Santa Cruz, Calif. — Over five days and 19 games, the NBA Development League’s top players put their skills on display in front of NBA eyes. Some made their case for a Call-Up; others already with an NBA contract in tow gave a glimpse of their bright future.
Who stood out at the league’s marquee event this season?
Here are NBADLeague.com’s 2016 All-NBA D-League Showcase teams:
Erick Green, Guard, Reno Bighorns
Green looked the part of an NBA combo guard as he poured in a smooth 66 points in two games on 22-of-34 (65%) shooting. NBA teams don’t typically eye the Development League for scorers, but Green — the league’s leading scorer (27.7 PPG) — is an exception. He scores within the flow of Reno’s run-and-gun offense, can make plays for others off the dribble, has a tight handle (just 1.8 turnovers per game) and the length to compete defensively.
Sean Kilpatrick, Guard, Delaware 87ers
There’s no fiercer competitor in the NBA D-League and there’s no player who seems hungrier to reach the next level than Kilpatrick. The former Cincinnati star used the Showcase stage to display his much-improved jump shot — not that he needed to after essentially being in the zone for the first seven weeks of the season. Kilpatrick stayed locked in while trying to carry the 87ers, scoring 66 points in two games. It seems like only a matter of time until finds an NBA home.
Josh Richardson, Guard, Sioux Falls Skyforce (Assigned by Heat)
The Heat’s top-notch player development system may have uncovered its latest gem in Richardson. Playing time isn’t there for him in Miami this season, but in two games with the Skyforce this week, he showed that he’s yet another asset for the Heat’s future. The Skyforce are off to an all-time NBADL-best 16-3 start, have won nine in a row and won the Showcase championship thanks to a 2-0 record and +13.3 Net Rating; Richardson was their best two-way player, blending in while still managing to stand out.
Raphiael Putney, Forward, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Want to know what Showcase is all about? Look no further than Putney’s eye-opening debut on Wednesday. The little-known forward out of UMass made a name for himself in Santa Cruz with one monster effort: 38 points, 14-of-22 from the field, 6-of-11 from three, 18 rebounds. It was the latest step in the rise of a player whose first taste of pro ball was a local tryout for the Vipers in Houston two years ago. As a 6-9 stretch-4 with a 7-3 wingspan, the ability to be a disruptive force on the defensive end (3.1 BPG) and three-point range (38% 3FG), Putney made you question why he wasn’t already in the NBA with his performance.
Jordan Mickey, Forward/Center, Maine Red Claws (Assigned by Celtics)
Last year the shot-blocking force to hit Santa Cruz was 20-year-old Clint Capela. This year Mickey played that role, continuing to look like one of the steals of this past June’s NBA Draft with the No. 33 overall pick. After leading the nation in shot blocking as a sophomore at LSU, Mickey now leads the NBA D-League at 4.7 per game. He swatted eight shots in two Showcase games and added 34 points and 24 rebounds.
SECOND TEAM ALL-SHOWCASE
Jimmer Fredette, G, Westchester Knicks | Watch Highlights
Keith Appling, G, Erie BayHawks | Watch Highlights
Ronald Roberts, F, Raptors 905 | Watch Highlights
Jarnell Stokes, F, Sioux Falls Skyforce (Assigned by Heat) | Watch Highlights
Alex Stepheson, C, Iowa Energy | Watch Highlights
Quinn Cook, G, Canton Charge | Watch Highlights
Will Cummings, G, Rio Grande Valley Vipers | Watch Highlights
Bryce Dejean Jones, G, Idaho Stampede | Watch Highlights
Devin Ebanks, F, Grand Rapids Drive | Watch Highlights
Jorge Gutierrez, G, Canton Charge | Watch Highlights
Tu Holloway, G, Texas Legends | Watch Highlights
Vince Hunter, F, Reno Bighorns | Watch Highlights
Ryan Kelly, F, Los Angeles D-Fenders (Assigned by Lakers) | Watch Highlights
DeAndre Liggins, G, Sioux Falls Skyforce | Watch Highlights
Terry Rozier, G, Maine Red Claws (Assigned by Celtics) | Watch Highlights