The Las Vegas NBA Summer League has been an annual tournament implemented by the NBA since 2006.
This is the 17th time the tournament is being played, with the lone exception since 2006 being the lost Covid-19 year of 2020.
Summer League allows players who are drafted, undrafted, rookies or unsigned free agents an opportunity to make a name for themselves to prove that they belong on an NBA roster.
For those players who were drafted, it’s an opportunity to learn your new team’s systems and get some much-needed reps in before the NBA season.
Of the 16 MVPs handed out at Summer League since 2006, seven recipients were players drafted outside the lottery that same year or the previous one. The trend has grown stronger in recent years with six of the last eight MVPs being picked outside the Lottery in the Draft with Lonzo Ball (2017) and Davion Mitchell (co-MVP in 2021) as the exceptions.
MORE: NBA Summer League results
Blake Griffin and John Wall, back in 2009 and 2010 respectively, are the only No. 1 picks ever to be crowned MVPs in the Summer League.
Here’s a look at all the Summer League MVP winners since 2006:
|2021||Davion Mitchell||Sacramento Kings||2021 Rd. 1 Pick 9||USES|
|2021||cameron thomas||Brooklyn Nets||2021 Rd. 1 Pick 27||USES|
|2019||Brandon Clark||memphis grizzlies||2019 Road 1 Pick 21||Canada|
|2018||Josh Hart||Los Angeles Lakers||2017 Rd. 1 Pick 30||USES|
|2017||Lonzo Ball||Los Angeles Lakers||2017 Road 1 Pick 2||USES|
|2016||Tyus Jones||minnesota timberwolves||2015 Rnd 1 Pick 24||USES|
|2015||Kyle Anderson||San Antonio Spurs||2014 Rnd 1 Pick 30||USES|
|2014||Glen Rice Jr.||Washington Wizards||2013 Rnd 2 Pick 5||USES|
|2013||Jonas Valanciunas||Toronto Raptors||2011 Rnd 1 Pick 5||Lithuanian|
|2012||Damian Lillard||Portland Trail Blazers||2012 Rnd 1 Pick 6||USES|
|2012||Josh Selby||memphis grizzlies||2011 Rnd 2 Pick 19||USES|
|2010||John Wall||Washington Wizards||2010 Rnd 1 Pick 1||USES|
|2009||Blake Griffin||LA Clippers||2009 Rnd 1 Pick 1||USES|
|2008||Jerryd Bayless||Portland Trail Blazers||2008 Rnd 1 Pick 11||USES|
|2007||Nathan Robinson||New York Knicks||2005 Rnd 1 Pick 21||USES|
|2006||Randy Foy||minnesota timberwolves||2006 Rnd 1 Pick 7||USES|
In 2012, co-MVPs were handed out to Damian Lillard and Josh Selby, for the first time in NBA Summer League history.
It happened for the second time in Summer League history in 2021 when Davion Mitchell and Cameron Thomas were named co-MVPs.
The Summer League also has a championship game MVP winner as well.