The 2016 NBA D-League Showcase came to a close this weekend, and while things slowed down and many of the NBA and D-League executives headed home midway through the weekend, there was still plenty of talent to be seen during the event's final two days.
Here's a look at some of the best performances from days four and five.
Saturday (Day Four)
Jorge Gutierrez, Canton Charge
The NBA alum tallied an impressive triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists en route to leading Canton to a victory. There's no doubt Gutierrez likes pushing the pace. He takes control of a game very easily. The floor general committed 7 turnovers, but the offense did in fact run through him generally the entire contest. That alone can put pressure on a guard. Nevertheless, he took it in stride. Gutierrez's NBA experience and respective maturity absolutely shines in his game, now back for another minor league season. He's well respected by his teammates, and it shows.
Ronald Roberts, Raptors905
Despite his team's loss, Roberts put together a rather dominant performance. One of the best big men in all of the D-League, he's very assertive, confident, and knows how to use his physicality to his advantage. Things look so easy for the St. Joseph's alum; just being present makes it easy for his large frame to grab boards, and on the offensive end, there are very few players who challenge him close to the rim. Roberts added 29 points and 8 rebounds. It would be interesting to see him get a ten-day contract, if only to watch him match up against NBA counterparts, both in games and in practice.
Will Cummings, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
The Vipers were on the winning side of Toronto's defeat, and Cummings was largely in part to thank. After spending training camp with the affiliated Rockets, Cummings has seemingly struggled a bit to develop a consistent rhythm and play at a constant high level this season. Nevertheless, his outing on Saturday was one of his best all year. He picked the perfect time to shine, tallying 21 points, 10 assists, and 6 steals. Plenty of players have difficulty finding their respective niches in the NBA. There might already be enough point guards. But Cummings' drive on the defensive end will help him stand out. He's an NBA ready defender with steady instincts.
Sunday (Day Five)
Keith Appling and Tyler Harvey, Erie BayHawks
This impressive duo led, the now, surging BayHawks to two impressive victories during the Showcase. On Sunday, they each displayed how and why they could very well have NBA futures. Appling scored 27 points in impressive fashion, converting on 11 of 15 from the field. Considered somewhat of a raw prospect last season, Appling has grown tremendously thanks to his improving instincts. He has a great first step to the basket and understands how to read (and subsequently react) to the defense. In Harvey's case, his draft rights are still held by Orlando, but the type of scoring boost he provides off the bench could be very similar to what he can (and perhaps will) do for the Magic sooner than later. He added 19 points, and converted on five daggers from deep.
Erick Green, Reno Bighorns
Green proved to be rather consistent during the Showcase. But this time, his 29 points resulted in an electric victory for Reno. Green has NBA experience, but clearly hasn't been able to stick. The offensive prowess he displayed in Santa Cruz is only further evidence that he is capable of scoring in bunches and thus, providing a potential boost for a big league team off the bench. He's a very smart player who can beat defenders with dribble penetration to create higher percentage looks for himself. Green is a very crafty player.
Coty Clarke, Maine Red Claws
Much like Rick Jackson of the Delaware 87ers earlier in the week, Clarke proved to be a very surprisingly efficient performer on the Showcase's final day. The Arkansas product picked the opportune time to have the game of his life, or perhaps more fitting, his young basketball career. Though he stepped up during the Showcase's final game, certain scouts were still on hand. Clarke proved that he can make his mark alongside a few NBA level players, adding 19 points and 10 rebounds in just 22 minutes of play. He shot 7 of 11 and even grabbed 4 offensive boards. Clarke proved to be larger than life, both in his size and frame, as he fought well above his respective means to compete. The determination he showed to make the right plays and contribute was special to watch.