On any given night, basketball fans are treated to NBA players gracing the G League stage via an assignment or a Two-Way contract. It’s exciting to see players of that caliber hit the minor league hardwood, knowing full well they could sprint back to the NBA the very next day and make an impact at the next level.
On the other hand, there are plenty of free agent veterans and prospects hungry for a shot. With that in mind, here’s a look at some early call up candidates following the season’s first few weeks.
NBA G League 101: How Call-Ups Work
Chasson Randle, Capital City Go-Go: Randle has already spent time with the Washington Wizards this season, suggesting that he’s not only capable of knocking at the NBA’s door, but also breaking through it. As a member of the Go-Go, the 25-year-old has continued to assert himself offensively. Averaging 27.7 points per game, Randle will hit the G League hardwood again after he’s done playing for USA Basketball in FIBA World Cup Qualifying games. With an explosive first step, he’s known for attacking the basket and picking his spots along the perimeter. Fully embracing his role as a starring attraction for the Go-Go, Randle can serve as a spark plug for any number of NBA benches.
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) November 4, 2018
Terrence Jones, Erie BayHawks: As a veteran of 232 NBA games with averages of 10.5 points and 5.7 rebounds, there’s no doubt Jones can hold his own at the next level. Currently averaging a massive double-double with 26.6 points and 10.7 rebounds, Jones has put his physicality on full display all season long. He knows what it means to attack defenders and fight his way inside to pick up easy buckets and get to the free-throw line. Alas, playing in the NBA G League is all about development and finding ways to improve one’s game. With that in mind, Jones is becoming a more versatile athlete with a long-range shot, currently shooting 40% from deep, up from his 30% career mark in the NBA.
John Jenkins, Westchester Knicks: Another well respected veteran, Jenkins has spent plenty of time at various levels of professional ball. Leading his team to an 8-3 record thus far, the guard has served as a resource both on and off the court. In addition to averaging 29 points, Jenkins has emerged as an important mentor for an up and coming Westchester squad. He’s dependable, professional, and is patiently waiting for another shot in the NBA. The veteran is a great locker room guy and has the skills to back up his presence. Currently representing USA Basketball, Jenkins put forth one of the top performances of the season with 41 points in a November 10 victory over the Magic.
John Jenkins (@JohnnyCashVU23) set a new @wcknicks FRANCHISE-RECORD as well as his own CAREER-HIGH tonight, posting 44 PTS for the Westchester Knicks 👏👏👏@VandyMBB ↗️ @wcknicks pic.twitter.com/XXKc9KPaf5
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) November 11, 2018
Chris Chiozza, Capital City Go-Go: Often times, players who garner the most headlines are those that score the most points. But with so many elite scorers already shining in the NBA, players hoping to make their mark in the NBA G League can go about doing all of the little things instead. Chiozza has risen up as the consummate floor general in Capital City. He plays unselfishly, aims to get others involved, and can often be seen diving for loose balls to come up with key steals (averaging 1.9 per contest) and spark fast break points. His 7.7 assists rank among the leaders for Call-Up candidates this season.
Darius Morris, Santa Cruz Warriors: As a former NBA G League Player of the Week, Morris is averaging 20.4 points and 6.3 assists. He’s found a nice balance between knowing when to hoist up the long ball and run the show, and when to share the ball with Two-Way Players Damion Lee and Marcus Derrickson. At 6’4″, this point guard’s size helps him gain favor over opposing floor generals and he’s always a threat to crash the glass as well. His numbers may not jump off the page, but anytime a prospect can lead the way for an 8-0 start (the Santa Cruz have since suffered their first loss to the Agua Caliente Clippers), he’s doing something right.
🚨 Sea Dub @dariusmorris4 named @nbagleague Player of the Week (11/12 – 11/18). In three games last week, Morris averaged 23.3 pts, 5.3 reb, and 7.0 ast! Game highlights below⬇️ pic.twitter.com/2HMXMk1Y6o
— Santa Cruz Warriors (@GLeagueWarriors) November 19, 2018