Alumni Report: 10 Players To Watch In The NBA Playoffs

By Alex Busch | April 13, 2018

Each year brings a new group of NBA G Leaguers who become regular NBA players and make significant contributions to their team. They become the gold standard that the other guys down below can look up to. Here’s a look at some former NBA G League stars who will be competing at the next level in the NBA Playoffs.

Quinn Cook, Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors alum)

Cook has recently been signed to a multi-year contract with the Warriors, transitioning him from a two-way player to a G League alum. The Duke product averaged 25.3 points and 8.1 assists in 29 G League contests this season, while contributing plenty with the Golden State Warriors, who dealt with injuries all season long. Watch for Cook to have his game on full display as the Warriors enter the postseason with two-time MVP point guard Stephen Curry sidelined with a knee injury.

Lorenzo Brown, Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905 alum)

Brown was converted from a two-way contract to a full NBA contract after his season ended with Raptors 905 on Tuesday in the G League Finals. The 2017-18 G League MVP will be competing with the top-seeded Toronto Raptors, who take on the Washington Wizards in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Brown, who averaged 18.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 8.9 assists in 32 G League games this season, will help lead the backcourt of the Raptors this postseason.

Clint Capela, Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers alum)

Capela has been one of the most dominant paint players in the NBA this season. From grabbing 10.8 boards per game to throwing down lobs from James Harden, the Vipers alum has helped the Rockets earn the top overall seed in the NBA Playoffs, as the Western Conference and the NBA as a whole will now have to run through Houston.

Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs alum)

The Spurs have benefited tremendously from the contributions of Murray this season. Whether he came off the bench or started (48 of 81 games played), Murray has been a spark for San Antonio’s offense. The 21-year-old guard averaged 8.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest this season and is hot coming into the Spurs’ playoff matchup with the Warriors, going for double-digit points in three of his last four games.

Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers (Rio Grande Valley Vipers alum)

As part of the hottest team in the NBA which is riding a 16-game winning streak into the postseason, Covington has helped anchor this young 76ers squad. The third-seeded Sixers will be taking on the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs and have high expectations, especially when All-Star Joel Embiid is able to come back from injury. Philadelphia will hope that Covington’s leadership and long-range shooting (11th in the NBA with 203 3-pointers) will help propel them to a deep playoff run.

Jordan Clarkson, Cleveland Cavaliers (South Bay Lakers alum)

Clarkson has had a big season, especially after coming over to the Cavaliers in a trade right before this year’s deadline. The Missouri product is averaging 13.9 points per game on 45.1 percent from the field. The Cavs will hope that the additions of Clarkson, Rodney Hood, George Hill and Larry Nance Jr. will be able to help them get to a fourth straight NBA Finals.

Amile Jefferson, Minnesota Timberwolves (Iowa Wolves alum)

The Duke product will get his first taste of NBA Playoff action after being converted to a full NBA contract this past week. Jefferson, who didn’t see action with the Timberwolves during the regular season while on a two-way deal, averaged a G League-best 12.9 rebounds per game to go with 17.8 points in 47 appearances. It will be interesting to see if Minnesota decides to utilize Jefferson’s size and scoring ability in the playoffs.

Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks (Wisconsin Herd alum)

Jennings took a pit stop in the G League this season with the Wisconsin Herd on his way back to the NBA. The Bucks guard will now return to the postseason, where he has fond memories from his rookie season, averaging 18.7 points and 3.6 assists in seven games. Jennings is pacing his career in the playoffs at 9.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 24 games (11 starts).

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz (Northern Arizona Suns alum)

Gobert has made a strong case for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year this season, as he anchored a Jazz team that was second in the league with a 101.6 defensive rating. Gobert managed to rank fourth in the NBA in total blocks (129) despite missing 26 games.

CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers (Salt Lake City Stars alum)

The Lehigh University product has been able to lead the third-seeded Trail Blazers alongside All-Star Damian Lillard this season, averaging 21.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 81 games (all starts). McCollum’s ability to heat up from 3-point land can help spark Portland, which is looking to improve on last year’s first round exit.

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