With a newly guaranteed contract and an increased opportunity, Jake Layman begins his third NBA Summer League with some extra motivation.

The former Terps forward, one of several Maryland alums readying for their summer league openers, got word last week that the Portland Trailblazers opted to guarantee the third and final year of his rookie contract. That means Layman will earn a career-best $1.57 million next season, but it also means it's make-or-break time for him after he averaged modest totals --  1.6 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.3 assists -- in his first two NBA seasons. Layman needs to legitimize himself as an NBA player before he becomes a free agent next summer, a quest that begins Saturday (3 p.m., NBA TV) in the Las Vegas summer league against the Utah Jazz.

The Trailblazers opted to let go of fellow reserves Shabazz Napier and Pat Connaughton, while free agent big man Ed Davis signed with the Brooklyn Nets, meaning Layman will have plenty of opportunity to open eyes this summer. For Layman, who averaged 12.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 28.1 minutes last summer in Vegas, that means showing new things rather than just averaging double-digit scoring.

"I definitely want to go out there and be more aggressive. I think last year I was a little more aggressive but this year I want to amp it up a little more. Going to the basket, [dunks]. Big focus [on] ballhandling and passing," he told the Blazers official site. "I think my mindset needs to be, do everything I can to give myself he best opportunity on that court, and if I do that I'll be satisfied."

While Maryland's two draftees, Kevin Huerter (hand) and Justin Jackson (shoulder), will miss the summer league for health reasons, Layman's not the only former Terps standout hoping to impress in the summer league. Former teammates Melo Trimble (Chicago Bulls) and Diamond Stone (Utah Jazz) are also playing, as is one-time Maryland point guard Roddy Peters (New Orleans Pelicans). After failing to log any minutes in Utah's opener, Stone scored 10 points in 16 minutes Tuesday against Memphis. The one-and-done big man from Milwaukee went 2-for-8 from the floor, but beefed up his line with a 6-for-6 game from the free throw line. The Jazz play the Hawks tonight at 9 on NBA TV.

Trimble, who caught on with the Bulls on Tuesday, begins his second NBA summer Saturday in Vegas against the Cleveland Cavaliers (9:30, ESPN2). Peters, who transferred from Maryland after his freshman season and began a winding path that landed at Nicholls State last season, is the biggest longshot. The 6-foot-4 point guard, who averaged 19.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists as a senior, joined the Pelicans as an undrafted free agent.

"I started off at Maryland and I think I wasn't an outside shooter.  At South Florida, I broke my foot. So when I got to Nicholls, I just wanted to show everyone that I could still play I could get out in the open court and use my athletic ability," Peters told the team's official site. "I'm just blessed to be here and I want to take advantage of it. I transferred three schools so I've been through a lot and it would've been hard for me to get drafted, but I just wanted one shot."

The Suitland native begins play with the Pelicans on Friday in Vegas (3:30 p.m., NBA TV) against the Toronto Raptors.