The NBA's annual G League Winter Showcase took place last week in Orlando, Florida, with a majority of the league's executives and scouts descending to evaluate players hoping to work their way onto NBA rosters. Also on the docket were a pair of G League Ignite games -- arguably the biggest platform of the season for the team and its eight draft prospects -- and a series of games involving the NBA academies.
ESPN NBA draft experts Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo attended and provide their major takeaways from the event, including on the state of the Ignite program and how the team's top draft prospects are developing.
What can we expect moving forward G League Ignite?
Entering the Showcase, it looked like the Ignite had started to figure some things out, having won four of their past six games after losing eight straight to begin the season. But based on what we saw in Orlando, that seems to be anything but the case. Ignite lost both games at the Showcase and didn't muster a ton of fight in either one, falling 100-88 to the short-handed Cleveland Charge and 113-90 against a Grand Rapids Gold team loaded with former college standouts. And while growing pains are certainly nothing new for the Ignite -- it usually takes time for teenage prospects to get comfortable at the G League level -- what scouts saw at the Showcase proved to be a concerning look for Ignite on the whole, now 4-12 on the season with a tough four-game road trip against Rio Grande Valley and Sioux Falls up next.