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Las Vegas Summer League Opening Day: Raptors prepare to take on Kings tonight

We're reporting to you straight from the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas as the Raptors open their Summer League schedule against the Kings.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Let's get the caveats out of the way first. Yes, this is the summer exhibition season; yes, the Las Vegas competition is not quite at the same level as the full-blown regular season NBA experience. Yes, half (or more than half) of the players here will probably not even make it in to the league. That is par for the course in the Las Vegas Summer League.

All that said, the Raptors are here with an intriguing pack of young players. Are you ready to watch a starting lineup of Delon Wright, Norman Powell, Bruno Caboclo, Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam? If not, get ready, because it's here.

Tonight the Raptors take on the Sacramento Kings, a team with their own group of interesting parts. I don't know about you, but I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see how a returning Willie Cauley-Stein will fit in with new draftees Skal Labissiere and Georgios Papagiannis. (If I get a chance I'm gonna ask Georgios if he's into the cinema of Yorgos Lanthimos; peak Summer League!) Sure, it's not the real NBA, but it's definitely something to see.

Now, some scheduling notes. As a reminder, the Raptors will play out their round robin games as follows:





Time (PT / ET)

July 8


Cox Pavilion

7 p.m.10 p.m.

July 10


Cox Pavilion

3 p.m.6 p.m.

July 11


Thomas & Mack Center

3:30 p.m.6:30 p.m.

And, if you needed a refresher, here's the rest of the Raptors Summer League roster:

# Player POS Height Weight From
15 Berry, Davion+ G 6-4 185 Weber State, USA
20 Caboclo, Bruno+ F 6-9 218 Pinheiros, Sky Sao Paulo, Brazil
11 Crawford, Drew+ G 6-5 215 Northwestern, USA
22 Daniels, DeAndre+ F 6-9 196 Connecticut, USA
12 Jones, Jalen+ F 6-7 223 Texas A&M, USA
53 Kirk, Alex+ C 6-11 252 New Mexico, USA
13 Moreira, Yanick+ C 6-11 220 SMU, Angola
42 Poeltl, Jokob+ C 7-0 248 Utah, Austria
24 Powell, Norman+ G 6-4 215 UCLA, USA
43 Saikam, Pascal+ F 6-9 230 New Mexico State, Cameroon
25 Singler, EJ+ F 6-6 215 Oregon, USA
32 Smotrycz, Evan+ F 6-9 235 Maryland, USA
2 Upshur, Quinton+ G 6-5 207 Northern Arizona, USA
23 VanVleet, Fred+ G 6-0 186 Wichita State, USA
55 Wright, Delon+ G 6-5 183 Utah, USA

The big questions for the night are mostly centred around the Raptors' two newest players. This will be our first chance to see Siakam and Poeltl go against NBA-calibre competition. We'll be able to assess the quickness and polish of the latter, and we'll be able to see how comfortable the former is at this level. I'm anxious.

I also wonder about what kind of progress will see from Bruno over the next week. There's no question the young Brazilian (now only two years away) has talents and physical tools. The concern has always been about his confidence and assertiveness. This is now his third (and presumably) final appearance in Vegas -- will he reach another level?

As for Wright and Powell, there's not much more to add. I fully expect Wright to exert his will on the game. He's already shown himself quite capable of dictating pace and control of a given game. At this level, as a 24-year-old point guard, he really is ahead of the curve against some of this competition. And Powell, well, he's already said he wants the title and the MVP. I have no doubt that he will play big.

In any case, get ready and let's watch tonight at 10pm EST.