The Alex Caruso All-Stars: An ode to the G-League

Image via South Bay Lakers’ Twitter

Alex Caruso is more than a balding legend. He’s gone from fringe pro to an upcoming payday after this season.  But what the league can’t forget is that there are “Carusos” all over the NBA.

We’ve watched the G-League grow from concept to professional development hub, with the potential number one overall pick in the draft deciding to go straight to the G-League over college this year (Jalen Greene). Now keep in mind, these are some of my personal favorite guys. There are a plethora of budding contributors around the league. I focus on four of my favorites today.

Chris Boucher

G-League team: Raptors 905

Stats: 13.8 points and 4.5 rebounds this season. 27.2 points in 28 starts with the 905

The Toronto Raptors have one of the strongest affiliates with the Raptors 905. Boucher spent the 2018-19 season with them where he won MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. He hasn’t looked back since his stint, turning himself into one of the league’s best reserves. I love his athleticism and his hustle, a staple for all call-ups. He’s a huge reason that the Raptors are finding their footing after a rough start to the season. Bravo to the Raptors front office for finding yet another gem.

Danuel House Jr.

G-League team: Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Stats: 8.7 points per game, and averaged a career-high of 10.5 points last season

House has had quite the journey since entering the league in 2016-17. He’s had stints with the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns before finding his way with the high-powered Rockets. House has shown the makings of a “3&D” wing with a career 36.6 percent from long range. The Rockets are notorious for moves on the margin. With the exit of James Harden and a new system led by Stephen Silas, he will continue to trend up and beat the odds.

Juan Toscano-Anderson

G-League team: Santa Cruz Warriors

Stats: 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds this season. 12.5 points in the G-League last season

The Golden State Warriors are no longer the cream of the league’s crop. Now, they are powered by Steph Curry and Draymond Green plus several G-League alumni, including Toscano-Anderson. Their affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, has had much success including the 2015 title.  He’s been thrown in the fire this year, starting five of his 11 games upon joining the Warriors. He’s shown that he can contribute to whatever the team needs. That ranges from sparing their big guns to joining the frontcourt alongside Green. Once the Warriors complete their team and get healthy, I expect him to show even more improvement.

Talen Horton-Tucker

G-League team: South Bay Lakers

Stats: 7.4 points on 47.3 percent shooting. Averaged 18.1 points in 38 starts last year in the G-League

I can’t forget some of the guys coming up without mentioning another of the Lakers’ own. THT has shown great potential on both ends following much of last year’s development. These skills were honed during his rookie season with South Bay. As mentioned, he bypassed much of the time it took for Caruso to contribute. The numbers are not as gaudy, but minutes on a title favorite is impressive. It speaks to the unity of NBA talent and a great culture that South Bay General Manager Nick Mazzella has built.

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