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Lakers Summer League Preview

The Lakers are playing Summer League basketball in Sacramento and Las Vegas. Here is a preview of every player’s potential and the role they might have with the team.

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Basketball never stops. Now that the NBA Draft is over and free agency is in full swing, it’s time for Summer League Basketball. The Lakers will participate in the California Classic and NBA 2K24 Summer League. Here is the slate of games the Lakers will be playing in July.

Schedule and TV Info

California Classic:

Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers

When: Monday, July 3 at 3 p.m. PT

Where: Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA

How to watch: ESPN 2

San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers

When: Wednesday, July 5 at 5 p.m. PT

Where: Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA

How to watch: ESPN 2

NBA 2K24 Summer League:

Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers

When: Friday, July 7 at 8 p.m. PT

Where: Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV

How to watch: ESPN

Charlotte Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

When: Sunday, July 9 at 1 p.m. PT

Where: Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV

How to watch: ESPN 2

Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers

When: Wednesday, July 12 at 7 p.m. PT

Where: Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV

How to watch: ESPN 2

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers

When: Fridday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m. PT

Where: Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV

How to watch: NBA TV

For the NBA 2K24 Summer League, the Lakers have the potential to play more games if they advance to the semifinals, but that will depend on their standings after their first four games in Vegas.


The Lakers will bring twelve players to Sacramento and Las Vegas, a combination of rookies, G-Leaguers and a few soon-to-be sophomores. Here is the full roster breakdown.

Jalen Hood-Schifino

The Lakers selected the University of Indiana guard at No. 17 in this year’s draft, and there is a lot to be excited about.

In his lone season of collegiate basketball, Jalen was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. At 6’5, he gives the Lakers a big point guard who has the potential to play multiple positions. With the Lakers’ track record of hitting on many of their draft selections, it’s no surprise Lakers Nation is excited to see Jalen making his debut in purple & gold, even if it’s “just Summer League.”

Will he be able to make a big splash like Lonzo Ball and the baby Lakers did back in 2017 when they won the Summer League Championship? Maybe that’s too much to ask, but then again, his nickname is F-I-N-O which stands for Failure-Is-No-Option.

Maxwell Lewis

Can the Pepperdine shooter be the three-point sniper the Lakers have been looking for? Rob Pelinka and the Lakers’ scouting department certainly thought it possible enough that they drafted him with the 40th pick.

Lewis shot 35% from three in his two years in college, and if that can translate to the next level, his floor spacing and ability to catch and shoot would work like a dream in Darvin Ham’s Motion offense. Lewis said all the right things during his introductory press conference, but one thing that kept coming up was his work ethic.

“How I shoot the ball and just my work ethic as well just always being in the gym, in and out you know at Pepperdine, it was a little tough to get in the gym, but I always figured it out and I was always in the gym.”

Max Christie

In football, the backup quarterback is often the most loved player. He would solve the team’s problems and wouldn’t be making the mistakes the starter is making. Christie had backup QB vibes with Lakers Twitter all season long.

No longer a rookie and now a Summer League vet, the expectation is that Christie will take a step ahead and play like a “man amongst boys,” like Brandon Ingram did when he played in these games for a second consecutive year. Being productive and shining in Sacramento and Vegas will add more fuel to the fire, that Christie should have a sophomore jump in minutes for the upcoming season.

Scotty Pippen Jr.

Last season Scotty Pippen Jr. was on a two-way contract with the Lakers, selected as a Rising Star and averaged 22.5 points with the South Bay Lakers. He was not given a two-way contract this season but was invited to play with the Lakers in Summer League.

Pippen Jr. is a good defender but a bit undersized at 6’1. It is usually a negative, but with Dennis Schröder gone and Darvin Ham’s affinity for small guards, perhaps this gives Pippen Jr. the inside track on a roster spot.

In all seriousness, Pippen Jr. has the upside to become a solid backup guard, but whether he reaches that potential or not is the question. The answer may become clearer after a couple of weekends in Vegas.

Cole Swider

Swider is another player the Lakers hope can improve the team’s shooting woes. He shot 37.5% from deep in his seven games with the Lakers and a whopping 43.6% with South Bay.

An early-season stress reaction to his right foot sidelined him for an extended period and took away any opportunity to get a significant run with the Lakers. However healthy and ready to go, this will be Swider’s chance to prove he can be a three-point specialist in the NBA.

Damion Baugh

Going undrafted, the Lakers signed Baugh to an Exhibit 10 deal, which is a non-guaranteed contract that can be turned into a two-way contract prior to the start of the season. The Lakers have already used their three two-way contracts on Swider, D’moi Hodge, and Colin Castleton, so something would have to change for Baugh to get a two-way contract.

For now, he’ll look to make an impact with the Lakers like he did at TCU, averaging 11.6 points per game. Baugh may be a rookie, but having four years of college experience, he’s one of the older players, so perhaps he can be a “responsible rookie” — similar to what Josh Hart was during his stint with the purple and gold.

D’Moi Hodge

Hodge was a bucket for the Missouri Tigers last season, averaging 14.7 points per game and shooting 40% from three. Prior to his time at Mizzou, he attended Cleveland State where he was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year. A knockdown shooter who can play defense? Makes sense that the Lakers signed Hodge to a two-way contract immediately following the draft.

Colin Castleton

Like Austin Reaves, Colin Castleton chose to go undrafted to sign a two-way contract with the Lakers. If Castleton can prove to be a competent big man, that would be a huge development for the Lakers, as that is an area of the roster in dire need of depth — and having a center that can pair well with Anthony Davis has become a yearly assignment that’s had mixed results.

Castleton averaged 16 points and 7.7 rebounds in his final season at Florida.

Alex Fudge

Another Exhibit 10 guy, Fudge, like Castleton, played for the Florida Gators and showed flashes of brilliance before a head injury he suffered in late January. The forward will be looking to be a good combo player who can score on off-ball motion actions.

Sacha Killeya-Jones

Playing with the Lakers in Summer League last year, Sacha Killeya-Jones is back looking for a permanent role in the league. Last season he was with OKC Blue in the G-League and averaged 7.6 points in 18 games.

Bryce Hamilton

Averaging 14.6 points for the South Bay Lakers last season and playing college ball at UNLV, Hamilton should be pretty comfortable playing with the Lakers in July. Can he make a case to be a member of an already crowded guard depth chart?

LJ Figueroa

Another South Bay star Figueroa is an explosive player who applies a tom of rim pressure and has elite ball-handling ability. He’s the oldest player on the Summer League roster and should look like one of the best players in this setting.

Closing Thoughts

Top to bottom, this team looks to be stacked with talent. Will this be as fun and exciting as the 2017 Summer League squad? It remains to be seen, but ultimately a successful Summer League is more about seeing promise in your young players and leaving with everyone healthy and ready for training camp.

Perhaps Darvin Ham was right all along; it’s not about wins and losses, but “wisdom and lessons.”

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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