Note: This piece is part two of an ongoing series breaking down who we project to be the top 50 G League players for the upcoming 2018-19 season. Go here if you’re interested to look at the beginning of this series where we go from #50-#41.
40. Troy Caupain (two-way player with Orlando) - Lakeland Magic: 15.6 pts, 7.6 rebs, 5.8 asts, 1.4 stls on 43% from field and 34% from beyond the arc on 4.8 attempts in 37 minutes per game. 54% TS%, 50% eFG%
Working alongside Rodney Purvis, Caupain helped push the Lakeland Magic to a 28-23 record and a spot in the G League playoffs. While Purvis was a fantastic scoring threat, as he 20.5 pts, 3.9 rebs, 3.4 asts, 1.4 stls on 42% from field and 39% from beyond the arc on 7.7 attempts per game, the University of Cincinnati alum arguably was that team’s backbone due to how he was able to shine in a variety of ways. For one, the 6’4 prospect stood as an elite rebounder as his 7.6 boards per game placed him third among all G League guards.
Alongside that, Caupain was a fantastic facilitator as he was able to get it done whether working in the pick-and-roll or catch-and-shoot. With those traits, he averaged 5.8 assists with a fantastic 2.8 Ast/TO ratio. That impact doesn’t even factor in his actual work as a scorer, as Caupain is a solid mid-range shooter, on-ball driver and post-up threat.
Entering his 2nd year with Lakeland as he’s on a two-way deal with Orlando, it’ll be interesting to see how he can grow as a player. Because while he’s pretty well-rounded offensively, the 6’4 prospect still has room to grow as a perimeter shooter, as the modern NBA basically demands most guards to shoot better than 34% from beyond the arc.
39. John Holland - Canton Charge (two-way player with Cleveland): 18.6 pts, 2.8 asts, 1.7 stls on 42% from field and 36% from beyond the arc on 8.2 attempts per game. 55% TS%, 51% eFG%
Since making his debut with the Canton Charge in 2015-16, John Holland has stood as one of the G League’s more reliable offensive weapons. That dependability comes from he’s able to consistently score in a variety of different ways. While he’s not necessarily spectacular at any specific offensive skill, G League coaches have been able to look to Holland to get it done as a facilitator, perimeter/mid-range shooter and on-ball driver. With that decent versatility, he’s been able to stand as a consistent 15-20 points per game scorer during his three years in the league.
Although he’s a stable offensive weapon, Holland is also very solid on the defensive end. His impact was evident last year as opponents were three points per 100 possessions worse when he was on the court (104.9 points per 100) compared to when he’s on the bench (107.8 points per 100).
Now entering his fourth season with the Charge, the two-way player will look to be a key cog on a Canton team looking to rebound after a 2017-18 season where they finished with a 22-28 record. He’ll actually have solid solid teammates to play alongside of which include Kobi Simmons, Billy Preston, JaCorey Williams, Scoochie Smith and Isaac Hamilton.
38. Marcus Georges-Hunt: Maine Red Claws: 16.3 pts, 6.2 rebs, 4.4 asts, 1.1 stls on 46% from field and 39% from beyond the arc on 4.2 attempts in 36 minutes per game in 46 total G League games. 60% TS%, 54% eFG%
After a forgettable season with the Minnesota Timberwolves where he only played a grand total of 224 minutes, Georges-Hunt is making his return to the G League as a member of the Maine Red Claws. In a similar way to how he shined in 2016-17, Georges-Hunt should stand as one of the league’s more versatile backcourt threats. On any given night, he’ll be able to help Maine out through a smooth outside jumper, work as an on-ball driver, crashing the glass or even facilitating.
Georges-Hunt being able to stand as one of an extremely versatile player while also maintaining a solid 60% True Shooting Percentage are the biggest reasons why Georges-Hunt is on this list.
37. Scott Machado - South Bay Lakers: 15.9 points, 8.5 asts, 3.8 rebs, 1 stls on 45% from the field and 41% from 3 on 3.8 attempts in 31 minutes per game. 57% TS%, 51% eFG%. 2.73 Ast/TO ratio
After spending the prior four years traveling around Europe playing in different countries within the continent, Machado returned to the G League during the 2017-18. That overseas experienced definitely seemed to pay off for the veteran point guard as he was an integral part to a South Bay Lakers team that finished the regular season with a 28-23 record.
As has been the case since his college days with Iona, Machado was a fantastic facilitator as he averaged 8.5 assists with a very solid 2.7 Ast/TO ratio. That level of facilitating pushed the likes of Travis Wear, Alex Caruso and Stephaun Branch to have career-best seasons. In addition to his great facilitating, Machado showcased a vastly improved perimeter jumper as he shot 40% from beyond the arc on 3.8 attempts per game. That development is huge when you consider that the 6’3 guard shot 25% from 3 in 2013-14 when he was with Idaho and Santa Cruz.
One year later, Machado returns to a South Bay squad that will look to grow on the success of last season. Obviously, the veteran guard will be a big factor behind that run as he’ll join Lakers two-way player Alex Caruso to lead one of the best backcourts in the entire G League.
36. CJ Williams (two-way player with Minnesota Timberwolves) - Iowa Wolves: 16.5 pts, 3.8 rebs, 2.6 asts, 1.2 stls on 42% from field and 38% from beyond the arc on 7.2 attempts in 29 minutes per game. 56% TS%, 52% eFG% with AC Clippers
At 27 years old and after five years of going back-and-forth between the G League and various international leagues, CJ Williams made his NBA debut during the 2017-18 season as a two-way player for the LA Clippers. While he spent most of the year in the G League with Agua Caliente, Williams did impress when Doc Rivers gave him some run in LA. In 19 minutes per game, he averaged 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and .8 steals on 44% from the field and 28% from beyond the arc on 2.8 attempts per game.
While the full scope of those statistics aren’t too impressive, the veteran guard did have some big nights at the NBA level. That includes him putting up a 15 point, 3 rebound, 2 assist and 4 steal on 5-7 from the field and 3-4 from beyond the arc performance against the Atlanta Hawks which included this buzzer-beater.
Despite having a solid run with the Clippers, the team decided to place Williams on waivers on July 27th. Fortunately, the Minnesota Timberwolves signed him to just four days on July 31st, which is where the veteran guard currently stands. In regards to his work in the G League, Williams should be an extremely reliable weapon that can both be an efficient perimeter weapon while also being able to work his way to the paint as an on-ball driver.
35. KJ McDaniels - OKC Blue: 16.2 pts, 7 rebs, 1 asts, 1.2 stls, 1.3 blks on 49% from field and 31% from 3 on 4 attempts in 27 minutes per game. 57% TS%, 54% eFG%.
Although he has the claim as arguably the most athletic player on this list due to his great bounce and speed, the veteran wing is probably more proud of how he helped lead the Drive to their first playoff appearance since they moved to Grand Rapids. McDaniels’ leadership came to his work on both ends of the floor as he showcased that he knew how to combine a strong 6’6 frame and natural athleticism to be an effective defensive force.
On the other end of the court, McDaniels knowing how to utilize his athleticism is evident as he does a lot of damage as an off-ball cutter. Once he gets going along the baseline, he’s nearly impossible to stop as his quickness and incredible hops makes him a highlight reel waiting to happen. Another way that he can use that athleticism is as an offensive rebounder, as he collected 2.3 boards during the 2017-18 season. That average placed him as the 3rd best guard in the G League when it came to collecting offensive rebounds.
After having his G League rights traded to the OKC Blue in September, McDaniels will look to return to the playoffs with a new squad. The chances definitely seem to be in his favor as the Blue’s roster is stacked with players that have either has success in the G League (Bryce Alford, Scotty Hopson, Dez Wells and Chris Wright) or are intriguing young prospects ready to ball out at the pro level (Kevin Hervey and Tyler Davis). While all those players will look to be key contributors to the OKC Blue, McDaniels could stand out as a leader due to his great work on both ends of the floor.
34. Danuel House - RGV Vipers: 17.9 pts, 2.7 asts, 5.6 rebs, 1.1 stls on 47% from field and 39% from 3 on 7.1 attempts per game. 62% TS% and 58% eFG% in G League with Northern Arizona and RGV
In the first part in this top 50 G League players countdown, it was noted that guard Demetrius Jackson likely had a stressful season due to being a two-way player for both the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers. One man that probably knows what Jackson went through is 6’7 forward Danuel House. At the start of the 2017-18 season, he was a member of the RGV Vipers, where he joined Jackson and other solid G League prospects. However, his time with the team came to an end shortly after the start of the year as he signed a two-way deal with the Phoenix Suns on December 8th.
Although he was pretty solid with RGV, House was outstanding with Northern Arizona. At the G League level, he was the epitome of efficiency as he averaged 18.2 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.1 steals per game on 48% from the field and 43% from beyond the arc on 7 attempts per game. That Curry-level efficiency was an intriguing development for the 6’7 player as he shot just 34% from 3 during his career at Texas A&M.
Despite that solid play with Northern Arizona, House was waived during the summer of 2018, which leads him back to RGV for the upcoming season. While there’s uncertainty about whether House can maintain that solid efficiency, he’ll be a crucial part of a new-look Vipers squad.
33. Xavier Silas - Iowa Wolves: 18.4 pts, 4.1 rebs, 1.9 asts, 1.7 stls on 44% from field and 38% from beyond the arc on 9.4 attempts in 33 minutes per game. 61% TS%, 57% eFG%
Sticking with the Iowa Wolves, Xavier Silas will be entering his sixth season in the NBA G League. Over the course of that time, he’s grown into being one of the more dynamic offensive weapons in the NBA G League as he can take care of business whether he’s driving to the paint or working on the perimeter. That second trait has been his bread and butter in recent years as Silas shot 38% from beyond the arc on 9.4 attempts per game during the 2017-18 season with the Northern Arizona Suns.
While his efficient shooting hasn’t unfortunately led to many NBA opportunities, it does allow him to be an important offensive weapon on any G League team that he may be on. This year, he’ll be starting the year with the Iowa Wolves, where he could create a solid offensive-minded unit with T-Wolves two-way players Jared Terrell and the aforementioned CJ Williams. While that duo will probably get the majority of attention because of their status as two-way players, Silas will stand as that reliable veteran presence that can just go off any time that he steps on the floor.
32. Tyler Cavanaugh - Salt Lake City Stars (two-way player with Utah Jazz): 14.4 pts, 7.3 rebs on 49% from the field and 45% from beyond the arc on 4.6 attempts in 24 minutes per game. 62% TS%, 58% eFG% with Erie Bayhawks
After playing just one G League game with the Erie BayHawks, Cavanaugh was signed to a two-way deal by the Atlanta Hawks. Immediately after that signing, the young player became a fixture of Atlanta’s rotation as he never returned to Erie while on that two-way deal. For Atlanta, that deal temporarily paid off as Cavanaugh was a solid rotational piece as he averaged 7.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists on 48% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc on 3.3 attempts per game during the month of December. During that December run, the Hawks signed the 6’10 forward to a regular deal on the 17th of that month.
Weirdly enough, Cavanaugh spent more time in the G League after signing that standard NBA deal as he played 11 regular season and 3 playoff games with the BayHawks. During that time, he stood out as arguably the best stretch big in the league as he averaged 14.4 points and 7.3 rebounds on 49% from the field and 45% from beyond the arc on 4.6 attempts in only 24 minutes per game. Although his G League sample size may be smaller than most other players on this list, Cavanaugh’s mix of incredible efficiency at the minor league level mixed with solid play in the NBA puts him at this spot in the list.
31. Deyonta Davis - Santa Cruz Warriors: 11.4 pts, 8.2 rebs, 1.2 stls, 2.5 blks on 55% from the field in 27 minutes per game. 56% TS%, 55% eFG% in 13 total G League games with Iowa and Memphis.
Sticking with players that spent the majority of their time at the NBA level, Deyonta Davis will be making his way to the G League after spending the last two years with the Memphis Grizzlies. During his time with the team, the 31st pick in the 2016 NBA Draft developed into being a solid rotational piece. That was most evident during the 2017-18 season as he averaged 5.8 points, 4 rebounds on 61% from the field in only 15 minutes per game.
Although he was a solid part of a front-court depleted by an injury to Marc Gasol, Memphis traded Davis alongside Ben McLemore to the Sacramento Kings on July 17th to receive veteran wing Garrett Temple. Unfortunately, his run with Sacramento didn’t last long as the team waived him in mid-September. While Golden State did pick him up on October 11th, they made the move with the intentions of having the young center be an affiliate player with Santa Cruz.
Now in the G League, the young big will have an opportunity to grow his game and show of his skills in front of NBA executives on a nightly basis. In terms of fit, Davis was lucky to land with Santa Cruz as he’ll have an opportunity to work with solid guards in Darius Morris, Kendrick Nunn, Jordan Howard and Damion Lee. While building a camaraderie with those players should benefit his offense. Davis could stand out as one of the league’s best defensive bigs, as he averaged 2.5 blocks per game during the 13 games that he’s played in the G League.