In a surprising move, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers shipped point guard Gary Talton off to the defending champion Fort Wayne Mad Ants, in exchange for the latter team's 2015 first round draft pick.
After pacing the Vipers all the way through a postseason run last season, having averaged 9.6 points, 7.1 assists, and 1 steal through 48 contests, Talton has only continued his climb up the ranks as one of the league's most savvy floor generals this season.
Talton led the D-League in total assists last season. This season, he's leading the minor league in assists per game, with a staggering 13.5 through 12 contests. His shooting selection has improved, with a 42% mark overall, and a 37% clip from deep. He's scoring 14.4 points per contest to complete his double-double average, and tallying 1.4 steals as well.
Needless to say, such a stat-line is undoubtedly quite the sheet stuffer, if there ever was one. In his last performance as a Viper, the guard point up 20 points, 20 assists, and 10 rebounds, all coming in a recent RGV loss.
Despite Talton's most recent eye-popping efforts to begin the season, the Vipers stand at just 5-7 on the year.
With Talton heading to Fort Wayne as he aims to continue his respective journey with the Mad Ants, one has to wonder if his most recent success will continue. As one of the fastest and most agile teams in all of the NBADL, the Vipers run and gun with the best of them.
The speedy 24 year old has undoubtedly benefitted from being a product of quite the unique system. He's steady defender who can apply ample ball pressure when it's needed, but on the offensive end, he's certainly had an opportunity to push the tempo and play with teammates who let it fly from all over the court.
Because of their offensive pace, the Vipers earn themselves an increasing number of opportunities and possessions on that side of the floor. This may be the reason for numbers that could otherwise be considered inflated ---- all for the better, of course. Thus far, it's been a smart strategy, as Talton, like many others, have seemingly gone on to thrive.
In Fort Wayne, Talton will have the chance to prove himself as an even more versatile point guard. Will he be able to handle the change of pace? Can he continue to make his teammates look better?
It'll be interesting to find out as he continues his (hopefully eventual) race to The Association.