The NBA will host the G League Player Invitational on August 12 in Chicago. It’s possible several of these players can earn pro contracts.
Here is how Jake Winderman described the event (GLeague.NBA.com):
“This event will challenge NBA G League hopefuls, via full-court games, to showcase their skills for NBA G League player personnel, executives, coaches and industry scouts with the hopes of securing an NBA Training Camp invite or gaining eligibility for the NBA G League Draft in October.”
According to Winderman, over a dozen players received training camp invitations after attending these events last season. Several players were eventually called up and earned a spot in the league.
Some names are familiar, including Oregon’s Elijah Brown (son of former head coach Mike Brown) and Xavier’s Kerem Kanter (brother of Knicks big man Enes Kanter) but there are other top talents who will be on display.
DJ Hogg, Texas A&M
Hogg averaged 20.1 points per 36 minutes while shooting 35.7 percent from three-point range during summer league. Last season, he produced 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Sports Illustrated ranked him No. 73 overall among all prospects on their early entry deadline big board. More impressive, Hogg ranked No. 59 on ESPN’s Top 100 Big Board.
BJ Johnson, LaSalle
Johnson averaged 18.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per 36 for the Charlotte Hornets during NBA’s summer league. After transferring from Syracuse, Johnson was amazing at LaSalle. The wing averaged 20.8 points and 8.3 boards per game during his final collegiate season. He was No. 3 in points per game and No. 4 in PER among all players in his conference.
AJDin Penava, Marshall
Penava was a dominant prospect at Marshall last season, averaging 15.6 points and 8.5 rebounds with 3.9 blocks per game. He led all players in the NCAA in blocks, which put him on the radar as a defensive presence. His box plus-minus led Conference USA and his true shooting percentage was No. 2 overall.
Bryant Crawford, Wake Forrest
During his time with the Brooklyn Nets this summer, Crawford was an above average rebounder. He produced 7.8 rebounds per 36 while adding 2.2 steals per 36 as well. Crawford averaged 15.6 points, 5.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game during his three years in college. He ranked Top 10 in his conference in assists and steals all three years he played in the ACC.
Malik Pope, San Diego State
The former San Diego State forward produced an above average rebound percentage and steal percentage during his limited playing time for the Los Angeles Lakers during summer league. Pope averaged 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds with 1.2 blocks per game as a senior in college. He ranked No. 4 overall in field goal percentage in his conference last season. Pope ranked No. 5 in the MWC for defensive win shares as well.
Doral Moore, Wake Forrest
Moore did not receive much playing time but was able to show he is a monster shot blocker when he was on the court for the Washington Wizards during NBA’s summer league. It didn’t come out of nowhere, either, as the big man averaged two blocks per game during his final collegiate season. He led the ACC in rebound percentage and true shooting percentage. Moore was No. 5 overall in Player Efficiency Rating and ranked No. 4 overall in block percentage.
Kaiser Gates, Xavier
Gates played well in summer league, averaging 17.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per 36, shooting 40.0 percent on three-pointers for the Chicago Bulls during summer league. The 6-foot-8 forward was a solid role player during his three seasons at Xavier. His team made the NCAA March Madness Tournament all three years in college, including twice to the Sweet Sixteen.
Thomas Wilder, Western Michigan
Wilder appeared on predraft big boards for NBADraft.net, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports. While he scored just 7.6 points per 36 minutes in summer league for the Utah Jazz, Wilder averaged 5.7 assists per 36. Scoring isn’t a problem, though, as he averaged at least 18.0 points per game three years in a row. Wilder ranked Top 10 in most points ever scored in the MAC.
Manu Lecomte, Baylor
The guard averaged 21.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per 36 minutes for the Dallas Mavericks during summer league. Lecomte shot 55.6 percent from three-point range, averaging 1.3 three-pointers per game in Las Vegas. He ranked No. 6 overall in the Big 12 in points per game (16.2) last season.
Obi Enechionyia, Temple
During his time with the Detroit Pistons in summer league, he averaged 10.5 points and 6.6 assists per 36. The forward ranked Top 10 in points, rebounds and three-point field goals in AAC conference history. He also ranked Top 5 in blocks during his time at Temple.