Milwaukee Bucks Summer League: What to watch for in game 1

CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 27: Rashad Vaughn
CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 27: Rashad Vaughn /

The Milwaukee Bucks Summer League schedule starts on Friday as the team takes on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Here’s what to watch for.

It’s that time of year again, Milwaukee Bucks fans! Las Vegas Summer League kicks off on Friday, when the Bucks play the Cleveland Cavaliers at 5:30 p.m., central time.

There are lots of players in Summer League who fans may have never seen play before. There are also plenty of players who, sadly, fans won’t see again afterwards. Amidst a sea of non-essential information, here are some fun and almost-important things to watch for on Friday night in Las Vegas.

D.J. Wilson‘s Bucks Debut

The Bucks first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, D.J. Wilson, is in Las Vegas and ready to suit up for the SL Bucks for the first time on Friday. Remember: Summer League is only meaningless if he plays poorly. Otherwise it determines star potential.

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Seriously though, getting to watch Wilson will be a lot of fun for Bucks fans. After he torched the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA last season, it will be nice to see Wilson do work for a Wisconsin team, not against one.

Bronson Koenig should make his Bucks debut as well, which will have Wisconsin Badgers fans especially excited. Koenig was a marksman with a flair for the dramatic in the NCAA — he’s perfect for the kind of game that Las Vegas Summer League consists of.

Sterling Brown might play as well – -the trade of his draft rights to Milwaukee just came through on Thursday, and he wants to be signed first before he plays, so we’ll have to wait and see on his status for the game.

Battle of the Former Bucks Kiddos

At this point it’s fairly common knowledge that the Bucks currently have Gary Payton II on their roster. The Mitten might not make it to the beginning of the season due to his contract not being guaranteed, but he’s here on the Summer League team in Vegas.

What Bucks fans might not know is that the Cleveland Cavaliers Summer League team also contains the son of a former Buck. Sam Cassell Jr., the son of that Sam Cassell, is suiting up for Cleveland’s Summer League squad.

I’ve no idea if the legacies will start opposite each other, but that would be kind of fun!

That’s about the end of the fun regarding Cleveland’s roster, unfortunately. The most noteworthy players there are Kay Felder, a 5’9″ point guard who is in fact not Isaiah Thomas, and Edy Tavares, who the Atlanta Hawks released last season, leading to the Cavs picking him up. The youth movement in Cleveland is not brolic.

Fortunately, that should lead to some fun for the Bucks.

Thon Maker going OFF

Thon Maker should be the best player on the floor during this game against Cleveland at all times he’s out there. Barring a hell of a first game from D.J. Wilson, nobody else on either team has been an NBA rotation player, much less a starter in the postseason.

There’s no telling how much Thon will actually play — smart money is on “not that much” — but the minutes he is out there should be a blast for Bucks fans, who deserve nice things at the moment.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: Meeting the Summer League roster

In addition to the specifics, just having Bucks basketball, even the weird, mediocre form of it Summer League provides, is a blessing. August and September are going to be lean months, Bucks fans. Enjoy this.