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Behind the Cost for Teams Attending Summer League

Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated looks at what teams pay for their players while in Vegas.

NBA: Summer League-Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Summer League has already overtaken Vegas for more than a week, with the tournament finally coming to a close on July 17. All 30 NBA teams attended Summer League this year, the first time ever, and Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated has revealed some insight into what it costs for teams to participate in the event.

Fischer follows Jack Cooley, a player “perennially on the cusp of the NBA”:

“If you had a chance to increase the percentage that you get your dream job, and all you have to do is take a paid vacation to Las Vegas, stay in a five-star hotel, and play the game you love, you’re telling me you wouldn’t do that?” Cooley says. “The economics get pretty nutty.”

Then Fischer details the whopping per diem players receive and how they manage it:

Players receive a total of $1,500 in per diem during the 12-day league. Teams can distribute that cash in one complete payment upon arriving in Sin City. Some choose to provide the funds on a daily $125 or bi-daily $250 basis. Many players will eat their private meals at cheaper fast-food chains like the In-N-Out on UNLV’s campus in order to pocket more cash.

Besides the per diem, teams also need equipment for their players, which doesn’t come cheap:

One team equipment manager says his club paid $6,100 for game uniforms and roughly $5,000 on player practice gear. As each item is printed with the players’ last names, teams gift the threads to players following Summer League.

Fischer’s piece provides even more details on what Summer League costs teams in his piece, which you can read here.