G League Expansion Draft Causes Minimal Disruption for Skyforce
The NBA G League recently held its expansion draft with four teams plucking unprotected players from various rosters. Two with direct Skyforce ties were affected.
Even though the Erie BayHawks have been around a while, the Atlanta Hawks have taken over operations of the team after Orlando moved the previously existing portions to Lakeland, Florida. Other new teams that were part of the exchange were the Agua Caliente Clippers, Wisconsin Herd, and the Memphis Hustle.
Okaro White stands out as the most prominent selection involving the Skyforce after being selected in the second round by the Memphis Hustle. Currently White is slated to be in Miami Heat training camp in about a month. His Skyforce status is not necessarily over despite the move.
If White makes the opening day roster for the Heat, White could still be sent to Sioux Falls on assignment. On the other hand, if White is released before the season starts and chooses to return to the G League he will suit up for the Hustle. Memphis will now hold those returning player rights for two years as is the case for all players taken by the respective teams in the expansion draft.
The other direct connection involves a player who never suited up for the ‘Force. When Sioux Falls traded Luis Montero and a second round draft choice to Reno, Sioux Falls got forward Kadeem Jack and the returning player rights for forward Vince Hunter. Hunter was subsequently gobbled up by the Herd as their top choice.
Three other players who previously suited up for Sioux Falls were also included in the draft. Mark Tyndale (2012-13) was selected in the eighth round by the Hustle. Andre Dawkins (2014-15) was a first rounder to the Clippers. Finally, Corey Hawkins (2015-16) also went to the Clippers in the third round.
The rules of the draft state that each G League team could protect the returning player rights of nine players. Additionally each team could only lose two unprotected players in the expansion draft.