As the Pelicans open play on Friday, there's no shortage of storylines to follow in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. A look at some from New Orleans and around the league:
Pelicans rookie Cheick Diallo played only 61 minutes in Kansas' final 17 games this season. He didn't play at all in five of them. He figures to see a significant boost in his playing time in Las Vegas, giving New Orleans fans a first real glimpse at his potential.
Under the Radar
High-level rookies in Summer League are getting their first chance to showcase their skills, but it's also a showcase for more experienced players trying to latch on with a team. Among the Pelicans to watch: Forward Nick Minnerath, who had a strong season with the Canton Charge of the NBDL and is drawing significant NBA interest, and point guard Larry Drew II, who came close to a camp invitation in New Orleans after a strong showing last summer.
Las Vegas is loaded with young stars. The Pelicans' opener will feature Buddy Hield, the No. 6 pick in last month's NBA Draft, facing the Lakers' Brandon Ingram, who was drafted second. The 76ers and former LSU star Ben Simmons made their Summer League debut in Salt Lake City but also will play in Las Vegas.
Another high-profile rookie, Milwaukee's Thon Maker, is set to appear in Summer League after a shocking jump to No. 10 in last month's draft. The 7-foot-1 Maker, a native of Wau, South Sudan, spent a season at Metairie Park Country Day after moving to the U.S. from Australia.
There might not be a Summer League team more loaded with young talent than Phoenix. Devin Booker, a first-team All-Rookie selection this season, will play limited minutes, and the Suns feature rookies Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss and Tyler Ulis.