More than 150 NBA players — 38% of the league, to be exact — have NBA G League experience. NBAGLeague.com’s Alumni Report highlights standouts among those alums.
Here’s who shined on the next level during the first stretch of the 2017-18 season:
Clint Capela, Houston Rockets (RGV Vipers alum)
Capela has become a vital part of the Houston Rockets’ high-powered offense to start the season. Through five games, he is averaging 15.4 points and 11.4 rebounds, in 24.8 minutes per game. Capela has finished off three double-doubles in the first five contests, most notably dropping 16 points to go with a career-high 20 rebounds in the Rockets’ last-second victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. He also set a season-high of 22 points, with 17 rebounds, in the win over Sacramento. The third-year player has showed off many highlight-reel dunks already in just the first two weeks.
Jonathon Simmons, Orlando Magic (Austin Spurs alum)
In his second year in the league, Jonathon Simmons has helped the Magic get off to a 3-1 start to the season. Simmons, who came over from San Antonio during the offseason, is averaging 13.3 points and 2.5 rebounds so far this year. He had his biggest game of the season to this point in the Magic’s 114-93 win in Cleveland, finishing with 19 points and four board, going 6-for-11 from the field (3-for-5 from three). Simmons has scored in double digits in each game, seeing over 20 minutes per game.
Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs alum)
Murray has become a staple on the Spurs this season, seeing over 25 minutes per game through four contests. Despite a scoreless outing against Miami, Murray is averaging 10 points, eight rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. He has scored 16 points twice, including a double-double effort paired with 14 rebounds against the Raptors. He also added 10 boards and eight points in the Spurs’ 87-77 win over Chicago.
Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers (RGV Vipers alum)
Robert Covington has come into his own so far with the Sixers this season. He currently ranks fourth in the NBA in three-pointers made (17) this season. In five games, he is averaging 15.8 points per game, and is coming off a season-best 20 points in Philadelphia’s last-second loss to the Rockets on Wednesday, where he added six rebounds and two steals. Covington is shooting 49.1% from the field so far this year, including 48.6% from range.
Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets (Windy City Bulls alum)
Dinwiddie has had a strong start to the year in Brooklyn, coming off a career night in the Nets’ win over the Cavaliers on Wednesday. Dinwiddle scored a career-best 22 points in 32 minutes on the floor, knocking down the go-ahead three pointer with 43.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter. He added six assists and five rebounds, while knocking down four three-pointers. In the second game of the season, a 126-121 victory over the Magic, Dinwiddie finished with 16 points, five assists and five rebounds in 25 minutes on the floor. He has played in all five of Brooklyn’s contests so far this season, averaging 22.2 minutes per game.
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905 alum)
Siakam turned in a career-high 20-point performance just one week into the 2016-17 season. On Wednesday in Golden State, Siakam was 9-for-12 from the field (2-for-3 from three) in the Raptors close 117-112 loss to the Warriors. He also added a pair of rebounds and assists in 21 minutes on the floor. Last year’s NBA G League Finals MVP has played in three of the Raptors’ four games so far this season.
Tyler Johnson, Miami Heat (Sioux Falls Skyforce alum)
Johnson has had a big start to the season in Miami, having played more than 20 minutes in each of the Heat’s four contests in October. In the loss to the Spurs, Johnson dropped 23 points, including three triples, going 7-for-13 from the field. He is averaging 11.3 points per game so far this season.
James Johnson, Miami Heat (RGV Vipers alum)
Tyler’s teammate James Johnson has picked it up as well to start the year, helping form the “Johnson & Johnson” connection in Miami. James has become a reliable offensive option for the Heat, scoring in double digits in all but one game this year. He finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists against San Antonio, and also just missed out on double-doubles on two other occasions this season, finishing with eight assists twice.
Yogi Ferrell, Dallas Mavericks (Long Island Nets alum)
With Seth Curry missing time to start the season due to injury, fellow NBA G League alum Ferrell has filled in well for the Mavericks at the point guard position. Playing 31.5 minutes per game so far in six regular season contests, Ferrell is averaging 11.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Against Houston, Ferrell notched a season-high 19 points, to go with six assists and three rebounds. Ferrell is hitting 45.8 percent of his shots from deep this season.
Brandon Paul, San Antonio Spurs (Canton Charge alum)
Paul has gotten his chance at the NBA level after playing in the NBA G League and overseas since 2013. He knocked down his first NBA basket, a three-pointer, in the Spurs’ 117-100 victory over the Miami Heat. He finished the game with seven points and a rebound, hitting 2-of-2 threes in the game.