As breakout NBA players like Pascal Siakam and Joe Harris gear up to help steady their teams through the season’s final weeks and postseason play, they’ll do so with the understanding that players often emerge as fan favorites for generations if they can come through in the clutch. The experiences they encountered in the NBA G League could very well help form the foundation for now performing under the brightest lights the NBA has to offer, and for many minor league alumni, the time to shine is approaching rather quickly.
Thanks to their special campaigns, the aforementioned duo is part of an elite class of past minor leaguers who continue to set the standard for what bursting onto the big league scene and utilizing what you learned to boost an NBA squad is all about. Whereas Siakam and Harris are already ingrained into their respective teams’ DNA, a select handful of younger players are also looking to follow their examples and carve out paths of their own upon getting that first feel of exposure.
A combination of such players headline this week’s Alumni Report.
Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets (Canton Charge alum)
Still riding the wave from winning the 2019 Mtn Dew Three-Point Contest, Joe Harris is showing no signs of slowing down. The sharpshooter’s clutch conversions are not only helping pace a Nets’ postseason run — he’s averaging 12 points on 42% from deep in 10 games since the NBA All-Star Break — but also allowing them to jockey for higher seeding in the season’s final stretch. They’ve now won four straight. While Harris himself continues to earn personal accolades and awards, he has one more accomplishment in his sights. Currently leading all of the NBA with 46% shooting from deep, the top spot is something the Charge alum aspires to hold onto by season’s end.
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905 alum)
Propelling himself through a breakthrough season, Siakam has already transformed from NBA G League assignee and NBA G League Finals MVP and champ to NBA rotation player, and now, a headlining attraction for the NBA’s second-best team in Toronto. The big man’s game has undoubtedly flourished, as he’s now very capable able to help spreading the floor, making more of an effort to take (and make) long-range shots. More recently, he’s averaged 18.4 points over the last five. Toronto has looked for him to shoulder more responsibility and he hasn’t let them down. As they chase a championship, the 24-year-old will be able to lean on his invaluable experience as a Raptors 905 title winner back in 2017 as his guide through the high-pressure stakes to come.
— NBA (@NBA) March 6, 2019
Langston Galloway, Detroit Pistons (Westchester Knicks alum)
Galloway has turned a pair of 10-day contracts with the New York Knicks in 2015 (via Westchester) into a very respectable career at the next level. As a mid-rotation member for Detroit and a persevering alum of minor-league play, the 27-year-old has come to earn the trust of multiple coaching staffs during his time in the NBA, thanks to his humble beginnings and understanding of how to stay ready for whenever his team needs him most. A postseason contender, the Pistons have been calling Galloway’s number more often as of late and predictably so, he’s been able to provide the injection of life they’ve needed. The guard’s averaged 10.7 points on 45% from the field and 59% from deep in six March contests, of which Detroit has impressively won five.
Harry Giles, Sacramento Kings (Stockton Kings alum)
It’s hard to believe that it was just earlier this season that Giles was strutting his stuff at the Winter Showcase, standing tall as an NBA assignee fixture in Las Vegas. Through four total games with Stockton, this young gun worked on perfecting his post moves and fancy footwork inside the paint. Such dedication is paying off, as his success is already translating in Sacramento. Over his last four contests, Giles has tallied 10.2 points and 5.5 rebounds in just 21 minutes per game. The team has shown confidence in him at this early stage — when Giles is inserted into a game, it’s so that his teammates can feed him in the post without hesitation.
Frank Jackson, New Orleans Pelicans (Texas Legends alum)
Another quick same-season turnaround, Jackson used his stint with the Texas Legends to become more accustomed to pushing the pace and running the floor for longer periods of time. He’s been using his explosiveness around the rim to keep opposing defenses on high-alert. When opponents protect the lane, Jackson’s high basketball IQ allows him to pull back and drain three-point field goals instead. Averaging 15.2 points on 53% from the field to go along with 5 rebounds in his last five appearances, this 20-year-old is not only assuming backup point guard duties, but the playing time he’s earning off the pine is essentially thrusting into a sixth man role for New Orleans as well.