Nate Darling

2021/22 NBA G League Draft Results

The NBA G League held its draft for the 2021/22 season on Saturday afternoon.

The 28 G League teams affiliated with NBA teams participated in the event, with the G League Ignite and Mexico City Capitanes sitting it out. The Ignite and Capitanes will be taking part in the NBAGL’s Showcase Cup this fall, but won’t be part of the 36-game regular season that tips off in late December.

The first player selected in today’s draft was former St. John’s point guard Shamorie Ponds, who was picked by the Delaware Blue Coats, the Sixers‘ G League affiliate. Ponds has a little NBA experience, having appeared in four games as a rookie in 2019/20 while on a two-way contract with Toronto.

Among the other notable picks were Nate Darling by the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario at No. 5 and LiAngelo Ball by the Greensboro Swarm at No. 14. Last week, the Clippers and Hornets signed and waived Darling and Ball, respectively, in an effort to secure their affiliate rights, but were unable to get those rights for procedural reasons. The two teams had to use the draft to make sure they landed those players.

The Knicks also signed and waived veteran guard Brandon Knight during the preseason and were unable to get his affiliate rights due to a procedural issue. However, Westchester passed on Knight with the No. 4 overall pick today, and the Heat‘s affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, snatched him up at No. 6. We’ll see if Knight is no longer in the Knicks’ plans or if the Skyforce intend to trade his rights to Westchester.

Lance Stephenson to the Grand Rapids Gold (Nuggets) at No. 13 and Dwyane Wade‘s son Zaire Wade to the Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz) at No. 10 were a couple of the other notable picks that played out as expected.

Here are the full 2021/22 G League draft results:


Round One:

  1. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Shamorie Ponds
  2. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): Tyler Hagedorn
  3. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Gabe York
  4. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Justin Turner
  5. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): Nate Darling
  6. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat): Brandon Knight
  7. Texas Legends (Mavericks): Eddie Stansberry
  8. Motor City Cruise (Pistons): Jaylen Johnson
  9. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Michael Gbinije
  10. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): Zaire Wade
  11. Texas Legends (Mavericks): Loudon Love
  12. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Alan Griffin
  13. Grand Rapids Gold (Nuggets): Lance Stephenson
  14. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): LiAngelo Ball
  15. Lakeland Magic (Magic): TJ Haws
  16. Cleveland Charge (Cavaliers): B.J. Taylor
  17. Windy City Bulls (Bulls): Scottie Lindsey
  18. Maine Celtics (Celtics): Isaiah Ross
  19. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Ruot Monyyong
  20. Lakeland Magic (Magic): Marlon Stewart
  21. Stockton Kings (Kings): Joe Young
  22. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Samir Doughty
  23. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Chudier Bile
  24. Capital City Go-Go (Wizards): Rodney Pryor
  25. Windy City Bulls (Bulls): Tim Bond
  26. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Tyree White
  27. Cleveland Charge (Cavaliers): Montell McRae
  28. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Cullen Russo

Round Two:

  1. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Karim Mane
  2. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): Kalob Ledoux
  3. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Gerard Tarin
  4. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Barra Njie
  5. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Tahj Eaddy
  6. Grand Rapids Gold (Nuggets): Trevon Duval
  7. Lakeland Magic (Magic): Gary Chivichyan
  8. Motor City Cruise (Pistons): Ryan Daly
  9. Wisconsin Herd (Bucks): Keaton Wallace
  10. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): Pedro Bradshaw
  11. Austin Spurs (Spurs): Alexis Wangmene
  12. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Ian DuBose
  13. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat): Mike Smith
  14. Lakeland Magic (Magic): Jaire Grayer
  15. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Blake Francis
  16. Cleveland Charge (Cavaliers): Jack Pagenkopf
  17. Lakeland Magic (Magic): Devonte Patterson
  18. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Jordan Allen
  19. Birmingham Squadron (Pelicans): Devearl Ramsey
  20. Long Island Nets (Nets): Chris Walker
  21. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Eric Demers
  22. Birmingham Squadron (Pelicans): Derrick Griffin
  23. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): JaQuan Lyle
  24. Capital City Go-Go (Wizards): Jachai Taylor
  25. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Lydell Elmore
  26. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Ikenna Ndugba
  27. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Tevin King
  28. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): Kammeon Holsey

Round Three:

  1. South Bay Lakers (Lakers): Elijah Cain
  2. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): Landon Taliaferro
  3. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Will Vorhees
  4. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Asante Gist
  5. Stockton Kings (Kings): Princepal Singh
  6. Grand Rapids Gold (Nuggets): Trevor John
  7. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Tristan Jarrett
  8. Motor City Cruise (Pistons): Devon Baulkman
  9. Wisconsin Herd (Bucks): Jaylen Bland
  10. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): J.C. Show
  11. Austin Spurs (Spurs): No pick
  12. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): No pick
  13. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat): Joel Ntambwe
  14. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): No pick
  15. Texas Legends (Mavericks): Lamonte Bearden
  16. Stockton Kings (Kings): No pick
  17. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): No pick
  18. Maine Celtics (Celtics): Lindsey Drew
  19. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Artur Labinowicz
  20. Long Island Nets (Nets): Jaylen Fisher
  21. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): Randy Onwuasor
  22. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Seth Allen
  23. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Jovan Mooring
  24. Capital City Go-Go (Wizards): Jermaine Haley
  25. Windy City Bulls (Bulls): Kerwin Roach
  26. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Isaiah Blackmon
  27. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Marlon Taylor
  28. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Jimond Ivey

Teams will fill out their rosters with affiliate players, returning-rights players, tryout players, and players who are assigned to the G League from the NBA roster (including those on two-way contracts).

G League training camps open on Monday, with the Showcase Cup tournament tipping off on November 5.

Labissiere, Knight Among Players Eligible For G League Draft

NBA veterans Skal Labissiere and Brandon Knight are among a list of 101 players eligible for the 2021 G League Draft, which takes place tomorrow, October 23.

Some other interesting names on the list, with varying amounts of NBA experience, include Lance Stephenson, Nate Darling, Trevon Duval, Shamorie Ponds, Karim Mane, and Joe Young.

Marc Stein of Substack tweets that Stephenson might land with the Nuggets‘ affiliate, the Grand Rapids Gold.

Knight was signed and waived last week (Knicks), as was Darling (Clippers), so perhaps there were procedural issues with their affiliate rights, similar to what happened with the Hornets and LiAngelo Ball.

The full G League Draft order can be found here.

Clippers Sign, Waive Nate Darling

The Clippers have signed and waived former Hornets guard Nate Darling, per NBA.com’s transactions log. Once he clears waivers, Darling appears headed to L.A’s G League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario.

Darling, 23, spent last season as a two-way player in Charlotte. He only got into seven NBA games, but he averaged 8.9 points and 2.2 assists in 13 games in the G League bubble in Orlando.

Darling signed with the Hornets after going undrafted out of Delaware last year. He played four seasons for the Fightin’ Blue Hens and earned Colonial Athletic Association first-team honors as a senior.

Kulboka Weighing Two-Way Option With Hornets?

A draft-and-stash prospect is reportedly considering a move to the NBA.

Lithuanian forward Arnoldas Kulboka is expected to leave his European team and one of his options is a two-way contract with the HornetsEnnio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando relays, via Chema de Lucas.

Kulboka officially re-signed with Spanish club Bilbao Basket for two more seasons last June, so he apparently had an opt-out clause. The 23-year-old Kulboka was selected by the Hornets with the No. 55 overall pick in the 2018 draft. His agent stated prior to that contract agreement with Bilbao that his client would have made the jump to the NBA this past season if not for the pandemic.

Kulboka, who stands 6’10”, averaged 9.2 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 22.8 MPG while appearing in 33 contests during the 2020/21 European season. He made 42.5% of his 3-point attempts, which increases his appeal. He was a member of the Hornets’ summer league teams in 2018 and 2o19.

The Hornets ended this season with guards Nate Darling and Grant Riller on two-way deals.

Southeast Notes: Vucevic, Iguodala, Heat, Hornets

Magic center Nikola Vucevic has given the team a feel-good story in the midst of an otherwise difficult campaign, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel writes.

Vucevic, who was named an All-Star for the second time of his career this season, is averaging an impressive 24.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He’s also shooting a career-high 41% from three-point range in his 36 contests.

“You get selected among 24 players out of 450 to make it and it’s a special feeling and a huge honor, something I’m very proud of,” Vucevic said. “It just shows that you’ve achieved a great level of respect from coaches around the league, other players around the league, and when you’re able to make it multiple times it kind of fortifies that.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald examines Andre Iguodala‘s veteran impact on the Heat. Iguodala, a former Finals MVP, is currently in his 18th NBA season. “He brings that stability on the floor and even off the floor,” teammate Goran Dragic said of Iguodala. “He has got a lot of experience. He has been in a lot of tough games. He won championships. So it’s always nice to have a guy next to you to ask for some advice. He’s like an open book. … Him, [Udonis Haslem], those two guys are tremendous for our team.”
  • Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel explores whether the Heat should trade for a star player now — even if it impacts the team’s long-term flexibility. Miami has expressed interest in several combo forwards ahead of the March 25 deadline, winning seven of its final 10 games before the All-Star break.
  • The Hornets have recalled centers Vernon Carey Jr. and Nick Richards from their G League affiliate in Greensboro, the team announced (Twitter link). The team also announced (via Twitter) that two-way players Grant Riller and Nate Darling were transferred from the NBAGL to Charlotte.

Hornets Sending McDaniels, Carey, Others To G League Bubble

The Hornets are sending several players from their 16-man roster to the Greensboro Swarm to participate in the NBA G League bubble, the team confirmed today.

According to a press release, second-year forward Jalen McDaniels has been assigned to the Swarm, along with rookies Vernon Carey Jr. and Nick Richards. Additionally, two-way players Grant Riller and Nate Darling have been transferred to the Hornets’ G League affiliate.

McDaniels, Carey, Richards, Riller, and Darling will join a Swarm roster that features Admiral Schofield, the No. 1 pick in this month’s NBAGL draft, and affiliate players Kahlil Whitney, Xavier Sneed, Keandre Cook, and Javin DeLaurier, among others.

Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak told Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer earlier this week that Carey and Richards have looked somewhat “overwhelmed” during their first year in the NBA, and that the team welcomes the opportunity to get them regular playing time at the G League level — especially since the condensed NBA schedule has allowed for fewer practices than normal.

Since McDaniels and the two-way players have also been out of coach James Borrego‘s regular rotation in Charlotte, it makes sense that they’d also be sent to the G League bubble for developmental purposes, as Bonnell writes in a separate story.

While the Hornets will be able to recall any of those five players from the G League to rejoin the NBA roster at any time, those players are expected to spend some or all of the NBAGL season in the bubble, per Bonnell. Given all the protocols in place related to COVID-19, it won’t be as easy logistically for teams to constantly assign and recall players this season, so I imagine we’ll see less back-and-forth movement than usual between the two leagues.

Hornets Sign Riller, Darling To Two-Way Deals

The Hornets have signed guard Grant Riller, a late second-round pick, to a two-way contract, according to a team press release.

Riller had a stellar college career at the College of Charleston. The 56th overall pick of the draft averaged 18.7 PPG and 2.8 APG in 132 career contests.

As previously reported, undrafted guard Nate Darling is the team’s other two-way player and his signing is also official. At Delaware last season, Darling averaged 21.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 2.8 APG in 32 starts.

In a separate release, the Hornets also announced the signing of big man Nick Richards, the 42nd pick of the draft. As a junior at Kentucky last season, he was named to the All-SEC First Team and the SEC All-Defensive Team after averaging 14.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 2.1 BPG in 29.7 MPG over 31 games.

Richards received a three-year contract, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

Hornets To Sign Nate Darling To Two-Way Deal

The Hornets are signing undrafted free agent guard Nate Darling to a two-way contract, his agents at One Legacy Sports tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Darling, who began his college career at UAB, later transferred to Delaware and had a breakout season in 2019/20. In 32 games (38.3 MPG) in 2019/20, The 22-year-old Canadian averaged 21.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 2.8 APG with a .446/.399/.854 shooting line.

The Hornets finished the ’19/20 campaign with Kobi Simmons and Ray Spalding occupying their two-way slots. Spalding’s deal runs for another year, so it seems safe to assume that Darling will take Simmons’ spot.

Darling will be eligible to be active for up to 50 games with Charlotte this season.

Xavier Tillman, Nate Darling Staying In Draft

Michigan State big man Xavier Tillman has decided to remain in the 2020 NBA draft and hire an agent, forgoing his remaining college eligibility, the school announced in a press release.

Tillman’s decision doesn’t come as a major surprise, since he’s regarded as a solid candidate to be drafted this fall, ranking 40th on ESPN’s big board of 2020 prospects. As a junior in 2019/20, Tillman averaged a double-double in 31 games (32.1 MPG) for the Spartans, recording 13.7 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 3.0 APG, and 2.1 BPG. He was also named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

In a more surprising move, Delaware guard Nate Darling is also keeping his name in the 2020 draft and will go pro, he announced on Twitter.

Darling, who doesn’t show up on ESPN’s top-100 list, appears less likely to be drafted than Tillman, but he had a strong junior year after transferring from Alabama-Birmingham to Delaware. The 6’5″ Canadian led the Blue Hens in scoring with 21.0 PPG on .446/.399/.854 shooting in 32 games (38.3 MPG).

Monday represents the deadline for early entrants in the 2020 draft to withdraw and retain their NCAA eligibility going forward. We passed along updates this morning on several players who have pulled out of the draft within the last day or two.

Since then, at least a couple more prospects have withdrawn. One player who is removing his name from consideration is NJIT guard Zach Cooks, his head coach Brian Kennedy tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). Cooks will be back for his senior season after averaging 19.7 PPG and 5.2 RPG in 2019/20.

Meanwhile, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reports (via Twitter) that Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert is also withdrawing from the draft and returning to school, joining teammate Joel Ayayi among Zags who will be back with the team next season after testing the draft waters.

Draft Decisions: Diane, Cockburn, Darling, Jones

Two-time Big West Player of the Year Lamine Diane is among the latest NCAA underclassmen to declare for the 2020 NBA draft, announcing his decision on Instagram.

A 6’7″ forward, Diane put up monster numbers for Cal State Northridge in his two college seasons, averaging 25.1 PPG, 10.8 RPG, and 2.1 BPG in a total of 52 games (35.5 MPG). The sophomore forward currently ranks as the No. 73 prospect on ESPN’s big board, making him a candidate to be drafted this summer.

Here are a few more updates on early entrants declaring for the 2020 draft:

  • Illinois freshman center Kofi Cockburn announced on Instagram that is entering the draft, and the wording of his statement suggests he intends to go pro, forgoing his remaining eligibility. The big man averaged 13.3 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and 1.4 BPG in 31 games (27.4 MPG) during his first – and potentially only – season with the Fighting Illini.
  • Delaware junior guard Nate Darling announced on Twitter that he’ll test the draft waters while maintaining his college eligibility. Darling averaged 21.0 PPG on .446/.399/.854 shooting in 2019/20 after transferring from UAB.
  • Middle Tennessee guard C.J. Jones is forgoing his final year of college eligibility to enter the draft and go pro, according to an announcement from the program (Twitter link). Jones was the team’s leading scorer in 2019/20, averaging 16.2 PPG with a .400 3PT%.