Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 63° Clear
Sports >  NCAA basketball

Former Gonzaga standouts Joel Ayayi, Killian Tillie, Johnathan Williams and Zach Norvell open summer league Tuesday

Aug. 2, 2021 Updated Mon., Aug. 2, 2021 at 8:28 p.m.

Jalen Suggs poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected fifth by the Orlando Magic in Thursday’s draft.  (Associated Press)
Jalen Suggs poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected fifth by the Orlando Magic in Thursday’s draft. (Associated Press)

Gonzaga has a sizable contingent on NBA summer league rosters, including recent draft picks Jalen Suggs, Corey Kispert and Filip Petrusev, but Joel Ayayi, Killian Tillie, Johnathan Williams and Zach Norvell Jr. will be the first ones on the court Tuesday.

Ayayi makes his debut with the Los Angeles Lakers against the Miami Heat at 5 p.m. at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center. The second game of the third annual California Classic features the host Kings and Williams against Golden State at 8 p.m.

Ayayi agreed to a two-way contract with the Lakers just after the NBA draft concluded Thursday night. Ayayi and summer league teammate Austin Reaves reportedly declined offers to be drafted so they could choose their free agent path, according to The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie.

The Lakers could have some roster openings for rookies or minimum salary players after trading Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to Washington for Russell Westbrook.

Williams spent time last season with Galatasaray in Turkey and Chemnitz in Germany. The 6-foot-9 forward has played in 39 NBA games, 24 with the Lakers in 2018-19 and 15 with Washington in 2019-20.

The Lakers and Kings tangle Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Tillie, who played in 18 games as a rookie with Memphis last season on a two-way contract, is on the Grizzlies’ summer league squad that tips off against the Utah Jazz Blue at 4 p.m. PT Tuesday at Vivint Arena on NBA TV.

Memphis recently extended a qualifying offer of $1.5 million to Tillie, making him a restricted free agent.

The three-day Salt Lake City Summer league also includes the San Antonio Spurs. Zach Norvell Jr. is on the Spurs’ roster and he debuts against the Jazz White at 6 p.m. Tuesday on NBA TV.

Norvell, who played in two games with the Lakers and three with the Warriors in 2019-20, was waived by Chicago after playing in four preseason games last season. The 6-5 guard has played for the Lakers’ and Warriors’ G League teams.

The Spurs play Jazz Blue at 4 p.m. Wednesday before Memphis faces Jazz White at 6. Both games are on NBA TV. The Spurs and Grizzlies square off Friday at 4 p.m. on ESPNU.

Suggs, Kispert and Petrusev are expected to participate in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas from Aug. 8-17 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion. Numerous teams have yet to announce complete rosters.

The Wizards, who took Kispert at No. 15, face Indiana at 5 p.m. Sunday on NBA TV. Ayayi and the Lakers face the Suns at 7:30 on ESPN2.

Petrusev, selected 50th overall, and Philadelphia open against Dallas at 1 p.m. next Monday on NBA TV. Petrusev, who played in Serbia last year after two seasons at Gonzaga, is listed on the 76ers’ roster, but G.M. Daryl Morey has indicated the 6-11 forward will probably continue playing overseas and have a real chance “to help us down the road.”

Former Washington State Cougar Robert Franks is on the Mavericks’ roster.

Suggs and the Magic take on Golden State at 5 p.m. Monday on NBA TV. Orlando used the No. 5 pick to select the former Gonzaga point guard.

Memphis, Sacramento and San Antonio also have Monday openers in Las Vegas. GU players could square off against each other when Sacramento faces Washington on Tuesday, Aug. 10, and Memphis meets Sacramento on Friday, Aug. 13.

All 30 NBA teams will be represented in Las Vegas after the 2020 summer league was canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All 75 games will be televised on NBA TV or ESPN’s family of networks.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.