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Top NBA Players in the G League

A few players on standard NBA contracts have put up some solid outings in the G League so far this season.

Northern Arizona Suns v Santa Cruz Warriors Photo by Mike Rasay/NBAE via Getty Images

With NBA teams utilizing the G League more and more, they’re increasingly sending their younger players down to get playing time and development rather than having them rot on the bench.

Some teams send a player rehabbing from an injury down to get some practice time in. Whatever the reason may be, the G League is seeing more and more NBA players grace the floors. These players aren’t simply on two-way contracts that mandate they spend most of their time in the G League. These players have standard NBA contracts and figure to eventually be key contributors to their NBA team.

Here’s a look at some of those NBA players who have done well utilizing their time in the G League so far this season.

1. Josh Jackson – Memphis Grizzlies

Maine Red Claws v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Josh Jackson is a player whose NBA career was hanging in the balance prior to this season. He was seen as little more than a throw-in when he Phoenix Suns traded him to Memphis in the offseason. The Grizzlies assigned him to the Memphis Hustle and he has yet to be recalled. However, he has shown flashes off why the Suns made him the No.4 overall pick in 2017 draft. He’s had some huge scoring games and is shooting over 50 percent from the three-point line. He’s young enough to fit into the Grizzlies rotation moving forward and deserves a shot to see what he can do in the Grizzlies lineup.

2. Jalen Lecque – Phoenix Suns

Northern Arizona Suns v Iowa Wolves Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Jalen Lecque took a different path to the NBA that many had questioned. He was originally committed to North Carolina State, but instead opted to spend a post-grad year at Brewster Academy and prepare for the NBA draft. He wasn’t drafted but the Suns signed him as an undrafted free agent. He hasn’t shot that well in the G League, but he’s shown flashes of being a capable wing scorer. He’s a young player that should fit with the Suns young nucleus. Rather than wasting time on the Suns bench, he’s getting an opportunity to develop and showcase his talent for the Suns.

3. Talen Horton-Tucker – Los Angeles Lakers

South Bay Lakers_Austin Spurs Photo by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images

When Talen Horton-Tucker was drafted, it was assumed that he wasn’t going to be playing all that much for the LA Lakers who are in win-now mode. That was proven right when as the season rolled around, he was almost immediately assigned to the South Bay Lakers. He may be a bit undersized as a guard, but he’s been a solid perimeter scorer for South Bay. He’s shown an ability to get his shot off against taller defenders and to get to the rim. He’ll likely spend the majority of the season with South Bay, but the Lakers could have a solid rotation piece moving forward.

4. Sekou Doumbouya – Detroit Pistons

Grand Rapids Drive v Texas Legends Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images

Not much was known about Doumbouya before he was drafted, only that he was an intriguing frontcourt prospect. Clearly a project player, the Pistons have had him spend most of the season so far with Grand Rapids. During his time there, he’s shown a penchant for rebounding and he can score a little bit too. He’s been a versatile wing player for Grand Rapids; he’s shown the ability to handle the ball and play a little bit of a point forward role at times. There’s a lot to be intrigued about regarding his potential. He’s only 18 years old and has all the time in the world to develop. He’s off to a good start so far with the Drive.

5. Justin Patton – Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Blue v Texas Legends Photo by Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

Justin Patton isn’t a rookie in the NBA, but he might as well be. His first few years in the league have been plagued with injuries and he’s suited up for a total of six NBA games. It looked like he might be out of the league this offseason, but the Oklahoma City Thunder took a flier on him. His value is on the defensive end and on the glass, and he’s shown that during his time with the Oklahoma City Blue. He’s a averaging almost five blocks per game and just as many rebounds as he is points. That’s all the Thunder need from him, a player who will come off the bench and crash the boards while playing tough interior defense.