The 2021 G League season begins Nov. 5 and will feature several notable players, including two NBA veterans in Lance Stephenson and Brandon Knight, along with Zaire Wade, the son of NBA legend Dwyane Wade, and LiAngelo Ball, the middle brother of star players Lonzo and LaMelo.
Knight was the highest pick of the four aforementioned names in Saturday’s Draft, with the Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat G League affiliate) selecting the former Detroit Pistons player sixth overall.
The 6-foot-2 guard was originally drafted No. 8 overall by the Pistons in 2011 and played on four different teams (Milwaukee, Phoenix, Houston and Cleveland) over the course of eight seasons. He returned to Detroit in 2019-20 where he averaged 11.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in just nine games.
Selected 10th overall, Wade is headed to the Salt Lake City Stars. Wade should feel somewhat at home given the fact his dad purchased stake in the Utah Jazz, the NBA affiliate team.
The Sierra Canyon high school product hopes to continue in his father’s footsteps and looks to develop his overall game in the G League with hopes of getting an NBA contract down the road. And as Zaire anxiously refreshed the page to find out his G League fate, his dad and family were by his side to share the special moment.
Perhaps the most notable name in Saturday’s Draft came at the 13th slot with Grand Rapids Gold selecting Lance Stephenson.
Stephenson, a nine-year NBA veteran and former second-round pick, started his career in Indiana where he played four consecutive seasons with the Pacers. The 31-year-old went on to play for several teams, including the Charlotte Hornets, LA Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves and most recently the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018-19. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists over the course of his NBA career.
Directly following Stephenson, the Greensboro Swarm selected LiAngelo Ball 14th overall.
Ball created a buzz during the 2021 MGM Resorts Summer League with the Charlotte Hornets. In his Las Vegas debut, he poured in 16 points in 16 minutes, including five 3-pointers against the Portland Trail Blazers. He wrapped up Summer League play averaging 9.6 points, 2 rebounds and 1.6 steals over five games.
He spent the rest of the summer training with his star younger brother LaMelo, the 2021 Kia Rookie of the Year winner. The Hornets signed LiAngelo to a non-guaranteed contract earlier this month but he was waived by the team one day later.