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How to Watch: Dalton Knecht’s Summer League Debut on Saturday

Dalton Knecht
Tennessee G Dalton Knecht selected by the Los Angeles Lakers. Photo via Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics.

Former SEC Player of the Year Dalton Knecht will showcase his talent on an NBA court for the first time on Saturday afternoon.

Knecht and the Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Sacramento Kings in the first game of the California Classic, setting off the official start of the Summer League in July.

Fortunately for Tennessee fans, this game and several regular-season Lakers games will be featured on national television to make it easy to watch Knecht. The Lakers are always one of the most nationally televised teams in the NBA and the ongoing storyline of Lebron James and his quest for a championship will certainly put them in front of viewers.

Knecht and the Lakers will take on the Sacramento Kings at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN on Saturday afternoon. The game will take place in San Francisco.

Sunday night presents a rare opportunity to pit former teammates against each other as Knecht’s Lakers take on Santiago Vescovi and the Golden State Warriors that night. That game will take place at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV and ESPN+.

Dalton Knecht was selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft after one year at Tennessee under Rick Barnes. Despite a bit of a slide in the draft, Knecht ended up in a situation that can best make use of his mature presence and sharpshooting skills. The Lakers are gearing up for a big playoff run and a 23-year-old rookie who can shoot could be an x-factor off the bench with James and teammate Anthony Davis taking up so much attention.

The stars won’t be on the court this summer, though. That would have been true regardless but especially with the Olympics happening this summer.

More from RTI: ‘He’s a Bucket’: Dalton Knecht Draws Praise from Former NBA Players

Knecht headlines the summer roster as the Lakers’ first-round draft pick alongside Bronny James, the oldest son of Lebron James and the talk of the  NBA landscape this week. But while the conversation around James has been loud, Knecht is the star on the court and the main focus for the Lakers this summer. James averaged just 4.8 points in just under 20 minutes per game last season with USC and projects to be a developmental G-League piece during the regular season. Knecht, though, brings a needed talent to the Lakers’ main roster.

Newly appointed head coach JJ Redick is the right person to maximize Knecht’s talents on the court as a longtime perimeter shooter himself. Knecht watched game tape of Redick with Rick Barnes at Tennessee during the 2023 season, so the sky is the limit with what the two can do in the same gym together.

There’s a lot of hype about what Knecht can bring the Lakers during the regular season, but the summer league is an important tool as he prepares for the season opener later this fall.

Other notable names alongside Knecht on the Lakers’ Summer League roster include Florida center Colin Castleton, Missouri guard Sean East II, NC State forward Mohamed Diarra, and USC guard Bronny James Jr.

Knecht and the Lakers have seven regular season summer league games scheduled for the month of July before any tournament play begins at the end. For a look at Knecht’s schedule, click here.

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