Summer League Champions through the years: Full list

Jabari Smith Jr., Houston Rockets. (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images)
Jabari Smith Jr., Houston Rockets. (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images) /

With the 2023 Summer League in full swing, we figured it would be a great time to take a break from the action and take a moment to look at all the tournament’s champions over the years.

Unlike the Summer League MVP award (which they started handing out in 2006), they have only been crowning a champion of the Summer League since 2013. With that in mind, here is the list of all the teams that have won the Summer League tournament since 2013:

Summer League Champions by Year

2022: Portland Trail Blazers

2021: Sacramento Kings

2020: N/A (COVID)

2019: Memphis Grizzlies

2018: Portland Trail Blazers

2017: Los Angeles Lakers

2016: Chicago Bulls

2015: San Antonio Spurs

2014: Sacramento Kings

2013: Golden State Warriors

A couple of interesting nuggets to mention here. First off, the only teams to ever win the Summer League tournament more than once are the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings. Meanwhile, our New Orleans Pelicans have never won the big dance in Los Vegas. Although they did go undefeated in 2021, but didn’t qualify for the championship game because of a tiebreaker.

Another thing to note is that of the nine Summer League champions, only four organizations have gone on to make the playoffs in the following season (the Blazers in 2018, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, and Golden State Warriors). No team has made the NBA Finals the summer after their Summer League team won the Summer League title.

The team that came the closest is the Blazers. They won the Summer League title in 2018 then went on to make it all the way to the Western Conference Finals in the following season (where they were promptly swept by the Warriors).

This tidbit probably isn’t all that telling when it comes to projecting a team’s outlook in the following season, but it is a fun thing to mention.

Next. 10 Players the Pelicans gave up on way too soon. dark