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Rzeppa's Take: Standouts from the 2016 NBA D-League Showcase

The 2016 NBA D-League has come to a close. Which players put on the best display over the five day tournament?

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 NBA D-League Showcase has come to a close, concluding one of the more exciting five-day spans of basketball that the NBA or NBA D-League has to offer.

The Sioux Falls Skyforce left Kaiser Permanente Arena the champions of the event, closing with a record of 2-0 and a Net Rating of 13.3. Their dominance wasn’t the only solid play that was on display, as players from all across the league brought their A-game for all of the scouts, executives and fans in attendance.

New Faces

Jordan Bachynski (Westchester Knicks)
20.5 PPG, 9 RPG, 3.5 BPG, .607 FG%

In his first ever D-League Showcase, Bachynski was set out to prove that he could be a force on both sides of the court. He has shown his defensive prowess throughout both his college career and through the first portion of this season with Westchester, but in the Showcase he laid out a post game that featured his ability to get positioning, as well as a nice hook shot that he’s able use comfortably with both hands.

Brandon Ashley (Texas Legends)
13.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3 APG, 3.5 BPG, .523 FG%

A five-star recruit in the 2012 high school recruiting class, Ashley failed to live up to his potential while at Arizona. In his first year with the Legends, he has started to fulfill some of that potential, while also adding a three-point shot to his game. He was a force on offense and on the glass this week and his lengthy wingspan (7’4) helped him alter quite a few shots.

Alex Stepheson (Iowa Energy)
16.5 PPG, 14.5 RPG, 3.5 BPG, .520 FG%

After playing at both North Carolina and USC, Stepheson played the last four years overseas before returning to the United States this year. His adjustment has been smooth to this point, leading the entire D-League in rebounding while also proving to be an impactful defender. That continued throughout the week, especially as he terrorized Austin for eight offensive rebounds during Iowa’s first game of the Showcase.

Will Cummings (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
22.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 7.5 APG, 4.5 SPG, .565 FG%, 23 FTA

A member of the Houston Rockets throughout the preseason, Cummings is adjusting well to his first season of professional basketball. Averaging over 20 points per game throughout this year, he is the engine that drives the high-powered Vipers offense. He was dicing up defenses this week and was getting to the rim as often as he pleased, all while keeping his teammates involved.


Players with NBA Experience

Devin Ebanks (Grand Rapids Drive)
23 PPG, 8 RPG, 2 APG, 2.5 SPG, .473 FG%, .412 3P%

A former second-round draft pick of the Lakers, Ebanks has been the leader of a Drive team that has gotten hot over the past few weeks. He has set the tone on the offensive side of the ball for them and that continued throughout this week, where they went 2-0 as a team. When he’s hitting from deep, which he was this week, he’s one of the better scorers in the NBADL.

Erick Green (Reno Bighorns)
33 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4 APG, .647 FG%, .727 3P%

Speaking of lethal scorers, the current leading scorer in the D-League put on a show for the crowd during his two games, which included a 37-point effort against the Westchester Knicks. He was unconscious from the field throughout the entire showcase and if he keeps it up, he’ll be back in the NBA in no time. With the Denver Nuggets recently waiving Kostas Papanikolaou, that call could be coming sooner rather than later.

Darington Hobson (Santa Cruz Warriors)
20 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 6 APG, .483 FG%

He received a five-game cup of coffee with the Milwaukee Bucks four years ago, but Hobson is knocking on the door of the NBA once again. His length allows him to disrupt passing lanes, and he’s now scoring and rebounding better than he ever has. He can stretch the floor as a small-ball four or he can slide in to his natural position at the three, but this week Hobson showed that his variety of strengths is ready to be on the bigger stage.


Players on Assignment

Ryan Kelly (Los Angeles D-Fenders)
26 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 3 BPG, .566 FG%, 19 FTA

As has been the trend throughout this season, Kelly made a big impact while on assignment from the Lakers. In his seven games with the D-Fenders this season, he has only gone under 20 points once (when he scored 19) and he has still managed to shoot over 50% from the floor. This week he just provided further evidence that his offense is NBA ready.

Jordan Mickey (Maine Red Claws)
17 PPG, 12 RPG, 4 BPG, .556 FG%

December’s D-League Player of the Month, Mickey has continued to make the Celtics feel confident that they made the right selection in the second round of this year’s draft. He has probably been the best big man in the D-League throughout his 19 games with the team and he showed up in a big way this week. Despite being just 6’8, he is a force defensively and should see time with the big club periodically this year.

Jarnell Stokes (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
22.5 PPG, 11 RPG (4 ORPG), .667 FG%

With Stokes holding down the paint and fellow assignee Josh Richardson lighting it up from outside, it was nearly impossible to stop the Skyforce this week. He hasn’t quite lived up to his billing as one of the best players in the country coming out of high school, but Stokes is showing that he knows how to use his size to his advantage. He’s able to overpower defenders both on offense and on the glass and this week he couldn’t have displayed that any more clearly.