Josh Magette is back in the D-League and making the most of it. The Los Angeles D-Fenders' point guard has taken a winding road to the 2015-2016 season, but isn't wasting any time making his mark. The 6' 1" Magette is currently leading the D-League in both steals and assists. He's not edging out others in these categories, but averaging a full assist (7.9 per game) and half steal (3.1 per game) more than the runner-up in both columns.
Magette was a force in the backcourt during his college days at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The Alabama native is the school's all-time assist leader and led his team to two Division II Elite Eight appearances. Magette went undrafted after graduating in 2012, but signed with the Memphis Grizzlies for the 2012 NBA Summer League. He did not appear in a single game and played with Landstede Basketball in the Netherlands during the 2012-2013 season. Returning to the United States, Magette was drafted by the LA D-Fenders in the second round of the 2013 D-League Draft. He played in 52 games during the season, averaging 10.4 points, 6.9 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. He then went on to sign with the Orlando Magic for the 2014 NBA Summer League, followed by a stint in Greece with Koroivos Amaliadas.
Now, the D-II product is back in the D-League and dominating in LA. Magette's play this season has been predicated on distribution and taking what his opponents give him. With teammates like Vander Blue, Justin Hawkins, and Justin Harper, Magette rarely forces shots and understands where the ball has to go.
As a scorer, Magette is averaging 10.1 points per game. More than half of his made field goals are from beyond the three-point arc, but he's only hitting from distance at a 35% clip. The point guard has a solid understanding of his role in an offense, but he'll have to become a more consistent shooter, especially from long range, if he wants a chance at the NBA.
Even if Magette can develop a reliable jump shot, a spot in the NBA will be difficult to come by. Very few Division II players have managed to break into the association and Magette isn't ready to join those ranks quite yet. However, he's already made it further than most, and if he can continue to develop the court awareness he's displayed for the D-fenders, he has a shot.