On April 1st, the NBA G League named Raptors forward Chris Boucher as their Defensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player for the 2018-19 season. He became the first player in G League history to receive both of those awards in a single season. From just looking at stats, Boucher seems worthy to receive both of those awards as he averaged 27.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 4.1 blocks on 51% from the field and 32% from beyond the arc.
In addition to his incredible block numbers, his impact on the defensive end of the floor was shown by how opponents were five points worse per 100 possessions when he was on the court (100.4 points per 100) compared to when the forward was either sitting on the sidelines or with the Toronto Raptors (105.8 points per 100).
Those two factors were fantastic enough that Ridiculous Upside named Boucher as our Defensive Player of the Year. Unlike the G League itself, there’s more hesitance about whether to immediately name him as the MVP. That’s largely due to the fact that he only played 28 total games with the 905, just three more than the minimum amount a prospect has to participate in before they’re eligible for any kind of award. Despite how great he might’ve been, the act of giving an MVP award for someone that spent a good portion of the season away from that actual league.
Although those factors put too much uncertainty about giving that award to Boucher, it didn’t quite mean that we have to look away from the 905 to find a worthy candidate. In fact, Raptors two-way prospect Jordan Loyd definitely stands as a good example of a player that could receive the award
Along with standing as Boucher’s partner in crime, the 6’3 guard stood as an elite backcourt prospect and one of the leaders of a great Raptors 905 squad. Whether or not he played alongside the 6’10 forward, the Raptors two-way player remained a consistent force on both ends of the court throughout the season.
That status is evident from a statistical perspective as he averaged 22.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.8 steals on 48% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc in his 41 games with the 905. Those averages look even better when you realize that he also maintained a 61% True Shooting Percentage and 2.4 Ast/TO ratio.
Loyd joined former Erie BayHawks forward Terrence Jones, Nuggets two-way player Brandon Goodwin, Celtics two-way player PJ Dozier and Nets two-way player Theo Pinson as the only players to average at least 20 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds. Among those five players, the 905 guard was the only one to maintain a True Shooting Percentage better than 60%. That level of efficiency was due to him being incredibly well-rounded as he can hit perimeter and mid-range shots off the dribble and through catch-and-shoot, drive to the rim and push the ball up the court in transition.
His well-rounded nature unsurprisingly had a tremendous positive effect on the 905’s offense. In fact, the team was 10 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court (110.8 points per 100) compared to when he’s on the sidelines (100.4 points per 100). To put it in perspective, those ten points per 100 mark the difference between a team having the 2nd best offense in the G League and the worst.
Due to the 905 already having an elite defense, Loyd’s impact isn’t as evident when you look at per 100 possessions numbers. However, he still stood as one of the league’s best backcourt defenders as he averaged 1.8 steals per game, which placed him 10th in the G League. That impact is felt more than just being a ballhawk as the 6’4 guard is able to use his strong 210 pound frame to effectively work around screens and be able to stay with opposing guards from perimeter to paint.
As is the case in any year, there were some really solid MVP candidates which include: Nets two-way player(s) Alan Williams and Theo Pinson, Wizards two-way guard Jordan McRae, Bulls guard Walt Lemon, Boucher and even Rockets assignee Isaiah Hartenstein.
While all those players had fantastic seasons, Loyd stacks up above those guys for several reasons. From a statistical perspective, he was able to average better than 20 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 1.5 steals while still being an efficient shooter and facilitator. In addition to that, the impact that he had on the 905’s offense was a major part behind them finishing the regular season with a 29-21 record.
Those factors is why we’re proud to announce that Raptors two-way prospect Jordan Loyd is Ridiculous Upside’s G League Most Valuable Player of the Year for the 2018-19 season.
Ridiculous Upside’s 2018-19 G League MVP: Darrun Hilliard - San Antonio/Austin Spurs