It’s been a roller coaster 24 hours for three of the four components of Florida basketball’s greatest senior class ever. First, Patric Young, Scottie Wilbekin, and Casey Prather all weren’t selected in the 2014 NBA Draft. But it didn’t take long for teams to give them a chance. All three will get a chance to play against each other for the first time as they were invited to play in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
The New Orleans Pelicans were the first to reach out to the former Gators when they invited Patric Young to play in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Young accepted the offer and will join the Pelicans for the 10 day event. Young’s excited to get the opportunity, according to the Gainesville Sun‘s Kevin Brockway:
Young said disappointment from draft has worn off “I still have my chance to go out there and prove that I can play in the league.”
— Kevin Brockway (@gatorhoops) June 27, 2014
The SEC Defensive Player of the Year has the opportunity to catch on with New Orleans. Besides Anthony Davis, the Pelicans could use some solid defense and front court depth. Young would provide both of those, even though he’s not the tallest power forward/center out there.
Casey Prather will join Young in Las Vegas as he accepted a invite to play for the Atlanta Hawks Summer League team. Prather’s coming off a huge senior season in which is was Florida’s leading scorer. The slasher could find a way to make it on the Hawks NBA squad. The depth at small forward is lacking and they could sure use someone who could create points. Gator great Al Horford is also in Atlanta and could help Prather develop and show him the ropes.
Finally, there’s the SEC Player of the Year Scottie Wilbekin. Wilbekin will get two chances to catch on with NBA teams. He’s accepted invitations to play for the Memphis Grizzlies in the Orlando version of the Summer League and the Philadelphia 76ers for the Las Vegas portion. In Memphis, Wilbekin would have former Gators Mike Miller and Nick Calathes to lean on, although Miller is an unrestricted free agent and Calathes is fighting a drug suspension. The Grizzlies also have some depth at point guard already, with Mike Conley, Calathes, and Beno Udrih. Then there’s his opportunity with the 76ers. Currently, Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams hold down the point guard spot, but there’s little depth behind him. Philadelphia drafted Pierre Jackson and Serbian Vasilije Micic, although Micic will likely be stashed overseas. Look for Wilbekin’s tenacious defense to help him catch up with one of these two squads.
The Orlando NBA Summer League features 10 teams that play 25 games in seven days. It starts July 5th and goes through the 11th. Shortly after that’s concluded, the Summer League shifts out west to Las Vegas where 24 teams participate. That league plays its games over 10 days, from July 11-21.