes the Orlando and Utah events.
Samsung NBA Summer League 2016 will feature a tournament-style schedule and culminate in a Championship Game for the fourth consecutive year.
ESPN and NBA TV will provide non-stop coverage starting on opening day, which will feature six games.
Seven of the top 10 selections in NBA Draft are scheduled to make their Samsung NBA Summer League debut.
Last year, coach the NBA’s first female coach, Becky Hammon and her San Antonio Spurs were crowned champions of the 11-day, 67-game event, which set records for NBA TV viewership, consumption of digital content on NBA.com and NBA Mobile, total attendance and single-day attendance.
This year’s event will feature 11 playoff teams from the 2015-16 NBA season — including three of the four Conference Finalists in the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State and Toronto Raptors.