Andrew Rowsey - Lakeland Magic
Despite the presence of excellent scorers Vic Law and BJ Johnson working alongside elite facilitator Josh Magette, the Lakeland Magic were actually the G League’s worst offense during the first month-and-a-half of the season. That status was shown by how they averaged 98.5 points per 100 possessions, which placed them 28th in a league with that amount of teams.
However, their play on offense took a complete 180 degree turn from that day forward as Lakeland changed fate and became elite on that end of the floor. From that mid-December date until the premature end of the year, In the team’s last 28 games, the Magic averaged 113.7 points per 100, which just placed them behind the Stockton Kings for best offense in the league.
That sudden shift was partially due to the addition of Marquette alum Andrew Rowsey. Acquired on December 15th, the 5’11 guard played bigger than anyone by standing as one of the best backcourt threats in the league from the moment he arrived. That status is simply seen from stats as he averaged 19.3 points on 49% from the field and 48% from 3 on 6 attempts per game. That efficiency from beyond the arc allowed him to maintain a spectacular 65% True Shooting Percentage.
Jalen Adams - Erie Bayhawks
Sticking with backcourt players that shined on the offensive end during the 2019-20 season, Jalen Adams was spectacular during his rookie year with the Erie Bayhawks. Although two-way players Josh Gray and Zylan Cheatham were the headline acts for the team, the UConn alum was able to standout as an electrifying offensive force from the jump.
Thanks to a steady perimeter jumper, explosive first-step, and recognizing when to cut, he was able to average 19 points, 4.5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals on 49% from the field and 39% from 3 on 6.4 attempts per game. Those numbers allowed him to be one of the best scoring rookies on standard G League contracts, as he only followed the aforementioned Andrew Rowsey and AC Clippers wing James Palmer.
Although the premature end to the season was depressing to see, hopefully it doesn’t mark the end for the young guard’s run in the G League. That’s because another year of him competing against G League competition would both be entertaining and would probably lead to him receiving a two-way or standard contract from an NBA team.
Ahmad Caver - Memphis Hustle
Before the 2019-20 season came to a premature end due to the worldwide threat of the coronavirus pandemic, former Old Dominion guard Ahmad Caver was one of the rookies that was really starting to become comfortable within the speed and skill level of the G League. That fact was shown during his final 10 games where he averaged 15.1 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.7 rebounds on 42% from the field.
A fantastic example of this occurred in the Hustle’s March 7th game against the Skyforce, which happened to be the last time that Caver stepped on a G League floor during the 2019-20 season. During that matchup, he excelled by putting up 23 points, 4 assists and a steal on 9-13 from the field and 2-4 from 3. Those numbers were due to him being a force on defense and using his quickness and handles to drive to the rim.
Caver’s strong finish to the season can make you optimistic about he’ll be able to improve as a player if he returns to the G League during the 2020-21 campaign. The biggest area that he’d need to improve on would be from beyond the arc as he only shot 31% on 3.1 attempts per game as a rookie. However, him shooting 74% from the charity stripe makes you believe that the 23-year-old can continue to make strides.
Chad Brown - Texas Legends
Since his freshman year with UCF, 6’9 center Chad Brown has had to play second fiddle. During that time in college, that status was due to the imposing presence of 7’6 center Tacko Fall, who arrived to the school in the same year as the Legends rookie. Despite limited playing time that allowed him to play 15 minutes per game, he was still able to shine as a two-way threat for his school. During his career, he nearly averaged a double-double by putting up 10 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks on 49% from the field per 36 minutes.
Brown’s limited run with UCF prevented him from getting a lot of pro opportunities after he graduated. Although he spent time in Vegas Summer League with Orlando, he only played a total of 3 minutes with the squad. Things only started to turn around in Chicago during the G League Player Invitational, where the 6’9 center had to pay a fee and register for the event rather than receiving an invite like other undrafted rookies. Despite that, he worked his tail off to by getting a chance to compete against the invited and shining by putting up 9.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks on 67% from the field during the scrimmages.
That strong performance combined with competing for the G League Elite squad during the G League Challenge tournament in Uruguay was enough for the Mavericks to sign the rookie to an exhibit 10 contract. Shortly after receiving that deal, Brown was waived and later added to the Texas Legends. Despite the presence of Aric Holman and Blazers two-way center Moses Brown, the UCF alum started 37 of the team’s 42 games. The rookie did a good job in that role by averaging 5.4 points, 6.2 rebounds (2.3 offensive), and .9 blocks on 51% from the field in 18 minutes per game.