Eleven players on NBA Finals rosters have NBA G League experience, including seven who appeared in the NBA’s official minor league this season. Let’s take a look at the alumni on both the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Golden State Warriors
Quinn Cook (Santa Cruz Warriors and Canton Charge)
Quinn Cook’s journey began in the NBA G League, where he played two seasons for the Canton Charge, with Call-Ups to the Mavericks and Pelicans in between. He signed a contract with the Atlanta Hawks during this offseason, but was ultimately waived and signed to a two-way contract with the Warriors.
Cook proved to be one of the top players in the NBA G League this season, averaging a league second-best 25.3 points per game, along with 8.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 29 games with Santa Cruz. He shot 52.7 percent from the floor, including 43.9 percent from 3-point range.
After his Santa Cruz Warriors missed the playoffs, he was signed to a multi-year NBA contract by the Warriors. During the season he was called upon with the NBA Warriors several times, including during the regular season when two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry went down with injury. Cook went for a career-high 30 points on 12-for-15 (80 percent) from the floor against the Milwaukee Bucks on March 29.
Shaun Livingston (Oklahoma City Blue)
Shaun Livingston used the NBA G League on his comeback from a devastating knee injury in 2007. After signing with the Miami Heat, being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies and then being waived, Livingston signed an NBA G League contract and became a prospect player for the Tulsa 66ers (now the Oklahoma City Blue). He played in 11 games (10 starts), scoring 9.3 points, 6.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and shooting 40.4 percent from the field. Just three weeks into his time in Tulsa, the Oklahoma City Thunder called him up and signed him to a multi-year NBA contract.
Former Assignment Players
After being drafted by the Warriors in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft, Looney was assigned to the Santa Cruz Warriors several times to help rehab a hip injury. In 16 games during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, Looney averaged 10.5 points, 8.4 boards, 0.9 blocks and 0.8 steals while with Santa Cruz.
The 2017 second-round pick played in one game with Santa Cruz on assignment this season, where he scored 14 points, to go with six boards, five assists and a block in 28 minutes on the floor.
After being drafted 30th-overall in 2016 by the Warriors, Jones has been assigned to Santa Cruz frequently, playing 76 NBA G League contests in the past two seasons. As a player who has shown off his strength and power at the rim for Santa Cruz, the Vanderbilt product has averaged 13.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, while shooting 64.3 percent from the field at the minor league level.
McCaw has played a pair of games on assignment from Golden State in each of his first two seasons in the NBA. This season, McCaw asked Warriors head coach Steve Kerr to send him to Santa Cruz to work on his game, and he averaged 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in two games in the NBA G League this season.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA G League Alumni
Kendrick Perkins (Canton Charge)
After being cut from the Cavaliers preseason roster and not receiving another NBA offer for the 2017-18 season, Perkins decided to use the NBA G League to showcase his talent and leadership. In 27 games with Canton this season, he averaged 8.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists. At the end of the G League season, Perkins retired, but was quickly brought back by the Cavaliers to join them for the NBA Playoffs. As a bench player for the Cavaliers, Perkins has brought his NBA Champion experience to Cleveland.
Okaro White (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
After going undrafted out of Florida State in 2014, White took his talents overseas until coming back to play in the NBA G League with the Sioux Falls Skyforce in 2016-17. In 23 games with the Skyforce, White averaged 18.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals. After his successful season with Miami’s affiliate club, White signed an NBA contract with the Heat for the 2017-18 season. But after being cut by the Heat, the Cavaliers signed White for the remainder of the 2017-18 season and playoffs.
Former Assignment Players
Clarkson, who played with the Lakers from 2014-18, was assigned on five occasions to the then-L.A. D-Fenders (now South Bay Lakers) during his rookie season. The Missouri product lit it up, averaging 22.6 points, 7.8 assists and 5.0 boards in those five contests. Right before the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline, Clarkson was traded to the Cavaliers with teammate and Cleveland native Larry Nance Jr. for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and the Cavs’ 2018 1st round draft pick.
The 23-year old rookie from Turkey joined the Cavaliers this season after playing from 2011-17 with Anadolu Efes in his home country. While learning on the fly with the Cavaliers, he was assigned to the Canton Charge once this season, where he dropped 21 points and picked up eight rebounds and four steals against the Long Island Nets.
Acquired in the original trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston and Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland, the Croatian joined the Cavs for the 2017-18 season. He was assigned to the Canton Charge for several NBA G League contests, playing in 18 games, averaging 16.3 points and 9.4 boards per game.