A Look at the Top Performers from the 2023 G League Winter Showcase | Mahaz News

The vibe at the annual G League Winter Showcase is hard to describe. It’s laidback, yes, but also tremendously tense. The setting resembles a wedding reception more than a basketball tournament, with 30 small tables (one for each NBA team) surrounding each brightly lit, makeshift court. Scouts, coaches, and executives huddle together, conversing discreetly between sips of coffee. No fans are permitted to attend, and the lack of ambient noise creates a rather strange environment. The quietness—exacerbated by the fact that the event is held in a massive convention center yet occupies very little of the seemingly never-ending space—only adds to the pressure.

Of course, G League players are always being watched by decision-makers at the NBA level—but never by so many, at the same time, and so blatantly. Most of the bigwigs there to evaluate sit just two or three feet off the court, laptops and notebooks open, ready to decide fates.

Daunting is perhaps the most appropriate word, considering all that’s at stake. The Winter Showcase offers G Leaguers their best chance to impress NBA higher-ups, just a few weeks before teams can begin offering 10-day contracts (January 5), which can be worth significantly more than the standard G League contract of $40,500. 

The talent level at this year’s Showcase—hosted, for the first time, in Orlando, Florida—was perhaps the highest it’s ever been. Here’s a look at some of the top performers:


2023 All-Showcase Team (selected by the G League)

Brandon Goodwin

Guard

Westchester Knicks

24.7 points, 5 rebounds, 9.2 assists, 1.7 steals

Winning matters to scouts, so the teams that advance further in the tournament attract more attention. Goodwin, a 28-year-old guard who has bounced back and forth between the G League (71 games) and the NBA (133 games) since going undrafted in 2018, led the Knicks to the Showcase championship and claimed MVP. After scoring 33 and 28 points in Westchester’s first two games, he struggled to find his shot in the Finals, but still contributed 13 points, 13 assists, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Asked during the trophy presentation what he showed NBA personnel over the past four days, Goodwin’s teammate, Charlie Brown Jr, answered for him: “That he a dog!” 

Trevelin Queen

Guard

Osceola Magic

25.5 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3.5 steals, 64.5 FG%, 52.6 3P%

Nothing new here. Trevelin Queen, who’s on a two-way with the Orlando Magic, has been lighting up the G League for a while now. As a member of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2021-22, he won both the regular season and Finals MVP awards. With help from teammates Mac McClung and Brandon Williams (who just earned a two-way contract from the Dallas Mavericks), Queen guided the hometown Magic to a 2-0 record. 

Jarace Walker

Guard

Fort Wayne Mad Ants

21.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1 steal

Assigned by the Pacers for the Showcase, rookie Jarace Walker helped the Mad Ants reach the championship game, where they ultimately fell short to the Knicks. The 20-year-old out of the University of Houston flashed the versatile skill set that made him the 8th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, scoring from all over the floor. In Fort Wayne’s first game—a win over the Capital City Go-Go—Walker nailed six threes and finished with 31 points. 

Darius Bazley

Forward

Delaware Blue Coats

31.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, 2 steals, 5.5 blocks, 57.9 FG%, 41.2 3P%

Just look at those numbers. Bazley, the 23rd pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, dominated on both ends at the Showcase. In a tight win over the Texas Legends, the dynamic forward posted 43 points (on 63% shooting!), 18 rebounds, 3 steals and 6 blocks. He’s been in the public eye for so long—it was the fall of 2018 when he made the groundbreaking decision to forgo college and intern for New Balance while training for the NBA—that it’s easy to forget Bazley is just 23 years old. And the Blue Coats star is clearly getting better.

Jontay Porter

Forward

Raptors 905

22.5 points, 12 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 66.7 FG%, 70 3P%

Jontay, who’s on a two-way with the Toronto Raptors, is more of a big man than his older brother (Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr) but can also stretch the floor—in two wins at the Showcase, he shot 7/10 from behind the arc. Through 16 games with the 905, the 24-year-old is averaging a double-double. 

Other Standouts

Terence Davis

Guard

Rip City Remix

31.5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 61 FG%, 51.9 3P%

The former Sacramento Kings guard joined the Rip City Remix—the new affiliate of the Portland Trail Blazers—right before the Showcase, where he hit 14 threes in two games. 

Ethan Thompson

Guard

Mexico City Capitanes

30 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals

Thompson has been in the G League since 2021 and improved every season. His three-point percentage has jumped from 30.5% (2021-22) to 36.4% (2022-23) to 39.2% on seven attempts per game this year.

Blake Wesley 

Guard

Austin Spurs

27 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 59.5 FG%, 83.3 3P%

On assignment from the San Antonio Spurs, Wesley—the 25th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft—took care of business at the Showcase, leading Austin to two victories.  

Terquavion Smith

Guard

Delaware Blue Coats

31.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2 steals 

In the same game that Bazley put up 43, Smith, a 6-4 guard on a two-way with the Philadelphia 76ers, dropped 40 points of his own on 12/23 shooting.

Miller Kopp

Forward

Oklahoma City Blue

24 points, 5.5 rebounds, 53.8 FG%, 60 3P%

The Blue went 2-0 at the Showcase, thanks in large part to the red-hot shooting of Kopp, who buried 12 of his 20 attempts from deep.

Trey Jemison

Center

Birmingham Squadron

13 points, 17 rebounds, 2.5 blocks

Playing in his first Showcase, Jemison, a 6-10, 260-pound center from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), made his presence known, controlling the paint for the 2-0 Squadron.

Jordan “Jelly” Walker

Guard

Texas Legends

27.5 points, 10 assists, 2 steals, 50 FG%, 50 3P%

Walker, Jemison’s former teammate at UAB, has been an impressive floor general for the Legends all season long. In his first Showcase outing, the 5-11 guard notched 23 points, 15 assists, and 3 steals.


Photos via Getty Images.

Source website: www.slamonline.com

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