After a shortened 2020-21 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA G League is back with a new format for the 2021-22 campaign. Things get started with the NBA G League draft on Saturday.
The G League will start regular-season play on Nov. 5 with an expanded Showcase Cup, a 14-game tournament that concludes at the annual NBA G League Winter Showcase from Dec. 19-22.
In the Showcase Cup, teams will be separated into four regional pods and play 12 games against one another. The four teams with the best record in each pod plus the next best four teams will advance to the single-elimination Winter Showcase to compete for the Showcase Cup. The teams outside of the top eight will play in two games outside of the event.
Following the Showcase Cup, the teams' records will reset and the 36-game regular season will begin on Dec. 27. Combined with the Showcase Cup, each team will play a total of 50 regular-season games.
The top six teams from each conference will advance to the playoffs in April 2022 for a chance to compete in the NBA G League Finals presented by YouTube TV.
NBA G League Ignite and Capitanes de la Ciudad de Mexico will compete in the Showcase Cup but will not take part in the 36-game regular season.
NBA G League Draft Info
Date: Saturday, Oct. 23
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Notables in NBA G League Draft Player Pool
After playing impressively for the Charlotte Hornets during the 2021 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, LiAngelo Ball didn't manage to earn an invite to Charlotte's training camp. Undeterred from chasing his NBA dreams, Ball has signed a G League contract, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
In five Summer League games, Ball averaged 9.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per game while shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from three-point range. The middle brother to NBA players Lonzo and LaMelo Ball, LiAngelo could land with the Hornets' G-League affiliate in Greensboro, which holds the 26th pick.
Nine-year NBA veteran guard Lance Stephenson has signed a G League contract and will be in the draft, according to NBA reporter JD Shaw. Stephenson most recently played in China after a stint with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2019-20 season.
Stephenson has played in over 500 games in his NBA career and is known for his position versatility and his creativity on the court. Stephenson has also been known to get under the skin of his opponents, most notably pestering LeBron James during the 2014 playoff series between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers.
Stephenson likely wants to play for a title contender as he nears the end of his career. Signing with the G League shows that he's ready to do the work to prove he's worthy of a roster spot.
A former second-round pick to the Pacers in 2015, Joe Young spent three seasons in Indiana before heading overseas to play in China. Young impressed during his time in the CBA, with performances of 51 and 74 points. He averaged a league-high 38.3 points in the 2019-20 season.
After three years away from the NBA, Young signed a G League contract, according to Pacers reporter Scott Agness. At age 29, Young will have the chance to put his scoring prowess on display and potentially work his way back into the league.
NBA G League Draft Order (First Round)
1. Delaware (From South Bay)
2. College Park
3. Fort Wayne
5. Agua Caliente (From Stockton)
6. Sioux Falls (From Grand Rapids)
8. Motor City
9. Iowa (From Wisconsin)
10. Salt Lake City
11. Texas (From Austin)
13. Grand Rapids (From Sioux Falls)
14. Westchester (From Delaware)
15. Austin (From Texas)
17. Windy City (From Lakeland)
19. Iowa (From Birmingham)
20. Lakeland (From Long Island)
21. Stockton (From Agua Caliente)
23. Greensboro (From Santa Cruz via SBL)
24. Capital City
25. Windy City
27. Cleveland (From OKL via RGV)
Click here to see the complete NBA G League draft order for all three rounds.