clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ridiculous Upside Q&A: Who Will Be G League MVP This Year? Is Shake Milton NBA Material?

Ridiculous Upside’s Dakota Schmidt answers questions via Twitter regarding who should win G League MVP, is Shake Milton MVP material and more.

Philadelphia 76ers Media Day Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Smith would definitely have to be in the top 10 due to having all of his teams end the season with at least a .500 record, no matter if it was the RGV Vipers or Sioux Falls Skyforce. However, I have to put him behind the likes of Mike Miller (Westchester Knicks, Blake Ahearn (Austin Spurs), Stan Heath (Lakeland Magic), Mike Daigneault (OKC Blue) due to those guys either pushing their teams to great records in the regular season or post season success. In addition to that, Long Island head coach Will Weaver could join that list and eclipse Smith if he’s able to push the Nets to a deep run in the upcoming G League playoffs.

Although teams don’t unfortunately sell authentic jerseys on their team stores, a lot of them hold auctions where you can buy jerseys worn by individual players during special jersey nights where the proceeds go to the charity or organization that the team is representing. So, it’s definitely best to keep track of the social media in the team(s) that you enjoy watching because they might be holding an auction where you can bid on a jersey.

Definitely. Coming into his rookie season, Milton was largely looked at as a perimeter marksmen that can shine as a solid facilitator. However, the 6’6 wing has expanded on that during his time with the Delaware Blue Coats as he’s really progressed into being able to really work off-the-dribble through drives to the basket or hitting mid-range jumpers. Those traits have allowed him to average 24 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals on 47% from field and 36% from beyond the arc on 5.3 attempts per game.

Although he’ll have to work on his perimeter efficiency, Milton definitely has the size and skill-set to make it as a rotation win in the NBA. Will that come with the Sixers? That’ll be up to Elton Brand and the 76ers front-office.

Like the NBA, G League coaches and executives get a chance to vote for MVP. Unlike it’s big brother, it’s kinda tough to pick an MVP for the G League as the best players either receive a 10-day deal or spend a lot of time in the NBA if they’re on a two-way deal. Due to the talent gap not being as large in the G League compared to the NBA, elite teams like Santa Cruz or Long Island succeed because they can work together as a collective unit rather than having a singular superstar lead the way.

However, in my eyes some players that stand as MVP hopefuls include Capital City’s Jordan McRae, Raptors 905’s Jordan Loyd, Windy City’s Walter Lemon, Long Island’s Alan Williams and Westchester’s Jameel Warney

While he’s shown some promise in this area, Williams has struggled as a perimeter shooter recently as he only made 4 perimeter jumpers in his last 21 attempts. Of course, this is only the first year where he’s actually shot from 3 during his basketball career but he’s going to need to show more efficiency over the rest of the regular season/playoffs if I want to have any kind of optimism about his future as a shooter.

Any of the 30 NBA teams can call Dusty Hannahs as he’s neither a two-way player or Grizzlies assignee. Honestly, I think it’s much more likely that he’ll get a two-way during the off-season rather than receive a 10-day deal due to his lack of experience at the NBA level and the short amount of time left in the season. However, he’s definitely developed into being an NBA prospect this year as Hannahs has progressed as an off-the-dribble threat while still being a fantastic perimeter weapon. That has led to him averaging 15.1 points on 50% from the field and 44% from beyond the arc. While he’s still evolving, I’d still like to see him progress as a facilitator as he’d need to do that at the NBA level due to being a 6’3 guard.

In terms of a five-man unit that you can see in the G League, that core might stand out as elite. Zhaire and Highsmith are both young and athletic wings that can defend multiple positions while Pelle stands as arguably the best rim protector in the G League. However, I’m afraid that we might not see a lot of that unit as the Blue Coats only have 9 games left in the regular season and are on the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention as they stand at 18-23.

That’s a really tough question. For the Eastern Conference, I’d have the Lakeland Magic, Westchester Knicks, Raptors 905 and the Windy City Bulls as the teams to join Long Island. Honestly conflicted about the final seed as Grand Rapids, Capital City and Greensboro are all within 1.5 games of each other. Grand Rapids currently has that seed as they sit at 23-20 and seem to be in pretty good position with winning four straight games and 8 out of their last 10 games. They looked really scary last night by being able to come from behind and beat the Erie BayHawks despite offensive leader Marcus Thornton having an off-night.

However, I wouldn’t rule out the Greensboro Swarm (21-21) or Capital City Go-Go (22-22). When they have Devonte Graham and Dwayne Bacon in the lineup, Greensboro has one of the more lethal offenses in the G League as that duo joins two-way player Joe Chealey, superb 6th man Jaylen Barford and former NBA big Chinanu Onuaku. I have a similar mindset with the Go-Go. Despite being 1.5 games behind Grand Rapids, I think they’re capable of making a run over the last stretch of the season, especially with Chris Chiozza back and them having Devin Robinson in their back pocket.

A similar situation is seen in the Western Conference with a few teams fighting for the last playoff spots. Currently, Santa Cruz, Rio Grande Valley and OKC have all clinched playoff spots with Stockton in position to clinch it on Saturday night. That leaves Sioux Falls, Salt Lake City, Memphis and the AC Clippers as the four teams to fight for the last two spots. That’s going to be an interesting fight as all four squads are within one game of each other with Sioux Falls, Salt Lake City and Memphis all tied.

From watching how these teams have played over the last few weeks, I honestly think that the Memphis Hustle and the SLC Stars will get those final two spots. the Stars have been on a roll lately due to Naz Mitrou-Long just being on an absolute roll as he scored 34 points on the 1st against the AC Clippers and 39 points on the 4th against the Raptors 905. The Stars are going to be a tough team to beat if he can maintain that level of success as Mitrou-Long’s presence combined with solid offensive players like two-way player Tyler Cavanaugh, Isaiah Cousins, Jairus Lyles and Tanner McGrew.

Meanwhile, I have more faith in the Memphis than Sioux Falls due to several factors. For one, the Skyforce are have only won 1 of their last 10 games and have had to deal with losing Briante Weber (signing with Olympiacos) and DeAndre Liggins (injury) over the last few weeks. While the team could use Yante Maten, who was amazing for Sioux Falls at the start of the year, his time with the G League club has been inconsistent over the last few months. Since the calendar turned to 2019, Maten has only played 6 games with the Skyforce.