The 2017 NBA D-League Showcase is set to kick of January 18 and will run through January 22. It is five days stuffed full with 22 games displaying all the talent the league has to offer.
The NBADL has dubbed this as their marquee in-season scouting event, because it’s the only time scouts — both NBA and international — can watch every D-League team in one city. This year the Showcase is in Mississauga, Ontario, which is the home of the Raptors 905 (Toronto’s affiliate).
Players look forward to the Showcase each and every D-League season, because it’s the genesis for call up season. NBA teams could start offering 10-day contracts on January 5 and since then three players (Chasson Randle, Quincy Acy and Pierre Jackson) have already earned NBA deals. Historically, a number of players will earn deals during, or immediately following the Showcase as well.
Two seasons ago there were four call ups during the Showcase and two in the week following. Last year there were two call ups during the event and two in the following week as well. The big name to be found last season was Sean Kilpatrick who has since blossomed into an integral player for the Brooklyn Nets. Two years ago JaMychal Green was discovered at the Showcase and he is now a starter for the Memphis Grizzlies, so there is always talent to be had.
Another added wrinkle to this season’s Showcase is the fact that a record 14 of 22 games will be nationally televised on either ESPNU or NBATV. The growth and exposure of the league has never been higher than it is currently, and obtaining even more national exposure for players (and the league as a whole) is wonderful. Many of these players are known commodities to basketball fanatics, but are anything but household names to the casual fan, so increasing how many people watch them is paramount.
While the NBA is the ultimate goal for the D-League’s elite, many players use the league to raise their stock for international clubs as well. Some players weren’t well-known enough to garner healthy salaries last summer, so they utilize their time in the D-League to show off their skills in hopes of landing a solid deal across the pond. There are only 450 roster spots in the NBA, but there are countless leagues across the world willing to pay more than the maximum $26,000 salary players can earn in the NBADL.
Last year, we saw many of the league’s top players leave for much larger deals overseas. Some of the more notable names were Elliot Williams, Vince Hunter, Brandon Ashley, Bryce Cotton and Melvin Ejim.
The D-League Showcase is a pivotal time during the season. It’s the league’s marquee event and it only continues to grow as the league inches closer and closer to 30 teams. This season there are a record 22 teams converging on Mississauga and the aftermath will be fun to watch.