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2022-23 NBA G League Season Preview: Eastern Conference

Joe DiProsperos /November 1, 2022

A new season of G League basketball is set to officially tip off on Friday, Nov. 4. With opening night fast approaching, here's a quick look at where every team stands as of right now in the Eastern Conference.

Capital City Go-Go

Head Coach: Mike Williams

Last Season: 21-10, Lost in Conference Semifinals

Two-Way Players: Jordan Goodwin, Jordan Schakel 

Key Additions: Kris Dunn, Devon Dotson, Theo John

Key Subtractions: Cassius Winston, Joel Ayayi, Kyree Walker

Following their most successful season in team history to this point, Capital City will look to improve upon its second round playoff exit. They bring back leading scorer and rebounder Jaime Echenique, who was one of only six qualified players in the league to average at least 17 points and 10 rebounds per game last season. They also acquired Devon Dotson (21.0 PTS, 7.1 AST) from Windy City and brought in former top five NBA pick Kris Dunn.  

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Cleveland Charge

Head Coach: Mike Gerrity   

Last Season: 6-26, Missed Playoffs

Two-Way Players: Mamadi Diakite, Isaiah Mobley

Key Additions: Sam Merrill, Sharife Cooper, Nate Hinton

Key Subtractions: Malik Newman, Tacko Fall, RJ Nembhard Jr., 

The Charge will aim to bounce back from a season that saw them finish last in the Eastern Conference. They took NBA champion Sam Merrill with the number one overall pick in this year’s G League draft and used an additional pick on G League veteran Rashad Vaughn. They also brought in spark plug Nate Hinton, who put up over 18 points a game with the Mad Ants and was the only player in the league to log at least 70 total steals and 20 total blocks last season. That trio will be hoping to upgrade a Charge team that finished the 2021-22 season with the league’s worst offensive rating (101.5).

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College Park Skyhawks

Head Coach: Steve Gansey  

Last Season: 20-13, Lost in First Round

Two-Way Players: Jarrett Culver, Trent Forrest

Key Additions: Chris Silva, Armoni Brooks, Brandon Williams

Key Subtractions: Langston Galloway, Justin Tillman, Cat Barber

An almost-complete roster overhaul highlighted the offseason for a College Park team coming off of a First Round Playoff exit. Out went the likes of Langston Galloway, Sharife Cooper, DaQuan Jeffries, and G League first-teamer Justin Tillman (23.5 PTS, 11.6 REB). In came NBA veterans Chris Silva and Armoni Brooks as well as former Trail Blazers two-way player Brandon Williams (12.9 PTS in 24 games for Portland) and Grand Rapids big man Giorgi Bezhanishvili. 

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Delaware Blue Coats

Head Coach: Coby Karl 

Last Season: 22-10, Lost in G League Finals

Two-Way Players: Julian Champagnie, Michael Foster Jr.

Key Additions: Mac McClung, Sekou Doumbouya, Skylar Mays

Key Subtractions: Charles Bassey, Shaq Harrison, Myles Powell  

After taking home the Winter Showcase title but falling short in the G League Finals for the second straight season, the Blue Coats revamped a good chunk of their roster this offseason. Most notably, they shipped out reigning Defensive Player of the Year Shaq Harrison to South Bay in exchange for Mac McClung, who put up over 20 points per game en route to taking home Rookie of the Year honors. The team also added big man Derek Culver in the draft, brought back three-time NBA champion Patrick McCaw, and added former first-round pick Sekou Doumbouya.

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Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Head Coach: Tom Hankins

Last Season: 17-17, Missed Playoffs

Two-Way Players: Trevelin Queen, Kendall Brown

Key Additions: Norvel Pelle, Deividas Sirvydis, David Stockton

Key Subtractions: Nate Hinton, Walt Lemon Jr., Jordan Bell

Fort Wayne receives a major boost with the addition of Trevelin Queen to the fold. Queen, last season’s regular season and G League Finals MVP with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, finished in the top five in scoring (25.3 points per game) and posted 3.3 steals per game to help lead RGV to the G League title. He joins a Mad Ants team that returns its leading scorer and All-G League First Team member Justin Anderson as well as 3-and-D specialist Gabe York and added a pair of players with NBA experience in Norvel Pelle and Deividas Sirvydis.

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Grand Rapids Gold

Head Coach: Andre Miller

Last Season: 17-15, Missed Playoffs

Two-Way Players: Collin Gillespie, Jack White

Key Additions: Justin Tillman, Norris Cole, Chasson Randle

Key Subtractions: Petr Cornelie, Marcus Burk, Giorgi Bezhanishvili 

Grand Rapids is aiming to not just get back into the Playoffs, but also advance past the First Round for the first time in team history. Those hopes were certainly boosted with the addition of Justin Tillman (23.5 PTS, 11.6 REB), who finished in the top ten in scoring this past season en route to being named First Team All-G League. They also added a pair of players with NBA pedigree in two-time NBA champion Norris Cole and Chasson Randle, who previously won the 2021 G League title with Lakeland.

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Greensboro Swarm

Head Coach: Jordan Surenkamp

Last Season: 9-24, Missed Playoffs

Two-Way Players: Theo Maledon, Bryce McGowens

Key Additions: Ty-Shon Alexander, Kobi Simmons, Aaron Wheeler

Key Subtractions: Scottie Lewis, Arnoldas Kulboka, Cameron McGriff

Greensboro enters yet another season looking to make the first playoff appearance in the team’s six-year history. Leading scorer Jalen Crutcher (16.3 points per game in 2021-22) is back in the fold and big man Kai Jones figures to get extended playing time this upcoming season as well. In addition, two-way guard Theo Maledon brings a healthy amount of NBA experience and rookie Bryce McGowens should provide some offensive juice to the team as well.

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Lakeland Magic

Head Coach: Joe Barrer

Last Season: 11-21, Missed playoffs

Two-Way Players: Admiral Schofield, Kevon Harris

Key Additions: Joel Ayayi, Zavier Simpson, Jemerrio Jones

Key Subtractions: Devin Cannady, B.J. Johnson, Hassani Gravett

A year removed from winning the team’s first-ever G League Championship, the Magic is looking to rebound from its first losing season in six years. This offseason, they parted ways with two 20-point scorers in B.J. Johnson and Jeff Dowtin Jr. as well as another strong scorer in Devin Cannady. However, they did add former Gonzaga standout Joel Ayayi and an experienced winner in Jemerrio Jones. Zavier Simpson (14.5 PTS, 6.8 AST) is known for his unique hook shot as a 6-foot guard and should quickly become a fan favorite.

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Long Island Nets

Head Coach: Ronnie Burrell

Last Season: 18-15, Lost in First Round

Two-Way Players: David Duke Jr., Alondes Williams

Key Additions: Chris Chiozza, Alan Grifin

Key Subtractions: Craig Randall Jr., Tyrone Wallace, Bryce Brown

This upcoming season has the Nets looking to build on an early playoff exit. Although they lost the G League’s second-leading scorer and reigning Most Improved Player in Craig Randall Jr., they did bring back Chris Chiozza after he spent time with the reigning champion Golden State Warriors this past season on a two-way deal. He will join a strong returning contingency of players led by Brandon Rachal (13.5 PTS), the Nets’ leader in steals (1.6) and blocks (1.0) per game last season.

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Maine Celtics

Head Coach: Alex Barlow

Last Season: 16-16, Missed Playoffs

Two-Way Players: J.D. Davison, Mfiondu Kabengele

Key Additions: Luka Samanic, Marial Shayock, Scottie Lindsey

Key Subtractions: Chris Clemons, Deonte Burton, Juwan Morgan 

Maine will look to break through into the playoffs for the first time since the 2016-17 season. Top scorers Chris Clemons (23.8 PTS, 6.3 AST) and Deonte Burton (15.1 PTS, 6.2 REB) have both departed this offseason, though the Celtics did add a trio of productive players. Chief among them is Mfiondu Kabengele, who posted over 17 points and 9 rebounds per game while also setting a G League Finals single-game record with eight blocks to help the Vipers clinch the G League title. Along with former NBA first-rounder Luka Samanic (28.1 PTS, 10.0 REB) and 2020 All-G League Third Team selection Marial Shayock, they’ll surely help lift a Celtics offense that was already a top-ten unit last season.

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Motor City Cruise

Head Coach: DJ Bakker

Last Season: 22-10, Lost in Conference Semifinals

Two-Way Players: Braxton Key, Buddy Boeheim

Key Additions: Ryan Turell, Tom Digbeu, Devontae Cacok 

Key Subtractions: Saben Lee, Luka Garza, Cassius Stanley

The Cruise’s first year in Detroit saw them post their best record since the 2014-15 season, when they were known as the Bakersfield Jam. Logging the league’s third-best defense this past season, they will once again benefit from last season’s two-way signing of defensive ace Braxton Key. En route to earning first team All-Defensive honors, he was one of only two players to average at least 2.0 blocks and 1.6 steals per game. He’ll join a Motor City team that also added former G League First Teamer and rebounding specialist Devontae Cacok (17.4 PTS, 11.4 REB).

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Raptors 905

Head Coach: Eric Khoury

Last Season: 24-8, Lost in Conference Finals

Two-Way Players: Ron Harper Jr., Jeff Dowtin Jr.

Key Additions: Melvin Frazier Jr., Christian Vital, Saben Lee

Key Subtractions: Kevon Harris, Aaron Best, Ashton Hagans

After tying for the most regular season wins and logging the second-best net rating in the league last year, Raptors 905 saw their season end at the hands of the Blue Coats for the second year in a row. Nevertheless, top scorers Justin Champagnie (21.1 PTS, 8.1 REB) and Reggie Perry (20.3 PTS, 11.5 REB) - the latter of whom made Second Team All-G League - are set to return and will be joined by the newly-acquired Saben Lee (24.0 PTS, 7.2 AST with Motor City last season). Rutgers standout Ron Harper Jr. also figures to play a major role on this 905 team.

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Westchester Knicks

Head Coach: DeSagana Diop

Last Season: 17-15, Missed Playoffs

Two-Way Players: Trevor Keels, Feron Hunt

Key Additions: DaQuan Jeffries, Mayan Kiir, James Akinjo

Key Subtractions: Tyler Hall, Dewan Hernandez, Aamir Sims

The 2021-22 season marked the second year in a row the Knicks missed out on the playoffs. Losing leading scorer and rebounder Dewan Hernandez as well as Tyler Hall will surely be felt, although Westchester did bring in former Skyhawk DaQuan Jeffries. In helping to lead College Park to the playoffs, Jeffries logged 14.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Duke standout and two-way player Trevor Keels should also play a major role moving forward, while power dunker Feron Hunt returns for a second season on a two-way deal after averaging 18.1 points and 7.6 rebounds over 34 games last year.

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Windy City Bulls

Head Coach: Henry Domercant

Last Season: 15-19, Missed Playoffs

Two-Way Players: Kostas Antetokounmpo, Malcolm Hill

Key Additions: Chris Clemons, Carlik Jones, Nick King

Key Subtractions: Devon Dotson, Kerwin Roach, Scottie Lindsey

Windy City’s 21st-ranked offense should see some noticeable improvement this upcoming season thanks to a pair of offseason moves in the backcourt. The addition of Chris Clemons (23.8 PTS, 4.2 3PM), who finished seventh in the league in scoring last season, should do wonders for their scoring output. The Bulls then went out and acquired Carlik Jones, who led the league in total assists (270) en route to making Third Team All-G League and the league’s All-Rookie Team. Both of them will fill voids left on offense by the departures of last season’s leading scorer Devon Dotson.

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Wisconsin Herd

Head Coach: Chaisson Allen

Last Season: 8-24, Missed Playoffs

Two-Way Players: A.J. Green, Sandro Mamukelashvili

Key Additions: Joe Wieskamp, Jordan Bone, Rob Edwards 

Key Subtractions: Rayjon Tucker, Jalen Lecque, Terry Larrier

A rough 2021-22 season saw the Herd post the second-worst record in the entire league and once again fail to make the playoffs. To try and fill the voids left by high-flying guard Jalen Lecque and the franchise’s leading scorer Rayjon Tucker, they took Joe Wieskamp (17.1 PTS, 2.9 3PM with Austin last season) with the second overall pick in this year’s G League Draft and also brought in Rob Edwards (13.3 PTS) and Jordan Bone, who spent the past season in Turkey. Two-way player Sandro Mamukelashvili should also provide a big impact in the post moving forward, while rookie A.J. Green will provide some sharpshooting on the wing while with the team.

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