This Thursday will mark the beginning of the 11th annual NBA D-League Showcase. This marquee events puts the NBA Development League on a national stage, as most games will be televised on NBA TV throughout the weekend. It's become commonplace for 10-day contracts to start flying out after successful performances at the Showcase. NBA front office executives and GM's will be scattered everywhere in Santa Cruz looking to scalp the next Robert Covington or Hassan Whiteside before another NBA team does. The Development League is exploding with talent and interesting prospects this season, so many that even this list of 10 players doesn't justify all of the players to watch this weekend. However, these are the top 10 prospects that anyone watching should keep an eye on this weekend.
Even though former No. 4 overall pick Tyrus Thomas just joined the Iowa Energy days ago, he's someone to watch this weekend. He's now a reclamation project, clinging onto the chances of one more shot at the NBA after flaming out at 26-years-old. Thomas averaged 7.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in his seven-year NBA career. The emergence of Hassan Whiteside with the Miami Heat opens up room for Tyrus Thomas to come into the Energy's lineup and prove that he can still contribute, making this a huge weekend for Thomas.
Does anything else needs to be said about Seth Curry? The lil' bro of Steph Curry is leading the D-League in scoring at 26.1 ppg on a 68.6 true shooting percentage. His shot chart is Kyle Korver esque, but he's more than just a shooter. Curry can attack from all areas on the floor while also compiling 4.3 boards and 4.1 assists per game. He's earned NBA Call-Up's before, but a three-point barrage at the NBA D-League Showcase this weekend could earn him a permanent one.
Quincy Miller comes into the weekend as the second leading scorer in the NBADL at 25.6 points per game. Miller is a proponent of the Reno Bighorn's "System" as the fast paced offense has allowed him to fill up the stat sheet. The one-time Denver Nugget is also averaging 7.6 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game (1st in D-League). He also has five 30-plus point games in 13 appearances for Reno this season. The 6'9" forward is already on the verge of an NBA Call-Up but all eyes will be on him to prove it this weekend.
The D-League's golden child this season is Brady Heslip. Although he's been off mark lately (4-15 from three in past two games), he's still put together an amazing season so far. Shooting 46.3% from three on 12.8 launches per game deserves an applause. He's scoring 24.6 points per game and he specializes in one thing that most NBA teams could use more of: three-point shooting. The shooting guard turned down an overseas deal to wait for an NBA Call-Up and one would have to imagine that this weekend is prime real estate for the rook.
The former Penn State point guard has become a favorite here at Ridiculous Upside. At a mere 6'1", 170 pounds, the man is averaging 16.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. Maybe the most impressive part is that he has the Maine Red Claws holding a 16-4 record, which tops the D-League. He's on the verge of a triple-double nightly and his skill set will become highlighted this weekend.
James Michael McAdoo
In his last game before the Showcase, McAdoo compiled 28 points and 18 rebounds on 80% shooting from the field. He's been doing this all season, averaging 18.1 points (59% shooting) and 9.4 rebounds per game. He's also putting up 2.6 blocks and 1.9 steals per game. The once projected lottery pick has taken the road less traveled to the NBA, but his stellar play for Santa Cruz has him on the cusp of the NBA. Playing in front of the Santa Cruz crowd should bode well for McAdoo this weekend.
Glen Rice Jr.
Although GR3 was just acquired by the RGV Vipers a couple of days ago, he will be ready to put on a show this weekend. Rice is an NBA free agent, although he will be looking to change that title during the Showcase. In 14 games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Rice averaged 12.7 points shooting 49% from the floor. He's already a top prospect by being in the D-League and a good weekend could keep his stay in the D-League short and sweet.
One of the top big man prospects this year, JaMychal Green has been stellar. He's a walking 20-and-10 guy, averaging 23 points and 10.5 rebounds this season. His consistency all season has NBA teams taking notice and a 20-and-10 weekend could have the Austin Spurs forward don a real NBA jersey.
Jabari Brown was just named RU's Top Prospect of the Week and rightfully so. Brown had a 50-point outing last week -- the highest scoring total in the NBADL this season -- and averaged 32.7 points in three games last week. Jabari Brown is picking the right time to hit his stride with the Showcase coming up. He's shooting over 40% from the field (47.3) and three (41.2), something that NBA teams covet in forward prospects. He's just popping up on NBA radar's, but he'll have many eyes on him this weekend.
The LA Clippers signing NBA vet Dahntay Jones to a 10-day deal proves that some teams are looking for veteran players to try out. Besides Jones, the most noticeable vet in the D-League has been Damien Wilkins. The nine-year NBA player has been flourishing for the Iowa Energy this season, averaging 23.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He's scored 26 points or more in his past eight games, only shooting under 50% twice in that streak. Contending teams with a roster spot would be smart to keep an eye on Damien Wilkins at the D-League Showcase.