Colorado Buffaloes basketball has never been better represented in the NBA, and it seems that CU will be represented better and better as the years go on. Four former Buffaloes are playing in the NBA Summer League: Derrick White (Spurs), Xavier Johnson (Nuggets), Josh Scott (Trail Blazers) and Spencer Dinwiddie (Nets).
Derrick White is an incredible story and his humility and gratitude showed as his once impossible dream was realized on draft night. The San Antonio Spurs selected him 29th overall in the first round of the NBA Draft and have big plans for him, this season and in the future. The Spurs are contending for a Finals berth and will need all the support they can get, and it seems that White stands to be a key contributor off the bench from the very start of the season. For White, the Summer League is about him getting reps and developing chemistry with his Spurs teammates.
Xavier Johnson had a great career at Colorado and he’ll be suiting up for the Nuggets this summer. XJ is going to continue playing professionally for a long time, but where he plays next year may be decided with his Summer League performance. Denver has a ton of young talent they’re trying to get on the floor, so XJ’s chances to prove himself will likely be limited, just as they were for Josh Scott when he played for the Nuggets last summer. XJ probably isn’t playing for an NBA contract (right now), but he has the chance to improve his stock should he play in the NBA’s G-League or overseas.
Josh Scott finished his incredible CU career last year and spent last season playing in Macedonia with MZT Skopje. In his season abroad, Scott seemed to improve his already skilled two-way game. Now with the Portland Trail Blazers summer squad, Scott can show that he’s now polished enough for the NBA. It’s always difficult for undrafted players to catch on in the NBA, but teams are always in the need for quality bigs, especially those with a high-character locker room presence like Scott.
Our beloved Spencer Dinwiddie finished his third season in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets, and he’s back in the Summer League. Dinwiddie is signed to a guaranteed contract for the 2017-18 season, so his spot with the Nets is essentially secure, especially considering his improvement last season. Dinwiddie is likely on the Nets squad for the sake of extra reps, though there’s a chance the Brooklyn front office wants to stage a competition between Dinwiddie and Isaiah Whitehead to decide who will be the backup point guard.
There’s a chance that the Summer League could have another former Buffalo, Askia Booker. Ski graduated in 2015 and has played in the G-League the past two seasons. He’s currently on the roster of the Northern Arizona Suns and he could be added to the Phoenix Suns’ roster when they announce it in the coming days. If Booker makes the team, he could be fighting for a spot on the Suns’ bench.
The Summer League is already underway and the competition will continue through July 17. Nearly every game is accessible via NBA TV or NBA.com.