The NBA G League is a double-edged sword. On one hand, there’s a desire to be successful, and having great players goes a long way in helping a team win. On the other hand, the ultimate goal is to see players use their time in the G League to catapult them forward in their career. So far this season, Denver Nuggets two-way player Torrey Craig has done that and more.
Craig was one of the most prolific performers in the NBA G League throughout the first month of the season. In 10 games with the Skyforce, Craig averaged 25.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists, including back-to-back 29-point, 13-rebound double-doubles prior to rejoining the Nuggets on December 15.
Since then, Craig has been inserted into the Nuggets’ starting lineup, and has continued to show he’s an NBA-ready player. He’s reached double-figures in each of his last two games, including a career-high 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting (3-of-3 from long distance) in Monday’s game against Oklahoma City. Craig played a career-high 37 minutes last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 10-point, six-rebound performance in which he went 3-of-4 from the field. He’s been ultra-efficient, and doesn’t require a lot of shots to make an impact on the game.
Check out this block on New Orleans Pelican’s guard Jrue Holiday that sent the Nuggets and Pelicans into overtime on Monday, a game the Nuggets eventually won.
Nevertheless, Craig remains on a two-way contract, and because of this he’s only able to spend a maximum of 45 days in the NBA before returning for the remainder of the NBA G League season. However Denver can choose to convert Craig’s contract into a standard NBA contract at any time, nullifying the rules and regulations of his two-way deal, and allowing him to stay with the club for the remainder of the season. The one catch, here, is that the team would have to have an open roster spot, as NBA teams are only allowed to carry 15 standard contract players at a time.
After his last three starts in the NBA, he certainly looks like a player that should “stick” at that level, and as much as we enjoyed his time and dynamic ability here in Sioux Falls, there’s a not-so-small part of us that hopes we never see him in a Skyforce uniform again. Provide players with the resources and the stage to prove they’re capable of playing in the NBA. That’s the ultimate goal of any NBA G League team.