For the Westchester Knicks, the NBA G League Showcase starts Wednesday evening when the team takes on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The essence of the Showcase goes far beyond wins and losses. The Showcase is an annual in-season scouting event taking place Mississauga, Ontario. All 26 teams will compete at the Hershey Centre and the Mississauga SportZone complex with NBA team personnel and scouts in attendance.
Last year, there were 41 call-ups from the start of the G League Showcase to end of the 2016-17 regular season. There is value with The Showcase, which is evident based off the amount of players who have earned a call-up following the event.
Which Westchester prospects should be watched closely during the G League Showcase? Let’s take a look.
Through the first two months of the season, Xavier Rathan-Mayes has shown what he can do on both ends of the floor. He continues to improve offensively, seeing his perimeter numbers improve. He has also elevated his three-point game since his time at Florida State. He’s a good penetrating guard who can get to the basket and isn’t afraid to draw contact.
The Westchester guard has been active on the defensive end. He’s proven to be a solid on-ball defender, slotted amongst the top players in the G League in steals per game. With his ability to grab rebounds, he can spark the offense in transition, whether that means finding one of his teammates or finishing at the rack.
2 Ways & 10 Days noted that there are seven teams (Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Atlanta Hawks) that have a two-way contract available. Rathan-Mayes has been one of the most intriguing guards this season and could land a two-way deal following the event. He may also be a call-up candidate by season’s end.
Nigel Hayes has taken great strides in his game during his rookie season with the Knicks. Hayes didn’t have much of a perimeter game at Wisconsin, as he shot 33% from three-point range through four years. He has greatly improved his outside shot in the G League, becoming one of the better three-point shooters in the league. With a minimum of 10 games played, the Westchester forward is No. 2 in three-point percentage at 48%.
The big man is solid on the block and in the post, so he has a capable game where he can beat the opponent in different fashions. As a 6’8″ forward who possess a 7’3″ wingspan, Hayes has played both forward spots and has displayed an ability to defend wings.
Extra: Damyean Dotson
Damyean Dotson will be with the Westchester Knicks on assignment during the G League Showcase. He will be with the team for four days before returning to New York following Westchester’s last game against the Agua Caliente Clippers.
Since Dec. 1, the Houston product has played in 88 minutes over the course of seven games. With the New York Knicks in a tough stretch of games in January, New York is hoping to keep Dotson in a rhythm and help him sharp when his number finally does get called.
With Trey Burke not expected to compete as he and the Knicks come to terms on an NBA contract (as reported by Yahoo Sports), Dotson is likely to take on the veteran’s workload in the two games.
It will be intriguing to see the backcourt of Dotson and Rathan-Mayes. Both players have shown their potential on the defensive end, while Dotson has a nice stroke from deep. Both have played together in Westchester, so there’s a good chance they’ll mesh together well and could have good success at the Showcase.