The NBA D-League’s impact on the Association can be felt more and more each season — or even each month. In February alone, a roster that featured nine NBA D-League alums led the Heat to a 13-game winning streak; the Spurs continued to churn out wins with nine alums themselves; Call-Up Yogi Ferrell sparked the Mavs as their newfound starting point guard; and Spurs swingman Jonathon Simmons and Suns rookie Derrick Jones Jr. made their presence felt at All-Star Weekend — to name a few storylines.
As the NBA season enters its stretch run, take a tour around the league to see which NBA D-League alums are shining at the next level:
Hassan Whiteside, Heat
Whiteside has taken the next step in his third season in Miami since the Heat found their diamond-in-the-rough from the Iowa Energy. He leads the NBA in rebounding and ranks fourth in blocks (Rudy Gobert, another NBA D-League alum, sits at No. 1).
Seth Curry, Mavericks
An under-the-radar offseason signing, Curry has hit his stride in Dallas, emerging as a starting guard and a key piece to their playoff push. He averaged 16.7 points in February while shooting 53% from the field and 46% from three.
Clint Capela, Rockets
The league’s best pick-and-roll combo may not be Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan or Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. It may be the deadly combination of James Harden and Capela, who has become an alley-oop master since spending his rookie season with the RGV Vipers.
Dewayne Dedmon & Jonathon Simmons, Spurs
The Spurs, in typical Spurs fashion, are a quiet 45-13 entering March, and they’ve done it with a roster that includes nine NBA D-League alums. After Simmons broke through last season, Dedmon has been this year’s surprise, stepping up in February with averages of 8.3 points and 10.4 rebounds on 75% shooting — second to only Capela.
JaMychal Green, Grizzlies
Like the Spurs and Heat, the Grizzlies have found success plugging unheralded players into their system. Called up from the Austin Spurs in 2015, Green may be their best find. The Alabama product has gone from end-of-the-bench reinforcement to Memphis’ rock, starting 59 of 61 games while averaging career highs across the board.