NBA G League Training Camps Open
As the calendar turns to February, we have an unusual event for this time of year - NBA G League training camps are opening.
Eighteen teams, including the G League Ignite, a team of "elite NBA Draft-eligible players", are now in the "Orlando Bubble" (more precisely the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort) for a truncated 15 game season. The top 8 teams will proceed to a single elimination playoff bracket.
As we wait for the setons to tip-off on February 10th, here is a quick check in on Spurs in the 6 two favourite G-League teams, the Austin Spurs and the Raptors 905.
It goes without saying that most Spurs fans will have their eyes on Luka Samanic. The San Antonio Spurs assigned Samanic to the Austin Spurs on January 27th after playing limited minutes (and that may be putting it generously) with the big league club. Samanic is sure to be the focus of the offence and look for him to play extended minutes. Also, a friendly reminder to those Spurs fans freaking out about Samanic's development, he just turned 21.
Yesterday, the Spurs also assigned Trey Jones to the Austin Spurs. Jones, who was selected in the second round (41st overall) last fall, has appeared in 9 games this season, albeit in limited minutes. It will be interesting to see how much run he gets in Orlando and what the Spurs task him with working on.
In the NBA G League Draft, the Spurs select selected forward Jonathan Kasibabu (first round, 14th pick) guard Anthony Mathis (second round, 31st pick) and guard Kaleb Johnson (second round, 34th pick), Keldon's brother.
The Austin Spurs roster also includes two way players Kelta Bates-Diop and former second round pick Quinndary Weatherspoon.
Sadly fan favourite, Jeff Ledbetter, is not on the roster. While it may sound a little hokey in the G-League context, his presence and institutional knowledge will be missed.
The spurs tip off on Wednesday February 10th against the Memphis Hustle and play the Team Ignite on March 6th.
For decimated Austin Spurs coverage check out the team over on Project Spurs and tune into a Spurs in the 6 favour, the Forever Toros podcast.
The Raptors 905 head to Orlando with a new head coach, Patrick Mutombo.
Joining Coach Mutombo on the roster are two-way players Jalen Harris and Yuta Watanabe, along with second round pick Dewan Hernandez. Another notable name is Canadian Nik Stauskas. After playing in Spain last year, Stauskas signed with the 905 under the NBA vet exception. The 905 drafts picks this year are Kevon Harris and Gary Payton II.
The 905 also tip-off on February 10th against the 2019 NBA G League Champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers. the 905 also play Team Ignite on February 13th.
For an excellent, as usual, overview of the Raptors 905 Roster, make sure to check out Blake Murphy's article on the Athletic.