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Markelle Fultz to make NBA summer league debut July 8 in Las Vegas

No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz will make his pro debut against the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

Well, sort of.

Fultz and the Philadelphia 76ers’ summer league squad will meet the Warriors at 7:30 p.m. July 8 at the Thomas &Mack Center. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

The 6-foot-5-inch Fultz, considered by some the best point-guard prospect since Chris Paul, told reporters at his introductory news conference that the 76ers are a playoff team right now.

Fultz, 19, can score from all three levels, create for others and play off the ball. He will surely draw a lot of attention from fans at the summer league.

Fultz also will get the chance to play against the team that essentially traded him — the Boston Celtics. The 76ers will meet Boston at 3:30 p.m. July 11 at the T&M, pitting the No. 1 overall pick against No. 3 pick Jayson Tatum, the 6-8 scoring machine the Celtics took in Thursday’s NBA draft after trading the No. 1 pick to Philadelphia earlier in the week.

Tatum will debut the same day as Fultz against No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers in a 5:30 p.m. game at the T&M that will be televised on ESPN.

Ball, the 6-6 playmaking wizard, will have the keys to the Lakers’ offense after the trade of combo guard D’Angelo Russell, who was one of the top players in the 2016 Vegas Summer League and now plays for the Brooklyn Nets.

No. 4 pick Josh Jackson and the Phoenix Suns will open against No. 5 pick De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings at 7:30 p.m. July 7 at the T&M. Jackson, a 6-8 two-way wing, and Fox, a 6-4 point guard, fill immediate needs for their teams.

Bishop Gorman High School graduate Zach Collins, who played one season at Gonzaga before turning pro, will return to Las Vegas on July 8 with the Portland Trail Blazers, who will meet the Utah Jazz at 3 p.m. at Cox Pavilion. Collins, drafted No. 10 overall by the Sacramento Kings and immediately traded to Portland, is a versatile 7-footer who can make 3-pointers and protect the rim.

Other key matchups include Phoenix versus Dallas on July 9. The Mavericks selected former No. 1 overall high school recruit Dennis Smith Jr. with the No. 9 pick, and he’ll get to run his team against Jackson.

The Lakers and Kings will play July 10. Fox and Kentucky got the best of Ball and UCLA in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on March 24, with Fox scoring 39 points and holding Ball to 10 in the Wildcats’ 86-75 victory.

Findlay Prep products Nigel Williams-Goss (Utah) and Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies) also will be playing in the summer league. Both were selected in the second round.

Contact Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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