Eight Former Tennessee Players Set For NBA Summer League Action Across Seven Teams

Summer League

Summer LeagueVFL Kennedy Chandler will play with the Brooklyn Nets in the 2023 NBA Summer League. Photo via Tennessee Athletics.

Eight former Tennessee basketball players are rostered across seven different teams for NBA Summer League action this month. All eight players played under head coach Rick Barnes within the last handful of years.

Uros Plavsic – Atlanta Hawks
Yves Pons – Atlanta Hawks
Jaden Springer – Philadelphia 76ers
Julian Phillips – Chicago Bulls
Kyle Alexander – Washington Wizards
Jordan Bowden – Los Angeles Clippers
Kennedy Chandler – Brooklyn Nets
Keon Johnson – Portland Trail Blazers

After suiting up with the Sixers during their 2022-2023 postseason run, Jaden Springer returns to Philadelphia for his third season in the NBA. Springer found scattered minutes throughout the season last year but did start the Sixers’ final two games of the season while resting the starting players.

Springer was the first of the former Vols to play in NBA Summer League action this year. Springer totaled 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 assists as a starter playing 26 minutes of action on the court.

Two former Vols will take the court together for the Atlanta Hawks after two years together in Knoxville. Yves Pons and Uros Plavsic will both play for the Hawks’ summer league team in Vegas this month. Pons returns to NBA action after international play in France while Plavsic is fresh out of his final season on Rocky Top.

Julian Phillips, the lone Vol selected in the 2023 NBA Draft, was taken at No. 35 overall by the Chicago Bulls. The former one-and-done Tennessee player will look to make an impact in his new threads during his first games at the professional level.

After most recently playing with Valencia of the Spanish Liga ACB, former Vol Kyle Alexander returns to the NBA for summer league action with the Washington Wizards. Alexander flirted with the NBA during the 2020 season when he signed a two-way contract with the Miami Heat but was unfortunately sidelined the following day due to a knee injury.

Kennedy Chandler, a dynamic one-and-done player from Tennessee’s 2021-2022 team, will have another shot at the NBA this summer in his young career. Chandler was a second-round draft choice by the Grizzlies following his time on Rocky Top and did wind up playing in 36 games across the year on a four-year contract. Chandler, though, was waived by the team in April to make room and figure out an updated playoff roster last season. Chandler will now suit up with the Brooklyn Nets for summer league action.

Keon Johnson was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Portland Trailblazers during his rookie season. Then, in his sophomore season, Johnson took a step forward with his new team. Despite not starting throughout the season, Johnson did appear in 40 games for Portland and established himself as one of the young and intriguing pieces on that team. Johnson will look to continue to find his game during the summer league this month.

Knoxville native Jordan Bowden had been signed with the Long Island Nets, the G-League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets. The undrafted player from the 2020 draft will have an opportunity to impress once again with the Los Angeles Clippers summer league team in Vegas.

Tennessee Players NBA Summer League Schedule

July 3

Springer – Memphis vs Philadelphia (7 p.m. ET, NBA TV)

July 5

Springer – Philadelphia vs Utah (9 p.m. ET, NBA TV)

July 6

Springer – Oklahoma City vs Philadelphia (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

July 7

Phillips – Chicago vs Toronto (6:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
Johnson – Portland vs Houston (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Chandler – Cleveland vs Portland (8:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
Plavsic/Pons – Sacramento vs Atlanta (10:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)

July 8

Springer – New York vs Philadelphia (5 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
Phillips – Memphis vs Chicago (7 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
Alexander – Indiana vs Washington (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Bowden – Los Angeles vs Utah (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

July 9

Chandler – New York vs Brooklyn (5:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
Alexander – Boston vs Washington (7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
Johnson – San Antonio vs Portland (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Plavsic/Pons – Atlanta vs Denver (9:30 p.m. ET)

July 10

Springer – Philadelphia vs Dallas (8 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Bowden – Los Angeles vs Sacramento (10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV)

July 11

Chandler – Brooklyn vs Minnesota (6 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Johnson – Portland vs Charlotte (8:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
Phillips – Chicago vs Sacramento (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Alexander – Washington vs San Antonio (10:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)

July 12

Bowden – Los Angeles vs Memphis (3:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
Plavsic/Pons – Minnesota vs Atlanta (4 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

July 13

Phillips – Cleveland vs Chicago (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Springer, Plavsic/Pons – Philadelphia vs Atlanta (3:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
Chandler – Brooklyn vs Toronto (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Johnson – Portland vs Orlando (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

July 14

Bowden, Springer – Los Angeles vs Philadelphia (4:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV)
Alexander – Oklahoma City vs Washington (5 p.m. ET, ESPNU)


Each team will play four games during the NBA Summer League before the top four are selected for a mini-tournament in the middle of the month. The semifinals will take place on July 16 with the championship game happening on July 17.

The 26 teams that do not qualify for the postseason tournament will play one final closing game on either July 15 or July 16 from Las Vegas.

Author: Ethan Moore