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Utah Jazz Summer League to be full of high-profile names

Not long after he became a member of the Utah Jazz during the 2017 NBA draft last week, Donovan Mitchell said he was excited to start practicing.

There will be more than practice coming for Mitchell soon, however.

The 13th overall selection of the draft is slated to play in his first professional games Monday in the Utah Jazz Summer League at the Huntsman Center, where he’ll be one of a number of marquee names to get their first real NBA experience.

The four-team event, which will be played Monday, Wednesday and Thursday will feature top-pick Markelle Fultz and the Philadelphia 76ers, third overall selection Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics and the San Antonio Spurs, in addition to the Jazz.

Utah’s entry will include the team’s other draftees, big man Tony Bradley (28th overall) and point guard Nigel Williams-Goss (55th overall), Dante Exum and Joel Bolomboy, along with a number of free agents. That group is highlighted by former Utah State standout Spencer Butterfield, Australians Mitch Creek and Nate Sobey and 2007 lottery pick Julian Wright, who, incidentally, was taken 13th overall like Mitchell.

Beside Fultz, notables from the 76ers’ roster include Jonah Bolden, Larry Drew II, Aaron Harrison, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Kaleb Tarczewski. Jaylen Brown, Semi Ojeleye and Ante Zizic highlight the Celtics’ expected contingent. Former Jazzman Olivier Hanlan, Bryn Forbes, Davis Bertans, Dejounte Murray and Derrick White are a few players who are expected to be on the Spurs’ roster.

This marks the second year of the event, with the same four teams having competed in it in 2016. Last year, games were played at both the Huntsman Center and Vivint Arena, but with the extensive renovations happening at the Jazz’s building, the 2017 version will be played exclusively on the campus of the University of Utah.

Although not directly tied to the action that will be happening at the Huntsman Center, one potentially interesting storyline is the fact that Utah All-Star small forward Gordon Hayward could decide during the week which team he’ll sign his next contract with, and the Jazz and Celtics are considered the front-runners for his services.

At the same time as the Utah Jazz Summer League is being played, there will be an eight-team event happening in Orlando, and the day after the competition in Salt Lake City has concluded, there will be a 24-squad league beginning in Las Vegas. All four of the teams who will play at the Huntsman Center will be in Sin City as well.

Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said after the draft that Exum will not play in Las Vegas.

All of the games in Salt Lake City will be broadcast on NBA TV and streamed on the ESPN app, while Utah’s three games will also be televised on KJZZ 14.

Tipoff for all of the Jazz games will be at 7 p.m.