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NBA’s Summer League returns to Las Vegas after a lockout-induced break

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Leila Navidi

DeMarcus Cousins, left, of the Sacramento Kings battles against Deon Thompson of the Minnesota Timberwolves during their NBA Summer League game at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas Wednesday, July 14, 2010.

Tue, Apr 10, 2012 (11:30 a.m.)

The NBA Summer League is returning to Las Vegas.

A year after the NBA lockout put the annual tradition on hold, the league returns to Vegas with games July 13-22 at the Thomas & Mack Center and the Cox Pavilion.

The league is traditionally a platform to showcase young talent, particular new draft picks. This year, that could include a hometown star or two.

Both Chace Stanback and Oscar Bellfield are playing in the Portsmouth Invitational, a showcase tournament for 64 college seniors in front of a plethora of NBA scouts. The tournament is held in Virginia from April 11-14 and includes top prospects like Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor, who will be Stanback’s teammate.

Whether they’re drafted or not — a long shot for Stanback and even longer for Bellfield — they could join teams in free agency and use the summer league in front of a home crowd to try to make a roster.

The NBA Summer League started playing in Las Vegas in 2004 with just six teams and has since expanded to about 20 teams playing a total of nearly 60 games. The schedule for this year’s event will be released later.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. June 1 through UNLVtickets.com.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or taylor.bern@lasvegassun.com. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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