The NBA G-League announced that Johnathan Motley was selected to its First Team All Showcase 18. For a long time the G-League, formerly the D-League (Developmental League), didn’t quite grab the attention of the NBA brass. NBA teams might pick up a G-League player on a 10-day contract when somebody got hurt, but the G-League (now in its 17th season) wasn’t exactly the farm system that Major League Baseball has with its minor league affiliates. Times are changing though, and the newly branded G-League has brighter lights shining on it — with lots of effective NBA players (like the Mavs J.J. Barea) with G-League on their resumes. One of the new ways in which the NBA and G-League work together directly is with two-way contracts, which lets each NBA roster feature two players who can play in the G-League while still being part of the NBA franchise.
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 16, 2018
Motley, a 6’10” All-American power forward out of Baylor University, is on a two-way contract with the Dallas Mavericks, and plays for the Texas Legends in the G-League, the Mavericks affiliate team. Motley signed the first two-way contract in Mavericks history. That got Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s interest, of course. But Motley’s G-League play and his First Team selection drew a reminder for Motley that Cuban is watching his progress closely. It’s a fact that NBA owners habitually track the progress of 6’10” former All-Americans on their payroll, but it’s notable that Cuban made his vigilance known to all by tweeting this week to Motley that he’s watching (see above). And that he likes what he sees (23.5 points, 16 rebounds, 3.5 blocks per game). Learn more about the G-League here. Watch some Motley action below: