Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/19/14
What happens in Vegas…

The Portland Trail Blazers are set to kick off the Las Vegas Summer league against the New Orleans Hornets Sunday night at 7:30 PT.

The team will play five games in the next week, as they prepare to make the final roster moves heading into the 2012-13 NBA season.

Here is a look at what you should be watching for from the Trail Blazers in the Las Vegas Summer League:

5) Was Will Barton the Steal of the 2012 NBA Draft?

Will Barton saw himself fall to the 40th overall pick in June’s NBA draft despite numerous projections that had him landing somewhere late in the first round.

Either the Trail Blazers got one heck of a steal, or the other teams ahead of them knew something Portland didn’t.

Expect the former to be the case, as Barton is a dynamic scorer and a great rebounder for his 6’6”, 174-pound frame.

Barton certainly needs to add strength and consistency to his game, but with the potential to be a high-volume scorer, his athleticism and aggressiveness could propel him into the rotation as early as next season.

4) Can Meyers Leonard Bang With the Bigs of the NBA?

Meyers Leonard isn’t going to see the Dwight Howards or Andrew Bynums of the league in Las Vegas, but the Summer League will be a good starting point when it comes to comparing him to his competition.

Leonard is an athletic big man who can run the floor well, and at 7’1”, 250 pounds, he measured in as the tallest prospect of the entire 2012 draft class.

Meyers Leonard isn’t going to see the Dwight Howards or Andrew Bynums of the league in Las Vegas

A soft touch around the rim and solid shooting ability from mid-range makes him a versatile scoring option, but a raw offensive game will make it interesting to see where he fits in on many of Portland’s offensive sets.

A good defender in college, watch for the impact he can have on the defensive end near the rim against the Summer League competition.

3) What Will Wesley Matthews Gain From Playing in the Summer League?

Wesley Matthews didn’t have to join the Las Vegas Summer League, but he committed anyway following last season’s final home game.

The three-year guard, who has found a mostly-consistent spot in the team’s starting lineup, averaged 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and shot 38.3 percent from the three-point line last year.

While the summer league doesn’t usually play host to players of Matthews’ accomplishments, the decision to play shows the dedication to getting better that we’ve seen throughout his two seasons with the Trail Blazers.

Expect Matthews to work on areas of his game that you haven’t seen on display thus far, and expect him to work closely with those most likely to be on next year’s roster, such as Leonard and Damian Lillard.

2) Does Damian Lillard Have the Court Vision of an NBA Point Guard?

We all know Lillard can shoot, and we all suspect he’ll bring his score-first mentality with him as he transitions to the NBA Game.

However, whether or not he has the court vision to become a true facilitator has yet to be seen.

Lillard is a better passer than many people give him credit for, as he can run the pick and roll with ease due to his high basketball IQ.

You don’t want him to lose his scoring edge, but at the same time, you’d like to see him make the effort to get his teammates involved and help the other players develop their own games throughout the summer.

1) Who Will Make The Final Cut?

The ultimate goal of every Summer League is to find out who will make the roster and how well they play together heading into the new NBA season.

The Trail Blazers have a decent idea of which Las Vegas participants will be on the 2012-13 roster, but how well they play together and what their roles will be are very much up in the air.

Will there be any surprise players to make the roster? Maybe, maybe not.

But following the Summer League schedule, we will have a much better idea of who will be on the court next season.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!

© Bryant Knox for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share NWSportsBeat.com on Facebook

Post tags: 2012 NBA Draft, Damian Lillard, Las Vegas, las vegas summer league, Meyers Leonard, NBA, New Orleans Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Trail Blazers Blog, Portland Trailblazers vs. New Orleans Hornets, Summer League, Summer League Preview, Trailblazers blog, Wesley Matthews, will barton

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Broncos will franchise tag Demaryius Thomas

Marshawn Lynch on final SB play: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers acquire Keith Yandle from Coyotes

Report: Bucs to keep Vincent Jackson under current contract

Twins to limit players' smartphone use on game days

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Shane Battier: Carmelo Anthony is not that tough to guard

Ronda Rousey would be 'happy' to fight Cat Zingano again

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans after loss

Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184, keeps MMA rumors alive

Dick Vitale will not call Duke-UNC rematch either

PHOTO: Pacquiao has message for Mayweather with t-shirt?

Nuggets break team huddle with countdown to end of season

WATCH: James Harden kicks LeBron in the groin

Jim Harbaugh tells Madonna he respects her toughness

Are the Oakland Raiders finally trending up?

Durant blasts Instagram hater for Westbrook comment

Three potential big signings the Steelers could make

Kevin Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Timberwolves fans

Michigan fan has incredible Charles Woodson tattoo

WATCH: NIU C brings down basket on dunk

McCown plans to embrace mentoring role with Manziel

Chris Sale out three weeks with foot injury

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

Lynch: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers get Yandle from Coyotes

Harbaugh respects Madonna's grit

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Cowboys letting Murray test market?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184

Rousey beats Zingano in 14 seconds

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.