Basketball Wiretap

Axel Toupane Named D-League's Most Improved Player

Apr 20, 2016 3:35 PM

Denver Nuggets guard Axel Toupane, formerly of Raptors 905, has been named the 2016 NBA Development League Most Improved Player, as voted on by the league’s 19 head coaches. The award honors the player who demonstrated the most significant improvement during the 2015-16 NBA D-League season.

Toupane (6-7, 210, France) played in 32 games for Raptors 905 this season, averaging 14.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.0 steals. His best month was January, when he averaged 17.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.6 steals, an improvement nearly across the board from his December averages of 12.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 0.6 steals.

His two 30-point games this season both came in January, including a career-high 34 points to go with six assists and four steals in a 111-91 win over the Erie BayHawks on Jan. 21 – part of a six-game winning streak for Raptors 905. For the season, six of Toupane’s seven games with at least 20 points and all six of his games with six or more assists were recorded after December.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Axel Toupane, Denver Nuggets, Raptors 905, NBA, D-League, D-League Award, D-League Teams

Jarnell Stokes Named D-League MVP

Apr 14, 2016 1:07 PM

Sioux Falls Skyforce forward Jarnell Stokes has been named the 2015-16 NBA Development League Most Valuable Player in a vote by the league’s 19 head coaches.

Stokes (6-7, 250, Tennessee) played in 28 games (all starts) for the Skyforce this season, averaging team highs of 20.6 points and 9.3 rebounds. He began the season with the Miami Heat, playing 16 games on assignment in Sioux Falls, before being traded to New Orleans on Feb. 18 and waived by the Pelicans one day later. He joined the Skyforce’s roster permanently on Feb. 27.

A 2016 NBA D-League All-Star, Stokes shot an NBA D-League-best 66 percent from the field, scored in double figures 27 times and recorded 13 double-doubles. He led the team in scoring 14 times and rebounding 13 times. He was named the NBA D-League Player of the Week on Jan. 4 and earned Player of the Month honors for March and April.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Jarnell Stokes, Sioux Falls Skyforce, D-League, D-League Award, D-League Teams

Damon Jones Joins Cavs' Coaching Staff For Playoffs

Apr 14, 2016 12:42 AM

Damon Jones has been added to the Cleveland Cavaliers' coaching staff for the playoffs.

Jones is currently an assistant with the Canton Charge of the D-League.

Jones is expected to join Tyronn Lue's bench at the conclusion of Charge's season.

Last season, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith repeatedly sought out Jones' assistance in helping correct subtle mechanics of their jump-shots. 

Chris Haynes/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Canton Charge, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, D-League, D-League Teams

DeAndre Liggins Named D-League Defensive Player Of The Year

Apr 13, 2016 6:25 PM

DeAndre Liggins has been named the 2015-16 NBA Development League Defensive Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s 19 head coaches.

This is the second such honor for Liggins, who also earned the award in 2013-14 with Sioux Falls.

Liggins (6-6, 204, Kentucky) played in 34 games (33 starts) for Sioux Falls this season, anchoring a Skyforce defense that held opponents to league lows of 98.1 points per game and 98.5 points per 100 possessions. The Skyforce allowed 96.0 points per 100 possessions when Liggins was on the court, giving him the league’s best individual defensive rating. Sioux Falls’ opponents shot only 44.1 percent from the field, the second-lowest mark in the NBA D-League.

Liggins tied for second in the NBA D-League with 2.1 steals per game. He also averaged 13.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in 38.4 minutes.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: DeAndre Liggins, Sioux Falls Skyforce, D-League, D-League Award, D-League Teams

Suns Purchase Bakersfield Jam, Will Relocate Team To Arizona

Apr 12, 2016 2:53 PM

The Phoenix Suns have acquired the Bakersfield Jam and are relocating the team to Prescott Valley, Arizona.

The Suns become the 15th NBA team to own and operate its NBA D-League affiliate. 

The team will be known as the Northern Arizona Suns and will play a 24-game home schedule at the 5,100-seat Prescott Valley Event Center (PVEC) beginning with the 2016-17 season.

“We are thrilled to bring professional basketball to the Town of Prescott Valley,” said Suns President, Jason Rowley. “In addition to the basketball advantages of our D-League affiliate being close to home, today’s announcement creates endless opportunities to strengthen the connection with our fans in northern Arizona.” 

The Bakersfield Jam has served as the Suns’ single-affiliate NBA D-League team the past two seasons, with the NBA franchise running basketball operations during that time. 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Phoenix Suns, Bakersfield Jam, NBA, D-League, D-League Teams

Quinn Cook Named D-League Rookie Of The Year

Apr 11, 2016 4:29 PM

Quinn Cook of the Canton Charge was named the 2015-16 NBA Development League Rookie of the Year.

The award, voted on by the league’s 19 head coaches, recognizes the first-year professional who most significantly contributed to his team’s success during the season.

Cook (6-2, 179, Duke) led the Charge to a 31-19 season by averaging team highs of 19.6 points and 5.4 assists to go with 3.9 rebounds in 43 games (37 starts). He shot 47 percent from the field and connected on a team-high 86 three-pointers.

Tags: Quinn Cook, Canton Charge, D-League, D-League Award, D-League Teams

Jarnell Stokes Named D-League Player Of The Month

Apr 4, 2016 7:15 PM

Jarnell Stokes of the Sioux Falls Skyforce has been named NBA Development League Player of the Month for games played in March and April.

Stokes (6-9, 255, Tennessee) led Sioux Falls to an 11-2 record on its way to posting the best record in NBA D-League history at 40-10. He averaged 20.8 points on 65.5 percent shooting to go with 8.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals. On March 14, Stokes recorded a double-double with a season-high 29 points and 12 rebounds in a 107-99 win over the Austin Spurs. On March 19, he tallied 19 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals in 116-109 victory over the Canton Charge

Stokes, who is in his second NBA D-League season, has appeared in 26 games with the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat since being selected with the 35th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. He finished the regular season with averages of 20.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Jarnell Stokes, Sioux Falls Skyforce, D-League, D-League Award, D-League Teams

Will Cumming Named D-League Player Of The Week

Apr 4, 2016 7:13 PM

Will Cummings of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, March 28 through Saturday, April 2. It’s the first Performer of the Week honor of his career.

Cummings (6-2, 185, Temple) led Rio Grande Valley to a 3-0 week, averaging 22.7 points on 52.4 percent shooting, including his 12-of-22 from beyond the arc, to go with 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals.

On March 29, he tallied 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a 118-97 win over the Oklahoma City Blue.  On April 2, he scored 26 points and added five rebounds, three assists and three steals in a 128-121 victory over the Los Angeles D-Fenders to help the Vipers clinch the number three seed going into the Western Conference Playoffs.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Will Cummings, Rio Grande Valley Vipers, D-League, D-League Award, D-League Teams

Idaho Stampede Relocating To Salt Lake City

Apr 4, 2016 12:00 PM

The Idaho Stampede, the NBA D-League team owned and operated by the Utah Jazz, will relocate to Salt Lake City beginning with the 2016-17 season.

The team will be known as the Salt Lake City Stars, paying tribute to its American Basketball Association roots from 1970-76 when the Utah Stars won the league championship in 1971, and to the Utah Starzz, the WNBA team based in Salt Lake City from 1997-2002. A new logo highlighting the navy and gold color scheme of the Utah Jazz with a nod to the community’s basketball history was also unveiled.

The Salt Lake City Stars will play their home games at Salt Lake Community College, located less than 10 miles from downtown Salt Lake City. The 5,000-seat Lifetime Activities Center-Bruin Arena on Redwood Road has been the previous site of the Rocky Mountain Revue NBA Summer League.

“We are thrilled to bring an NBA D-League team to Salt Lake City and in close proximity to the Utah Jazz,” said Steve Starks, president of Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment. “The Salt Lake City Stars will provide further opportunities to promote the game of basketball, extend the reach of the Jazz, and engage with our surrounding communities in new ways.”

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Utah Jazz, Idaho Stampede, NBA, D-League, D-League Teams