After the NBA draft opens later this month and free agency kicks off July 1, the Wizards will take the third step in reforming for the 2015-16 season with NBA Summer League play in Las Vegas as the schedule was released Tuesday.
Summer league play in Las Vegas runs July 10-20 at Cox Pavilion and Thomas and Mack Center on the campus of UNLV. There will be 23 NBA teams and a D-League Select team competing with rosters filled with rookies, players on rookie scale contracts and free-agent hopefuls trying to secure contracts.
The Wizards will play July 11 vs. the Phoenix Suns (6 p.m. ET); July 12 vs. D-League Select (4) and July 14 vs. the Dallas Mavericks (3:30). They'll also play at least two more games to be determined after first-round action of the tournament is completed.
Last year, with Otto Porter and Glen Rice, the Wizards advanced to the final game of the tournament. But this event was best known what happens in free agency around it. Soon after Trevor Ariza decided to leave for the Houston Rockets, the Wizards signed Paul Pierce as a free agent -- during the course of a game.
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Porter made the all-tournament team last year and Rice was named the most valuable player. Rice was released by the Wizards by the midseason point and has remained in the D-League since then.
Coach Randy Wittman typically stays behind the scenes during summer league and allows his assistants to coach the team. That'll likely fall to Don Newman who had shared the role with former Wizards assistant Sam Cassell. The Wizards have to secure their roster in the coming weeks, will hold a minicamp at Verizon Center with the group and then will leave for the tournament.
The New Orleans Pelicans and Milwaukee Bucks will be the first game to start summer league play on July 10 at 6 p.m. ET. In the second game, the teams with the top two draft picks later this month, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers, will square off.