The 2012 NBA Summer League is likely going to be pretty similar to all of the previous iterations -- somebody like Gary Neal will break completely out of left field, a rookie will be buried because of four games in an exhibition setting and we'll see the family of established NBA players trying to find the success their siblings have already had.
Among those players looking to strike while the iron is hot (that's an idiom for nepotism, right?) are the following players listed on the Vegas Summer League rosters. Only time will tell if they can follow in the footsteps of the luminaries like Joel Bosh and Daniel Artest before them.
- Atlanta Hawks' invite Elijah Millsap is the brother of Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap. Elijah is actually rather close to an opportunity with an NBA squad after playing well for the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the D-League this past season, but questions remain about his ability to be a good role player in the NBA.
- Cleveland Cavaliers' wing Justin Holiday is actually the older brother of Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday. Justin had a very solid showing in Orlando with the his brother's team, but he'll greatly improve his NBA chances if he's able to keep the momentum this week in Vegas.
- Zoran Dragic is in Vegas with the Houston Rockets trying to get a job with the team that just lost his brother Goran Dragic. Zoran, 23, averaged 11 points this past season in Slovenia.
- Coby Karl is trying to make his triumphant return to the NBA through the Summer League. He's had solid opportunities before through Vegas -- most recently making a cameo with Denver Nuggets (coached by his dad George Karl) -- but is getting older and with considerably less upside as each season passes.
- Cory Higgins famously made the Charlotte Bobcats this season thanks to his father being general manager Rod Higgins. Whether or not he'll be afforded another opportunity next season after not exactly taking advantage of it last season remains to be seen, but a good showing in Vegas would certainly help his cause.
- Walker Russell Jr. played pretty well in limited minutes for the Detroit Pistons this season after vagabonding it up in the D-League for the majority of his career. The son of Walker Russell and nephew of Campy Russell is in Vegas with the New York Knicks.
- Marcus Landry made a brief cameo in Phoenix Suns camp last year, but he's looking to prove he's worth more than that this season. The younger brother of Carl Landry has proven to be an intriguing option ever since his days as a Wisconsin Badger.
- Luke Zeller -- brother of all of the famous Zellers including recent Cleveland Cavaliers lottery pick Tyler Zeller and Notre Dame standout Cody -- is playing for the San Antonio Spurs in Vegas. The eldest Zeller has spent the past couple of seasons as a 3-point shooting specialist for the D-League's Austin Toros.
None of these guys is a can't miss basketball talent, of course, but it'll be interesting to see if any of them show that they're good enough to warrant a signing -- or if they're signed thanks to their familiar ties.