After performing for scouts at the Winter Showcase last month, NBA G League players are as hungry as ever to reach the next level. With 10-day contracts able to be offered beginning January 5, many could very well be inching closer to reaching their dreams.
Should they require any further inspiration, here’s a look at five minor-league alumni who were once in this year’s crop of athletes’ shoes and are finding success at the next level right now.
Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets (Grand Rapids Drive and Windy City Bulls alum)
What a month it was for Spencer Dinwiddie, who made sure to close out his 2018 with quite a bang. In mid-December, he scored a career high 39 points in a Nets victory. One day later, he was rewarded with a three-year extension. Brooklyn is surely appreciative of his most recent efforts, but Dinwiddie hasn’t slowed down at all despite reaching the mountain top. Last week, he topped off with 37 points and a season-high 11 assists in a thrilling victory over Charlotte. In his last twelve games, this offensive spark has averaged 21.5 points and 6 assists.
Yogi Ferrell, Sacramento Kings (Long Island Nets alum)
NBA G League alums understand the importance of remaining patient and waiting until it’s truly one’s time to shine. Ferrell has carried that grit and perseverance with him to the next level. He cracked his way into Sacramento’s rotation following season-highs of 17 points and 6 assists in a victory over the Timberwolves on December 12th. When his coach rolled the dice on him, Ferrell delivered and has been rewarded, playing in every game since. In his last five games, he’s averaged 7.4 points on an efficient 64% from the field.
Damyean Dotson, New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks alum)
As an NBA rookie last season, Dotson appeared in thirteen games for Westchester. Playing big minutes at the NBA G League level provided him with the opportunity to sharpen his skills, all while allowing New York to see what the future could hold when the time was right. One season later, and the swingman is already starting to see his hard work pay off in the NBA. When Dotson’s number has been called, he’s been ready. Averaging 9.9 points on 45% from the field and 37% from deep, the young gun hasn’t been shy about letting the shots fly and the Knicks have reaped the benefits.
Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets (Canton Charge alum)
Harris spent parts of two seasons as an assignment player with Canton, all the while honing his craft in hopes that he’d have a chance to demonstrate what can do at the next level soon enough. His time is now. In Brooklyn, he’s done more than prove his NBA worth. Harris is the kind of player his teammates can depend on. His sharpshooting prowess makes him an instant threat to score from outside, effectively spreading the defense thin and opening up more opportunities for others. Harris is averaging 16 points and shooting 60% both from the field and downtown, respectively, in his last five games.
Alfonzo McKinnie, Golden State Warriors (Windy City Bulls and Raptors 905 alum)
After battling the injury bug for much of November and early December, McKinnie is slowly but surely carving his way back and earning a consistent role with Golden State once again. The Warriors are a talented squad with plenty of firepower, and as a former NBA G League open tryout participant, McKinnie is familiar with having to continue proving himself. He continues to appear and contributes in small spurts as he waits for big minutes to come his way again. In the games ahead, look for him to remind Steve Kerr and Co. what he’s all about. The 26-year-old is shooting 38% from deep this season.