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Eight Prospects To Watch During The NBA G League Playoffs

By Drew Zlogar | March 27, 2018

While more than 40 NBA G League prospects have received NBA Call-Ups this season, the stakes will be raised for prospects on 12 teams that have qualified for the NBA G League Playoffs. For the next two weeks, both a look from the NBA and a championship will be on the line.

Here are eight prospects still vying for an NBA contract to watch in the pressure-packed Playoffs, which feature three single-elimination rounds followed by the best-of-three Finals.

MORE: NBAGLeague.com Playoff Central

Xavier Rathan-Mayes – Westchester Knicks

Rathan-Mayes has been one of the catalysts for the Eastern Conference regular season leaders all year long. He posted three triple-doubles, averaged 16.7 points, 7.2 assists and 6.4 rebounds in 43 games played, and earned a 10-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies along the way. Now back with Westchester, one mission is in mind: Win the Eastern Conference title, and get to the NBA G League Finals.

Jameel Warney – Texas Legends

Warney has had an eventful 2017-18 season. He was the recipient of USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year following his time with the FIBA World Cup qualifying team, he has been the leader for the Texas Legends all season long and just completed a Call-Up to the Dallas Mavericks. His 19.9 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game have made him a dominant force all year long.

DeQuan Jones – Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Winning the 2018 NBA G League Slam Dunk contest during NBA All-Star Weekend put Jones’ athleticism on full display, but this season the high-flying forward has shown that he has a versatile skill set on both ends of the court. He has averaged 18.4 points per game this season, while shooting 43.3 percent from behind the arc, proving that he demands respect from his defenders when he touches the ball in the half court. Be on the lookout for some powerful jams and monster stat lines from Jones come playoff time.

Scott Machado – South Bay Lakers

The South Bay Lakers have been one of the more dominant teams during the regular season. Big contributions from Los Angeles Lakers products Alex Caruso, Thomas Bryant and Gary Payton II have helped, but one the most consistent players on this South Bay team that may have gone under the radar a bit has been Scott Machado. In 46 games played, he averaged 15.9 points and 8.6 assists per game, and was the lead facilitator when Caruso and Payton II were up with the parent Lakers.

Landry Nnoko – Grand Rapids Drive

The big man for the Detroit Pistons affiliate has been a force down low all season long. In 49 games played (all starts), Nnoko has averaged 14.7 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He has been an enforcer in the paint for Grand Rapids, and will be the anchor to the defense come playoff time.

Jaron Blossomgame – Austin Spurs

The Austin Spurs finished the regular season first in the Western Conference, and tied for the best record in the NBA G League with the Eastern Conference regular season winners Westchester Knicks (32-18), thanks in large part to the consistency throughout their entire lineup. The 6-foot-7 Blossomgame was a key contributor in helping Austin secure the first-round playoff bye. He averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in 50 games played.

Darius Morris – Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Morris led the charge last season for the Houston Rockets affiliate team in their run to the NBA G League Finals, and re-joined the team this season as they get set for another playoff journey. The Vipers bring a league best 120.1 points per game into the postseason, looking for another deep run.

Raphiael Putney – Erie Bayhawks

The high-flying 6-foot-10 forward brings a versatile game to the playoffs for the Atlanta Hawks’ affiliate team. He averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game this year, mixing in a few highlight-reel jams as well. The athleticism is off the charts for Putney, keeping his defenders on high alert when he gets the ball.

Troy Caupain – Lakeland Magic

Caupain is one of the better feel-good stories from this NBA G League season. He went undrafted in the 2017 NBA draft, and then attended the NBA G League Player Invitational. After a summer league contract with the Toronto Raptors and a training camp invite from the Orlando Magic, Caupain found himself on the Magic’s affiliate team, Lakeland Magic. In 50 games (all starts) for Lakeland, Caupain averaged 15.6 points, 7.5 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game.

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