Las Vegas is set to replace suburban Toronto Dec. 19-22 as the new home of the NBA’s G League Showcase, according to multiple media reports. The event will be held at MGM Resorts International’s Mandalay Bay casino/resort.
Showcase is the NBA G League’s annual in-season scouting event, when all development level teams converge in one city to play in front of NBA general managers and player personnel executives from all 30 NBA teams. In the Showcase earlier this year, 26 games were played over four days.
NBA observers say, as the event continues to grow, there was a need for greater court, hotel and resource capacity. The NBA and Las Vegas in general and MGM in particular have expanded their business relationship with MGM’s sponsorship of the Las Vegas Summer League, its ownership of the Las Vegas Aces, the WNBA franchise, USA Basketball camps, and other league activities. MGM additionally signed a $25 million, non-exclusive, three-year deal with the league to access its official data feed and branding rights.
Some league observers say Las Vegas, after the extraordinary success of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights and the 2020 move of the NFL’s Raiders to a new stadium adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip, is next in line for a NBA franchise.
Now, the G League will have a dedicated mid-season home that “facilitates the normal flow of business and allows for league executives to converge for a sort of mid-season summit, the winter version of Summer League,” reports raptorsrepublic.com, a website the follows the league’s Toronto franchise.
The website also says that moving the event to December allows G League players to try to make an impression ahead of the window opening up for 10-day contracts and the guarantee date for two-way contracts.