Frequently Asked Questions: NBA G League
1. What is the NBA G League?
The NBA G League, formerly the NBA Development League or NBA D-League, is the NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers and front office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory.
Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the NBA D-League became the NBA G League as part of a multiyear expanded partnership between the NBA and Gatorade.
Click here to learn more about the NBA's partnership with Gatorade.
2. When was the NBA G League established?
The league began play as the NBA Development League beginning with the 2001-02 season. It enters its 22nd season in 2022-23.
3. How many teams are in the NBA G League?
There will be 30 NBA G League teams expected to play in the 2022-23 season, 28 of which are affiliated with an NBA team.
They include: Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs), Birmingham Squadron (New Orleans Pelicans), Capital City Go-Go (Washington Wizards), Charge Basketball (Cleveland Cavaliers), College Park Skyhawks (Atlanta Hawks), Delaware Blue Coats (Philadelphia 76ers), Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers), Grand Rapids Gold (Denver Nuggets), Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets), Iowa Wolves (Minnesota Timberwolves), Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic), Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets), Maine Celtics (Boston Celtics), Memphis Hustle (Memphis Grizzlies), Motor City Cruise (Detroit Pistons), Oklahoma City Blue (Oklahoma City Thunder), Ontario Clippers (L.A. Clippers), Raptors 905 (Toronto Raptors), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets), Salt Lake City Stars (Utah Jazz), Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors), Sioux Falls Skyforce (Miami Heat), South Bay Lakers (Los Angeles Lakers), Stockton Kings (Sacramento Kings), Texas Legends (Dallas Mavericks), Westchester Knicks (New York Knicks), Windy City Bulls (Chicago Bulls) and Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee Bucks).
The Mexico City Capitanes made their G League debut in the 2021-22 season, playing exclusively on the road. They are expected to make their home debut during the 2022-23 season. In addition, the 2021-22 season marked the debut of the New Orleans Pelicans’ expansion team, the Birmingham Squadron, in Birmingham, Ala. The Motor City Cruise also debuted in 2021-22 as the affiliate of the Detroit Pistons. The LA Clippers' G League affiliate rebraded as the Ontario Clippers ahead of the 2022-23 campaign, while NBA G League Ignite underwent a visual rebrand ahead of its third year. For the first time ever, 30 teams will be eligible to win the 2022-23 G League Championship, as NBA G League Ignite and Mexico City Capitanes will play their first full 50-game schedule.
4. How many games are in an NBA G League season?
Each team plays a 50-game schedule.
5. What is the structure of the 2022-23 NBA G League season?
The 2022-23 NBA G League season structure will include two parts. The first segment is an 18-game competition called the Showcase Cup. All 30 teams will compete in the Showcase Cup that will culminate at the AT&T NBA G League Winter Showcase with the Showcase Cup Championship Game. Teams will be separated into four regional pods where they will play 16 games against one another in said pods in NBA G League markets. Teams with the best win percentage in each regional pod, along with the four teams with the next best win percentage across the league, will go on to play for the Showcase Cup at Winter Showcase, which will take place from Dec. 19-22. These top eight teams will play in a single-elimination tournament with the winner and runners-up competing for a trophy and a monetary prize pool. The remaining G League teams who do not qualify to compete for the Showcase Cup Championship will each play an additional two games at Winter Showcase.
The second part of the G League season, which begins after the Showcase Cup on Dec. 27, is a traditional 32-game regular season and it will put each team’s total games played at 50. All team records will reset as wins and losses from the Showcase Cup will not carry over into the 32-game regular season. Teams will be split into Eastern and Western conferences and 2023 playoff participation will be solely based on the 32-game regular season records. The top six teams in each conference with the best winning percentage will earn a spot in the NBA G League Playoffs, which will have a traditional format and will finish with the NBA G League Finals presented by YouTube TV.
NBA G League Ignite and Mexico City Capitanes will participate in the 32-game regular season for the first time.
6. When do the regular season and playoffs begin and end?
The NBA G League regular season begins in November while the postseason typically begins in mid-to-late March. Click here for all key dates during the 2022-23 season.
7. How can I watch games?
NBA G League games aired on ESPN Networks, NBA TV, and NBAGLeague.com. Select G League Ignite games during the 2022-23 season can be streamed on the NBA App.
8. How can I follow the NBA G League?
The official website of the NBA G League is NBAGLeague.com. You can also download the NBA G League mobile app for iOs and Android devices. On social media, you can follow the NBA G League on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitch and Snapchat (“nbagleague”).
9. What is NBA G League Ignite?
NBA G League Ignite is a team of NBA Draft prospects operated by the G League. Coached by Jason Hart, the team is dedicated to developing top young players through a program focused on NBA Draft readiness and growth of professional life skills. NBA G League Ignite is also comprised of NBA and NBA G League veterans to aid in the development of the prospects highlighting the inaugural G League Ignite roster.
10. How many NBA G League players have made it to the NBA?
To start the 2022-23 season, a record 47 percent of players on opening-night NBA rosters had NBA G League experience. 41 percent of players on NBA start-of-season rosters for 2021-22 had NBA G League experience.
This group includes both players who were assigned from the NBA to the NBA G League and players who were called up from the NBA G League to the NBA at some point in their careers.
At least 30 NBA G League prospects have been called up to the NBA in each of the past eight seasons. A record 132 players were assigned to the NBA G League a total of 579 times in 2021-22, while a record 164 Gatorade Call-Ups of 117 different players occurred during the 2021-22 season.
11. Who are some of the best NBA players who have played in the NBA G League?
Top players who have been assigned to the NBA G League include guard Eric Bledsoe, center Rudy Gobert, guard Reggie Jackson and center Clint Capela.
Top players who were called up from the NBA G League include guard Danny Green, forward Pascal Siakam, guard Fred VanVleet, guard Duncan Robinson, center Christian Wood and center Hassan Whiteside.
12. What is a Call-Up?
A Call-Up occurs when a player under contract with the NBA G League is signed by an NBA team to an NBA contract. More than 30 NBA G League prospects have received a GATORADE Call-Up in each of the past nine seasons.
13. What is an assignment?
An assignment occurs when an NBA team sends a player to its NBA G League affiliate. That player remains under NBA contract and the assigning NBA team has the exclusive rights to recall that player at any time.
In 2021-22, 132 NBA players were assigned to G League teams during the single-site season. All 132 players were recalled to their NBA teams.
14. What is a two-way contract?
Beginning in the 2017 offseason, NBA rosters expanded from 15 to 17 players with the addition of two spots for players under “Two-Way Contracts.”
NBA teams may have up to two players under NBA Two-Way Contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and not more than 50 games with their NBA team. Two-Way players are paid a flat salary equal to 50% of the Minimum Player Salary applicable to a player with zero Years of Service. Only players with four or fewer years of NBA service are able to sign Two-Way Contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.
15. How many teams make the playoffs?
Teams will be split up into two conferences, Eastern and Western, for the 32-game regular season starting Dec. 27th after the Showcase Cup. The top six teams in each conference with the best winning percentage will earn a spot in the 2022-23 NBA G League Playoffs.
16. When is the NBA G League Draft?
Below are the 2022-23 NBA G League Draft results.
2022-23 NBA G League Draft Results
17. Who is eligible to be drafted?
The league signs 100+ players each year to join the pool of draft-eligible prospects. They include college players who went undrafted in the NBA Draft, international prospects, and players who were recently waived by NBA teams following training camp. Players must be 18 years old to be eligible for the NBA G League Draft.
18. How many players are on an NBA G League roster?
There are a minimum of 10 players on rosters, not including a pair of two-way players allowed per NBA team. A team’s active roster may expand to up to 13 players if its parent club assigns players from the NBA roster.
19. How do NBA G League contracts work?
NBA G League players sign standard one-year contracts with the league, not individual teams, according to three different salary scales. (This excludes players on assignment from the NBA, who remain under NBA contract.)
Beginning in the 2017 offseason, NBA rosters expanded from 15 to 17 players with the addition of two spots for players under “Two-Way Contracts.”
NBA teams may have up to two players under NBA Two-Way Contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and not more than 45 days with their NBA team. Only players with four or fewer years of NBA service are able to sign Two-Way Contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.
20. Where do NBA G League players come from?
There are nine different paths a player can take to the NBA G League:
• NBA teams can assign players to their NBA G League affiliate and recall them at any time.
• NBA teams can sign players with four years of service or fewer to two-way contracts, allowing them to retain their rights while the player spends the bulk of the season in the NBA G League.
• NBA teams can draft players and sign them to NBA G League contracts, thus retaining their rights through the “Draft Rights Player” rule.
• NBA teams can designate up to four players that they cut during training camp as “affiliate players,” meaning those players will join that team’s NBA G League affiliate (should the players choose to sign into the NBA G League). These players are signed under contract with the league rather than the team, meaning they are technically free agents who can be called up to any of the 30 NBA teams.
• NBA G League teams hold local tryouts each offseason and can invite up to four players from these tryouts to their training camps.
• The NBA G League holds a draft every year consisting of nearly 150 players who have signed contracts with the league. It lasts four rounds and teams only have to make two selections.
• Players who return to the NBA G League are, by rule, re-acquired by the teams that they played for within the last two seasons (Returning Players).
• Once the NBA G League season begins, players who sign NBA G League contracts are placed into a rotating waiver pool so that teams can claim them.
• If a player from high school, college or overseas enters the NBA G League without ever having declared for the NBA Draft, he will also join the waiver pool. That player remains NBA Draft-eligible but is not eligible to be called up to the NBA.
When a new franchise joins the league, an expansion draft is held in which the new team selects 14 players from a pool of unprotected players among the league’s other teams. The expansion team will then hold that player’s NBA G League rights for two seasons. Each returning team can protect up to 12 of its players from being selected.
21. How long are the quarters in an NBA G League game?
Like in the NBA, each quarter lasts 12 minutes. Overtime periods are two minutes compared to the NBA’s five minutes.
22. How long is the shot clock?
Like in the NBA, the shot clock lasts 24 seconds.
23. What are the measurements of the court and equipment?
The rims hang 10 feet from the floor, sitting on opposite ends of a court that’s 50 feet wide and 94 feet long.
Both ends of the floor feature a free throw line, 15 feet from the rim, and a 3-point arc that runs from 23 feet, 9 inches from the basket at the top of the perimeter to 22 feet at the baselines. The corner 3-pointer has become one of the league’s most popular shots because of the difference.
The basketball itself has a circumference within a maximum of 29 inches and a minimum of 28.5 inches and has a pressure between 7.5 and 8.6 pounds.
24. Are any of the rules in NBA G League games different from the rules in NBA games?
Yes. The NBA uses the NBA G League as a testing ground for new rules each season. Some previous experimental rules that were eventually implemented in the NBA include the Coach’s Challenge and the 14 Second Shot Clock Reset on offensive rebounds.
Beginning in the 2019-20 season, the NBA G League implemented the One Free Throw Rule. This innovative rule states that one free throw shall be taken in all free throw situations during the first 46 minutes of the game. The free throw is worth the value of total free throws allotted under standard NBA free throw rules. For example, a player shooting a 3-pointer who is fouled and misses the shot takes one free throw worth three points. During the last two minutes of a game and overtime standard NBA free throw rules apply.
Beginning in the 2018-19 season, the following rules were placed in NBA G League games and still apply heading into the 2021-22 season:
14-Second Reset on Advance: The shot clock will reset to 14 seconds or will remain the same, whichever is lower, anytime the ball is advanced to the frontcourt following a reset (formerly known as a reset timeout) or a team timeout.
Transition Take Foul: A transition take foul occurs when a defender commits a take foul (a foul in which the defender does not make a play on the ball) against an offensive player who has the ball or has just released a pass; a foul is committed during a transition scoring opportunity; and a foul does not meet the criteria for a clear path foul. The fouled team may select any player in the game to shoot one free throw and retains the ball at the point of interruption.
The following rules were introduced prior to the 2017-18 season and still apply heading into the 2021-22 season:
Reset Timeouts: Each team will be entitled to a “Reset Timeout” in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter and final two minutes of any overtime period. “Reset Timeouts” do not allow teams to huddle, but otherwise mirror standard timeouts, allowing teams to advance the ball (when applicable) and make unlimited substitutions. If either team huddles or prevents the ball from immediately being put back into play, it will result in a delay of game being issued to the offending team. The “Reset Timeout” replaces the “Advance Rule” which had been used in the NBA G League during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
Shot clock reset: The 24-second clock will reset to 14 seconds after an offensive rebound or when the offensive team otherwise is the first team to retain possession after the ball contacts the rim.
The Coach’s Challenge: To initiate a Challenge, the challenging team must take the following steps in sequence:
1. The challenging team must call a legal timeout immediately after the call in question (unless a mandatory timeout or timeout called by the opposing team is already underway);
2. The challenging team’s head coach must simultaneously signal for a Challenge by utilizing the instant replay signal (i.e., twirling an index finger) toward the game official(s) during the same interaction with the game official(s) in which the timeout was called or, if the timeout was called by a player on the challenging team, the challenging team’s head coach must simultaneously signal for the Challenge by utilizing the instant replay signal toward the game officials as the game official is notifying the scorekeeper of the timeout; and
3. During the same interaction with the game official(s) in which the challenging team’s head coach signaled for the Challenge, the challenging team’s head coach must notify the game official(s) of the specific event that the team is challenging.
For purposes of this rule only, “immediately” shall mean that a timeout is called prior to the ball being given to the thrower-in, the ball being given to the free throw shooter, or the ball being tossed on a jump ball, whichever is applicable unless a mandatory timeout or timeout called by the opposing team is already underway).
The away-from-the-play foul rule (also known as the rule that attempts to combat “Hack-a-Shaq”): An away-from-the-play foul is defined as any illegal contact by the defense which occurs either deliberately away from the immediate area of offensive action, prior to the ball being released on a throw-in, or both. If an away-from-the-play foul is committed at any point in the game, personal and team fouls will be assessed, and one free throw attempt will be awarded to any player in the game at the time the personal foul was committed.
Timeouts: Each team will be allocated seven timeouts per game and all timeouts will be known as “Team Timeouts,” with no distinction between full and 30-second timeouts. The following timeout structure will be implemented:
• All non-mandatory Team Timeouts will be 30 seconds.
• Each period will have two 90-second mandatory Team Timeouts, occurring after the first stoppage under the seven- and three-minute marks.
• Each team may enter the fourth quarter with up to four Team Timeouts.
• Each team will be limited to a maximum two Team Timeouts after the later of the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter or the resumption of play following the second mandatory timeout of that quarter.
• In overtime, each team will be allotted two Team Timeouts.
Instant Replay Triggers: (Reduced from 7 to 5)
• Flagrant Fouls: Officials have doubt if a called foul meets the criteria for a Flagrant Foul at any point in the game.
• Two-point/three-point field goal attempts or fouls: Officials are uncertain whether a made basket was correctly scored as a two- or three-pointer or if a fouled player was attempting a two- or three-point shot.
• Made basket at the end of a period: A field goal is made with no time remaining on the clock (0:00) at the end of any quarter.
• Foul at the end of a period: A foul is called with no time remaining on the clock (0:00) at the end of any quarter.
• Altercation: Two or more players are engaged in an altercation.
Target Scores: Beginning in 2022-23, games that advance to overtime will be determined by a Final Target Score. The winner of an overtime game during the season will be the first team to reach or surpass the Final Target Score, which will be the tied score after four quarters plus seven. For example, if the teams are tied at 100-100, the Final Target Score would be 107. Overtime will be untimed and games will end when a team makes a basket or free throw to reach or surpass the Final Target Score.
Additionally, all 31 games at the 2022 AT&T NBA G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas will utilize a 25-point Final Target Score during an untimed fourth quarter. Under this model, the Final Target Score will be the leading team’s score after three quarters plus 25.
25. Where can I buy tickets to an NBA G League game?
Tickets for every team are available on each team’s website. Go to gleague.nba.com/tickets for more information.
26. Has an NBA G League player ever been drafted into the NBA?
Seven players have been drafted into the NBA out of the NBA G League. These players entered the NBA G League either out of high school – the league’s age minimum is 18 rather than the NBA’s 19 – or as early entry college players.
They include: Mike Taylor (2008), Latavious Williams (2009), Chu Chu Maduabum (2011), Glen Rice Jr. (2013), Thanasis Antetokounmpo (2014, pictured), P.J. Hairston (2014) and Alen Smailagic (2019). In 2014, Hairston became the first first-round NBA Draft pick the NBA G League has ever produced, and Antetokounmpo became the first international prospect ever to be drafted out of the NBA G League.
Additionally, NBA G League Ignite has produced six NBA Draft picks in its first two years of existence, including three players selected in the top 10. They include Jalen Green (2021), Jonathan Kuminga (2021), Isaiah Todd (2021), Dyson Daniels (2022), MarJon Beauchamp (2022), and Jaden Hardy (2022).
27. What do affiliations between NBA and NBA G Leagues entail?
There are two types of affiliations: one-to-one affiliation, in which the NBA team fully owns and operates its NBA G League team; and “hybrid” affiliation, in which the NBA team manages and funds the basketball operations while local ownership maintains control of the business and community relations aspects of the team.
Currently, 26 NBA teams fully own and operate their NBA G League affiliates: Bucks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Celtics, Clippers, Grizzlies, Hawks, Heat, Hornets, Jazz, Kings, Knicks, Lakers, Magic, Mavericks, Nets, Pacers, Pelicans, Pistons, Raptors, Sixers, Spurs, Thunder, Timberwolves, Warriors and Wizards. Two teams have hybrid affiliations with their NBA G League affiliates: Nuggets and the Rockets.
NBA teams primarily use their NBA G League affiliates as a place to develop their young talent. Players with three years of service or less can be sent, or “assigned,” to the NBA G League an unlimited number of times. The NBA team retains an assigned player’s rights and can recall that player at any time.
NBA teams often install the same offensive and defensive systems – including the same terminology and even some of the same plays – on their NBA G League affiliates. The staffs within the organization are in constant communication about the development of their major- and minor-league talent.
28. How do NBA franchises not affiliated with an NBA G League team assign players?
The NBA G League’s flexible assignment system – which was instituted prior to the 2014-15 season – enables independent NBA teams to assign players to the NBA G League for development or rehabilitation from injury.
Upon receipt of an assignment from an independent NBA team, the NBA G League will identify any NBA G League team willing to accept the assigned player. The assigning independent NBA team will then choose the destination for assignment between those teams. If no NBA G League team is willing to accept the assigned player, he will be assigned to one of the hybrid affiliate teams pursuant to a lottery.
29. What is the NBA G League Winter Showcase?
NBA G League Winter Showcase is the NBA G League’s annual in-season scouting event, when all of its teams converge in one city to play in front of NBA general managers and player personnel executives from all 30 NBA teams. The 2021 event — Dec. 19-22 in Las Vegas, Nevada — marked the 17th Showcase.
Showcase traditionally coincides with the time when NBA teams can begin signing players to 10-day contracts, since the majority of the players signed to 10-day contracts are GATORADE Call-Ups from the NBA G League.
30. How do 10-day NBA contracts work?
Each season, from early January to early April, NBA teams can sign free agents to 10-day contracts. A player can be signed to a maximum of two consecutive 10-day contracts before a team must either sign him for the remainder of the season or release him.
31. Which teams have won the most NBA G League titles?
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers have the most NBA G League titles with four (2010, 2013, 2019, 2022).
32. Who is the NBA G League’s all-time leading scorer, rebounder and passer?
- Points: Renaldo Major (5,058 points)
- Dakota Wizards (Santa Cruz Warriors), Bakersfield Jam (Northern Arizona Suns) and Reno Bighorns (Stockton Kings)
- Rebounds: Dwayne Jones (1,770 rebounds)
- Florida Flame, Albuquerque Thunderbirds (Canton Charge), Iowa Energy (Iowa Wolves), Idaho Stampede (Salt Lake City Stars), Austin Toros (Austin Spurs), Texas Legends
- Assists: Curtis Stinson (2,032 assists)
- Dakota Wizards (Santa Cruz Warriors), Fort Worth Flyers, Utah Flash (Delaware Blue Coats), Austin Toros (Austin Spurs), Iowa Energy (Iowa Wolves)
33. How can I try out for the NBA G League?
The league holds a National Tryout once each year. Participants must fill out an application and make a $500 online payment. The event is limited to 200 players.
Four players from the NBA G League National Tryout have gone on to reach the NBA: Dennis Horner (Nets), Dwight Buycks (Raptors, Lakers, Pistons), Shaq Harrison (Suns) and Jaylen Morris (Hawks).
Additionally, each NBA G League team holds its own local tryout(s) prior to the start of the season and can invite up to five of the participants to its preseason training camp.