March 2021 G League Wiretap
Gary Payton II has been named the 2020-21 NBA G League Defensive Player of the Year.
Payton II (6-3, 195, Oregon State) led the NBA G League in steals per game (2.54) and finished second in total steals (33) to go with 10.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 13 games. He recorded nine games with two or more steals.
On Feb. 13, Payton II matched his regular-season career high with seven steals and grabbed a season-high 11 defensive rebounds against NBA G League Ignite. He also had seven steals and added 10 points, six rebounds and six assists against the Greensboro Swarm on Feb. 26.
Rio Grande Valley Vipers forward Anthony Lamb has been named the 2020-21 NBA G League Most Improved Player, the NBA G League announced today. The award honors the player who demonstrates the most significant improvement during the season.
In his first NBA G League season, Lamb (6-6, 227, Vermont) averaged 11.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 21.7 minutes in 12 regular-season games. He played his first six games with the Canton Charge and his final six games with the Vipers.
Lamb averaged 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.6 minutes in his six games with Canton, which selected him with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NBA G League Draft. Acquired by Rio Grande Valley in a trade with the Charge on Feb. 25, Lamb averaged 18.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.50 steals and 1.33 blocks in 33.8 minutes while shooting 56.0% from the field and 41.9% from three-point range in his six games with the Vipers.
Chad Sanders of Raptors 905 will be named the G League Executive of the Year.
Sanders was promoted to general manager of Raptors 905 in 2018.
Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix of the G League Ignite are expected to train separately to prepare for the NBA Draft, sources told Marc Stein of The New York Times.
The Ignite lost to the Raptors 905 in the G League bubble playoffs.
The team's facilities in Walnut Creek remain available to the players, but they have gone their separate ways following the conclusion of the season.
Veterans from the team are free to sign free agent deals elsewhere.
The NBA's Board of Governors have approved an agreement from the league and the NBPA to eliminate the game limit for Two-Way contract players this season.
The agreement will also allow Two-Way players to be eligible to play in the playoffs.
The Toronto Raptors will sign Henry Ellenson to a 10-day contract.
Ellenson is averaging 21.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30.6 minutes per game this season with Raptors 905.
Ellenson last played in the NBA in 19-20 with the Brooklyn Nets.
Alize Johnson of Raptors 905 is one of the most sought after free agents in the G League. Johnson is a versatile defender and is averaging 16.6 points and 4.2 assists on offense.
Sources tell The Ringer that the Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns have expressed interest in Johnson.
Johnson was the 50th overall pick in 2018 by the Indiana Pacers.
The Milwaukee Bucks will sign Myles Powell to a Two-Way contract.
Powell is averaging 17.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 28.1 minutes over 13 games this season in the G League. Powell is also shooting 44.6 percent on three-pointers.
Powell went undrafted out of Seton Hall in 2020.
The NBA and NBPA plan to eliminate the 50-game limits for players on a Two-Way contract.
Players on Two-Way contracts will also be eligible for the playoffs.
The agreements are pending approval from the league's Board of Governors.