Sixteen Players Tied to Skyforce Scattered among NBA Training Camps
Every player has his story. Those with ties to the Sioux Falls Skyforce look to maximize their impact as NBA training camps are set to begin.
The major work begins on September 26 for the Miami Heat as their roster rounds into shape with plenty of Skyforce influence contained within. Seven players that have already or eventually will put on a jersey from the G League team based in Sioux Falls are licking their chops to get started.
Hassan Whiteside: Enters year two as the established center on the Heat with some pundits seeing him on the outskirts of a potential All-Star nod. (2012-13, 14-15).
Tyler Johnson: He was a spark off the bench last year and was coupled with James Johnson most of the season as a co-leader of the second unit. (2014-15)
Josh Richardson: Miami just invested a hefty sum for the third-year player who battled injuries last year before putting together a solid last month near the end of the campaign. (2015-16)
Rodney McGruder: From fifteenth man to 60-plus game starter, he did all that was asked of him in his rookie season. (2014-16)
Okaro White: For a time he was 15-Okaro as the Heat turned their season around. He backed up his commitment to improving during Summer League. (2016-17)
Larry Drew II: He shares a common bond with fellow Miami point guard Goran Dragic as both won gold medals playing for their respective nations in FIBA tournaments. (2013-17)
Derrick Walton, Jr.: The rookie out of Michigan will bounce back and forth between Sioux Falls and South Beach on a two-way contract.
Plenty of other former Skyforce players will get their chance to shine in the preseason.
Malik Beasley/Juancho Hernangomez: The two Denver Nuggets assignees are poised to further establish their prowess in their second years in the Association. (2016-17)
Amir Johnson: After a gradually diminishing role with the Celtics, Johnson signed as a free agent with the youthful Philadelphia 76ers. (2006-07)
Alexis Ajinca: He was a solid contributor off the bench for the New Orleans Pelicans last year, fighting through injuries during last year’s campaign. (2008-09)
Shabazz Napier: It’s year two with Portland backing up Damian Lillard and trying to get the Blazers back to the postseason. (2014-15)
DeAndre Liggins: Since April, the defensive stalwart has been cut by the NBA Eastern Conference champs then landed with the Clippers via Dallas and Houston. (2013-14, 15-16)
Briante Weber: Charlotte cut ties with Weber after Summer League, but Brifense still lives in Laker land. (2015-17)
Luis Montero: He’s the second two-way contract on this list and will get some time in Detroit, but will mainly be property of the Grand Rapids Drive. (2016-17)
Khem Birch: When with the ‘Force he set the single season record for field goal percentage. Orlando will take a look at the big man in this year’s camp. (2014-15)