Bond Gets Stronger with Sioux Falls Skyforce and NBA
It’s one sure sign of success. An increasing number of players who played with the Sioux Falls Skyforce are on NBA rosters as the exhibition season launches.
Starting with Miami and extending to other outposts, the footprint of connections both old and new continues to grow. As currently composed, a majority of the Heat’s roster either already has or soon will be stamped with a Skyforce imprint.
For those in the former category, it’s Tyler Johnson, Derrick Jones, Jr., Rodney McGruder, Josh Richardson, Jarnell Stokes, Briante Weber and Hassan Whiteside who have logged time in Sioux Falls. The future Skyforce arrivals include Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten on their two-way contracts.
Five players arrived via assignment from the NBA as Denver sent Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez within the last couple of years. Shabazz Napier who is now with the Brooklyn Nets came via Miami in the 2014-15 season while big men Amir Johnson (currently Philadelphia) and Alexis Ajinca (New Orleans) are a little farther removed from their assignment days.
Last year began the 2-way contract era with Sioux Falls seeing four of them venture through Sioux Falls. Three of them still have NBA status including Jones, Jr. Torrey Craig is now signed for the 2018-19 season with Denver and Derrick Walton, Jr. is with the Chicago Bulls in camp.
Three others are currently on NBA rosters with varying degrees of likelihood of sticking. Center Khem Birch is working toward a second season with Orlando. Okaro White was picked up by San Antonio and Donald Sloan is in Denver.
After spending two seasons in Sioux Falls, Ike Nwamu was in Milwaukee after signing a training camp deal. However, his stay was brief after being released with an expectation that he will soon join the Wisconsin Herd.
Sioux Falls will begin their G League season on November 2 at home against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.