John Minchillo / AP
Friday, June 23, 2023 | 2:33 p.m.
The NBA has San Antonio playing Charlotte on July 7, which is opening day in Las Vegas. It’ll be a summer rematch; the same two teams are playing at the California Classic in Sacramento on July 3, the first day of that event.
Both Wembanyama and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich have said the generational French talent will play this summer. It’s just not clear how many times he’ll play, or if he’ll play in Sacramento, Las Vegas, or both.
But the NBA is setting it up for prime time on Day 1 in Vegas, just in case. The San Antonio-Charlotte game that day, as well as a matchup between Portland and Houston — meaning No. 3 pick Scoot Henderson of the Trail Blazers and No. 4 pick Amen Thompson of the Rockets — will both be televised that night on ESPN.
“I can’t wait to wear my first Spurs jersey,” Wembanyama said.
Summer League in Las Vegas runs from July 7-17, overlapping with the inaugural NBA Con event — the league’s new celebration of basketball and culture — at the beginning of the tournament.
Other key summer league matchups and notes:
— Four teams will reach the playoffs, with semifinals on July 16 and the championship game on July 17.
— All teams will play four games before the playoff field is determined. Non-playoff teams will play a fifth game on July 15 or 16.
— The Thompson twins — No. 4 Amen Thompson and No. 5 Ausar Thompson — could square off on July 9 when Amen’s Rockets play Ausar’s Detroit Pistons.
— San Antonio plays Portland on July 9. It could be another meeting between Wembanyama and Henderson; they played near Las Vegas this past fall in a pair of exhibitions between Wembanyama’s French team and Henderson’s G League Ignite.
— Denver and Miami, the franchises that met in the NBA Finals earlier this month with the Nuggets winning in five games, will have their summer teams play on July 14.