When assessing potential candidates for the NBA D-League's Impact Player of the Year award, it's important to ponder which of the deserving candidates not only made a positive impact for teams, but also a seamless transition along the way, too.
After getting re-acquired by the Santa Cruz Warriors in the midseason trade that also saw Sean Kilpatrick and Ronald Roberts Jr. exchange area codes, Darington Hobson put on a familiar minor league uniform. As fate would have it, he looked comfortable and fit right in from the get go.
Hobson's return to Santa Cruz (let alone, the D-League in general) came at the most opportune of times. Over the course of this respective campaign, his team lost a bevy of key contributors, be it to NBA promotions, injuries, or more lucrative opportunities overseas. Lucky for the Warriors, Hobson was around to save the day again and again, filling a number of different voids.
The forward, who was originally drafted by and went on to briefly play for the Milwaukee Bucks, stole the show on multiple occasions. Appearing in 25 contests, Hobson averaged 12.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. He also logged two triple-doubles in the campaign, hovering over the impressive feat numerous times after that as well. The forward shot 42% from the field and 39% from deep.
His influence was felt immediately, and the Warriors powered through to finish with a league-tying best 35-15 record on the regular season. For his efforts, Hobson has earned RidiculousUpside.com's Impact Player award for the 2014-15 NBA D-League season.
Hobson's 25 games played is actually the minimum required for a minor leaguer to be considered for a year-end award as well, which could warrant him Most Improved Player consideration, too.
Runner-up for RU's M.V.P. award: Reno Bighorns' guard Cameron Ayers, who averaged 11.3 points on 44% from the field and 39% from deep through 29 games.