NBA Draft 2021

2021 NBA Summer League: When do the top prospects make their Summer League debut?

The annual Summer League showcase in Las Vegas took a one-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it's back in action this offseason.

Summer League is set to tip off on Sunday, Aug. 8 and run through Tuesday, Aug. 17. With all 30 teams competing in the summer exhibition, we'll have our first opportunity to see the top prospects of this year's rookie class take the floor.

But when do each of these young stars make their debut?

Below you can find the opening game for of each of the top picks in the 2021 NBA Draft.

No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham vs. No. 6 pick Josh Giddey

Matchup: Detroit Pistons vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Date: Sunday, Aug. 8

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN 2 (US), TSN 3 (CA)

Cunningham is set for a test in his Summer League debut, going up against another jumbo-sized playmaking guard in Giddey.

Selected with the first overall pick, Cunningham is expected to become the cornerstone of the Pistons' franchise, while Giddey, selected with the No. 6 overall pick, was the first of many first-round selections to come in the future of Oklahoma City's rebuilding process.

We're in for an exciting head-to-head matchup to watch these two kick off their NBA careers against each other.

No. 2 pick Jalen Green vs. No. 3 pick Evan Mobley

Matchup: Houston Rockets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Date: Sunday, Aug. 8

Time: 6:30 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN 2 (US), TSN 3 (CA)

While this isn't a positional matchup, it's still always fun to watch two top picks go at it.

The Rockets elected to take Green over Mobley, giving the Cavaliers young star big man the opportunity to show Houston what its missing out on. Green, who has some NBA experience under his belt playing one season with the G League Ignite, should look comfortable on the Summer League floor.

The Rockets also have two other first-round picks set to make their Summer League debut in Turkish big man Alperen Sengün (No. 16) and Arizona State guard Josh Christopher (No. 24), while No. 23 overall pick Usman Garuba's status is up in the air after competing for Spain in the Tokyo Olympics.

No. 4 pick Scottie Barnes

Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks

Date: Sunday, Aug. 8

Time: 4:30 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN 2 (US), Sportsnet (CA)

The Barnes era begins with the Raptors on Sunday.

Toronto had one of the most surprising picks in the 2021 NBA Draft when it selected Barnes over Jalen Suggs at No. 4 overall. The Florida State point forward will have his first opportunity to prove his talents to the Raptors faithful when they take on the Knicks to kick off Summer League.

For New York, fans will get to see No. 25 overall pick Quentin Grimes make his debut. Expect a barrage of 3-pointers, as Grimes was one of the most prolific shooters in college basketball last season.

No. 5 pick Jalen Suggs vs. No. 7 pick Jonathan Kuminga

Matchup: Orlando Magic vs. Golden State Warriors

Date: Monday, Aug. 9

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET


After being passed on at No. 4, Suggs will come into the NBA with a chip on his shoulder. The Gonzaga guard will take the floor for the first time since falling in the National Championship game, hungry to prove the teams that passed on him wrong.

He'll go at with Warriors forward Kuminga, who already made his Summer League debut at the California Classic with an impressive 18 points. While we've also seen No. 14 overall pick Moses Moody in action (who had a solid debut with 19 points), this will be the first chance to see Orlando's No. 8 overall pick Franz Wagner as well.

There will be a ton of young talent on the floor in this matchup.

The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from

LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis says LeBron still the best
Kane Pitman
NBA denies Wiggins' exemption for vaccine
Official Release
Damian Lillard defends Anthony Davis
Active players on fringes of NBA 75 team
Kyle Irving and Scott Rafferty
WNBA capped off its historic 25th regular season by delivering its most-watched season since 2008.
2021 WNBA's most-watched regular season since 2008 Staff
#Layshia Clarendon receives August WNBA Cares Community Assist Award.
Layshia Clarendon WNBA Cares award Staff
Manu Ginobili and Gregg Popovich
Ginobili returns to Spurs in advisor role
Kyle Irving
More News