Unlike the NBA, the G-League will unfortunately not be able to finish their current season in its fullest. However, considering the current state of things, there’s undoubtedly an increased chance we may see some of the G-League’s top players make an appearance down in Orlando this August.
The NBA officially agreed upon a proposal to return to action this summer, a proposal which has 22 teams playing out eight regular-season games, before entering into the playoffs. However, there’s still a lot of moving parts to the whole situation.
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned earlier this past weekend that there will likely be “no limitations” to how many players teams may use during the postseason. With the possibility that a player could get sick at any moment, it will be extremely important for teams to replace players at a moment’s notice.
Wojnarowski also mentioned teams will likely be prohibited from adding new free agents at this point in time (meaning someone like Jamal Crawford cannot be signed). However, teams will presumably be allowed to bring in G-League members or free agents who were formerly on their 2019-20 roster.
While some fans were quick to jump on the idea of bringing back Trey Burke, my mind went somewhere else. The 76ers have had great success with last year’s G-League superstar in Shake Milton, why not put some trust into this year’s G-League standout?
Across 35 games in the NBA’s developmental league, Marial Shayok averaged 23 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. He shot 45.4% from the field, 35.6% from beyond the arc, and made the G-League’s yearly All-Star team. A late second-round pick by the Sixers in the 2019 draft, Shayok quickly turned heads with his elite scoring.
Shayok is an intriguing player not only due to his offensive abilities, but he also has a knack for handling and distributing the basketball. Operating primarily as a “point-forward”, some fans even compared his playstyle to that of Kevin Durant’s.
If someone like Josh Richardson or Shake Milton gets sick/injured during this year’s postseason, Shayok may be the perfect type of player to replace them. His above-average shooting and ball-handling would pair up nicely next to Ben Simmons, and at 24 years old he’s a little more physically developed than most rookies.
Shayok has seriously excelled during his first season, and a good chunk of Sixers fans have been calling for his promotion for a few months now. The “Shake Milton experiment” has worked wonders for Philly during this year’s season, and Shayok may very well be following a similar path.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
David is a 20 year old college student at the University of Maryland. A lifelong Philadelphia sports fan who started covering the teams back in late May of 2019. After just a few months of writing for fun on a personal blog, he now reports on the 76ers for PhillySportsNetwork.com and the Phillies for Fansided.com.