The Orlando Pro Summer League will not be held in 2018.
According to a report from the Orlando Sentinel, the Orlando Magic will not host summer league, one that they’ve hosted 14 times since 2002 in 2018. Instead, the Magic, along with much of the rest of the league, will travel to Las Vegas to take part in the Las Vegas Summer League.
After having only eight teams participate last summer, and the quality of play going down year-after-year, it’s not surprising the Magic are pulling the plug on their own league. More and more teams found it to be more advantageous to go to Las Vegas, taking away some of the interest in Orlando.
Magic president of basketball operations told the Orlando Sentinel this about their move to Vegas next summer.
“The pendulum is swinging toward teams playing in Vegas,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said.
“It’s a level of competition and a level of exposure when more or less every team in the league is there and you’re playing in front of 20,000 people as opposed to playing in a gym with a few hundred people. So it better prepares you for what NBA life is really about with the crowds, the pressure, the travel — a lot of what you’re going to have to confront. Obviously, it’s not a true test of an NBA season, but it’s a little taste.”
“We want to do what’s right for the team, for our players,” Weltman said. “But that being said, when the large portion of the league is there [in Las Vegas], it does kind of create an environment where you want your young guys to be a part of what the league is about. So there is that added component.”
Switching to Vegas makes a lot of sense for the Magic.
As Weltman points out, it gives players a better taste of what the regular season will actually be like. With more teams out there, and a more well defined tournament style of play, it will also give the Magic a chance to take a longer look at players who could be fighting for a roster spot, or a training camp invite.
Add in the, potential, extended amount of play for their incoming rookies, and it’s a win-win for the Magic.