The Salt Lake City Summer League will return in 2021 after being canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Multiple teams, including the Jazz and Grizzlies, issued press releases today announcing the event.
The SLC Summer League is essentially an opening act for the Las Vegas Summer League. The Vegas Summer League features all 30 NBA teams and is one of the biggest events of the league’s offseason, along with the draft and free agency. It will take place between August 8-17 this year.
By contrast, the Summer League in Utah will feature just three NBA teams. The Grizzlies, Spurs, and Jazz will participate in the event on August 3, 4, and 6 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
In 2019, the last time the event was held, the Cavaliers joined Utah, Memphis, and San Antonio to make up the four-team field. Since the Cavs won’t return in 2021, the Jazz will field two separate squads to ensure the format – a four-team, six-game round robin – remains unchanged.
As Ryan McDonald of The Deseret News writes, it’s unclear how the Jazz will build their two separate rosters. Typically, Summer League play is generally a showcase for rookies, second- or third- year players, and undrafted free agents, so Utah’s veterans are unlikely to participate. The Jazz may have to bring in a significant number of UDFAs to fill out their two squads.