Australians and NBL stars to watch during the NBA's Summer League in Las Vegas

The beauty of basketball is that it never stops.

The NBL postseason rolled into the NBA postseason, which was closely followed by the draft and last weekend's FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Melbourne.

Rather than have a week off, we now dive straight into NBA Summer League hoops, with the action in Las Vegas tipping off on Friday morning (AEST).

Year on year, the number of Australian and NBL connected athletes hitting the floor at the Thomas and Mack Centre and Cox Pavilion has been growing, with the 2022 tournament set to feature 21 names that will be very familiar to Australian hoops fans.

Here is a list of teams and names to follow in Las Vegas over the next two weeks.


BOSTON CELTICS

Robert Franks - 6'7" (Adelaide 36ers)

A marquee signing with the Adelaide 36ers for NBL23, Franks was a double-double machine with the Brisbane Bullets last season.

Still only 25 years old, it's no surprise he would want to test the NBA/International waters this offseason.

CHICAGO BULLS

Akoldah Gak - 6'11" (Illawarra Hawks), Makur Maker - 6'11" (Sydney Kings)

This will be fun. Two athletic bigs who received limited opportunities last season have landed on the same squad, with Maker and Gak highly rated prospects prior to their time in the NBL.

Maker impressed late in the season when he was able to get healthy, ultimately playing important minutes on the Kings' championship roster down the stretch.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Luke Travers - 6'7" (Selected with the 56th overall pick in 2022 NBA Draft via Perth)

Travers was a late selection on draft night behind a two-year stretch of rising on draft boards after carving a key spot in the Perth Wildcats rotation.

Travers is one of the main players to watch in Las Vegas, with a spot on the main roster for the 2022-23 NBA season the goal.

DALLAS MAVERICKS

Sam Waardenburg - 6'10" (Cairns Taipans)

After four years of college hoops at Miami, Waardenburg is set to turn pro with the Taipans, but first he will let it fly with the Mavericks.

Improving with each season, the floor spacing forward connected on 41.8 percent of his triples during the 2021-22 season.

DENVER NUGGETS

Jack White - 6'7" (Melbourne United)

It's been a wild week for White, who played a vital role in the Boomers' 3-0 World Cup qualification window. Just hours after posting a monster double-double in a win over China, the athletic forward was on a plane heading for Las Vegas.

Pegged as a potential future captain of the national team, White's extraordinary recovery from a ruptured Achilles continues with the Nuggets.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

Justinian Jessup - 6'6" (Illawarra Hawks), Yudai Baba 6'4" - (Melbourne United)

Jessup and Baba have had an early start to Summer League play, with the Warriors playing three games in the California Classic.

Golden State went 0-3 in those encounters, though, Jessup started all three games, tallying 11 points in 21 minutes in the finale against the Miami Heat.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS

Hugo Besson - 6'3" (Selected with the 58th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft via New Zealand Breakers), Dusty Hannahs - 6'3" (Adelaide 36ers)

Reports suggest Besson could be a draft-and-stash player for the upcoming season, though, an impressive performance in Las Vegas could change the calculus.

Milwaukee bought the second-round selection that they ultimately used to secure Besson, with a two-way contract an alternate route for the 2022-23 season should they opt to keep him closer to the NBA product.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

Brian Bowen II - 6'7" (Entering third season in the NBA, formerly Sydney Kings)

he original NBL Next Star has 12 NBA games to his name, largely spending his time in the G League since playing with Sydney.

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

Dyson Daniels - 6'8" (Selected with the 8th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft via G League Ignite)

The main event for the fresh faces in the NBA system from an Australian perspective, Daniels is expected to make his first Summer League appearance with the Pelicans at noon on Sunday afternoon.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

Josh Giddey - 6'8" - (Entering second season with the Thunder, formerly Adelaide 36ers), Ousmane Dieng - 6'10" (Selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft via New Zealand Breakers)

Oklahoma City might just be the most watchable team on this year's Summer League slate.

The Thunder are taking part in Utah Summer League before heading to Vegas, with their opener against Utah resulting in a dominant 98-77 win. Giddey tallied 14 points and 11 assists, while Dieng added 10 points and four rebounds in his first outing with the franchise.

I don't expect Giddey to play a big role in Vegas, if at all, he's simply too good for this level of competition, but if he does play, make sure you tune in. It's worth it.

ORLANDO MAGIC

R.J Hampton - 6'6" (Entering third season with the Magic, formerly New Zealand Breakers)

The former Breaker appeared in 64 games last season with the Magic and year three in the NBA looms as a big one on a roster loaded with young guards.

A strong performance at Summer League would be a good start for a player that should be looking to show he is class above after multiple years in the system.

PHOENIX SUNS

Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. - 7'0" (Melbourne United), Duop Reath - 6'11" (Illawarra Hawks), Dejan Vasiljevic - 6'3" (Sydney Kings)

JLA and Reath battled on numerous occasions during NBL22 and they might just be battling for minutes to shine in Las Vegas.

Vasiljevic has committed to Sydney for the upcoming season, but could still attract offers in the NBA or Europe on the back of a strong showing.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

Didi Louzada - 6'5" (Entering second season in the NBA, formerly Sydney Kings)

The former Sydney King has played in just 12 games in two seasons with New Orleans and Portland and originally heading to Sydney as a draft-and-stash option for the Pelicans.

UTAH JAZZ

Vic Law - 6'7" (Perth WIldcats)

Alongside Bryce Cotton, Law formed arguably the most dangerous duo in NBL22.

In 2015, Cotton threw down a ferocious left-handed alley-oop jam while playing for the Jazz. Let's see what Law can deliver seven years later...

WASHINGTON WIZARDS

Tahjere McCall - 6'5" (Cairns Taipans)

McCall has re-committed to the Snakes for this season in a big coup for the franchise. A two-way stat stuffer, you should expect McCall to fill the box score in Vegas.