With the NBA G League heading to Mississauga, Ontario for the 2018 NBA G League Showcase, hosted by Raptors 905, it’s time to take a look back at the season up until now, along with a 101 on what to know about the league and the annual scouting event.
January is primetime.
The NBA G League’s marquee event, NBA G League Showcase, is set to take place from Wednesday until Saturday, bringing all 26 teams together to play in front of player personnel executives from all 30 NBA franchises. The event coincides with the date (January 5) when NBA teams can begin signing players to 10-day contracts.
The majority of players in the NBA G League are free agents who can be signed by any NBA team — click here to learn more about how rosters are built) — so a flurry of deals typically occur during and after Showcase each year. More than 50 players have been called during or immediately after the past 13 NBA G League Showcases.
Games begin at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga on Wednesday at 12 PM ET with Warriors vs. Drive, and conclude on Saturday with a 5 PM ET tip between the Bighorns vs. 87ers. Check out the full schedule here.
A host of up-and-coming NBA players have put their skills on display at Showcase over the past 13 years, especially since NBA teams often assign young talent to the NBA G League during this time.
Past participants include: Heat center Hassan Whiteside, Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, Rockets center Clint Capela and guard/forward Gerald Green, Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Nets guard Jeremy Lin, 76ers forward/center Amir Johnson and Mavericks guards Seth Curry and JJ Barea.
Two-way players add a new twist to Showcase.
With the NBA G League’s new two-way contracts, there will be a slew of talent playing with their NBA G League teams this week. Two-way deals are new this year. Each NBA team is allowed up to two players that can be moved up and down between the NBA team and the NBA G League club. The player is only allowed up to 45 days with the NBA team, however, while staying under a two-way deal.
From Warriors’ guard Quinn Cook to Bulls’ dynamic scorer Antonio Blakeney, there will be a lot of NBA-ready talent on display at Showcase throughout the week. Check out this week’s two-way tracker to catch up on the two-way players to watch for during Showcase.
More teams, more action.
The NBA G League has expanded by at least one team in each of the past five seasons. The league has added nine teams over the past two years alone — including the biggest jump of four new franchises heading into the 2017-18 season.
The Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee Bucks), Agua Caliente Clippers (L.A. Clippers), Erie BayHawks (Atlanta Hawks) and Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic) all debuted as new franchises this season.
Momentum continues to gain each season for that ideal 30-for-30 direction in which each NBA team would have its own affiliate, and the NBA G League would become a true farm system for the Association. The Washington Wizards announced on Dec. 1, 2017 that they will debut their own NBA G League affiliate starting in 2018-19, the Capital City Go-Go.
2017-18 season off to a blazing start.
We’re just two-and-a-half months into the season, and the NBA G League is off to a rapid start. Between two-way players, NBA assignees and the rest of the league’s prospects, there have been several great storylines already.
- Chicago Bulls two-way player Antonio Blakeney is averaging a league-high 35.9 points per game for the Windy City Bulls and has dropped four 40-plus point performances.
- The NBA has used the NBA G League for big name players to rehab their injuries by participating in practices. The list has included Tony Parker, Joakim Noah, Zach LaVine, Milos Teodosic, Danilo Gallinari, Jabari Parker, Isaiah Thomas, Blake Griffin, and D’Angelo Russell.
- Atlanta Hawks two-way player Josh Magette is dishing out dimes at a torrid pace, a league-best 10.1 per game to be exact, including an Erie BayHawks record 19 on Dec. 23.
- Duke product Amile Jefferson has heated up as of late, becoming a double-double machine for the Iowa Wolves. He is averaging a league-best 13.0 rebounds per contest, and is coming off a career-high 21 rebounds in his last game against Texas on Jan. 3.
- Texas Legends guard Justin Detmon has proved a reliable scorer, sitting just behind Blakeney with 28.9 points per contest, as he and Jameel Warney (19.6 points per game) have become gigantic scoring threats for the Legends.
- Former lottery pick and Michigan star Trey Burke has taken a new step in his career, playing for the New York Knicks’ affiliate in Westchester. Burke is averaging 26.6 points per game and impressing as a leader in Westchester.
- Warriors two-way guard Quinn Cook has shined at both the NBA and NBA G League level, grabbing starts in a Golden State uniform while Stephen Curry was out with injury. Cook is averaging 23.7 points per game with Santa Cruz as well.
- Former NBA Champion Kendrick Perkins has been playing in the G League with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ affiliate, the Canton Charge, pacing the team with 9.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as has established himself as a leader in the Charge locker room.
- The Santa Cruz Warriors acquired Kentucky product and NBA veteran Terrence Jones, who has been tearing it up in just five games with the Warriors — he’s averaging 19.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists.
- Oklahoma City Thunder two-way player Daniel Hamilton has become a triple-double machine for the Oklahoma City Blue this season, notching seven already in 24 games.