The Memphis Hustle, the NBA G League affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies, selected former Maryland guard Anthony Cowan Jr. with the No. 16 overall pick in the three-round G League draft on Monday.
Cowan, a four-year starter at College Park and three-time All-Big Ten selection, was not selected in November’s NBA draft. Cowan averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 assists at Maryland and led the Terps to their first Big Ten regular-season title before the season abruptly ended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cowan, a Bowie native, was one of only two players in Big Ten history to record 1,800 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists, joining Penn State’s Talor Battle.
“With Anthony, I think he has a chance to get a look in camp. But if he’s going to make it, it’s going to take him some time just because the bar is really high to clear, particularly for small guards,” Sports Illustrated staff writer and NBA draft insider Jeremy Woo told The Baltimore Sun before the November draft.
“If you’re a good backup point guard, you can play in the NBA for a long time. Every year, there are really good guards who kind of fall by the wayside and end up going to the G League or overseas because there are only so many spots for guards, and particularly if you’re smaller. So he’s going to have to keep fighting.”
Plans were announced Friday for the G League season, which will be condensed and played at the Walt Disney World resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Teams have been given a preliminary plan calling for games to begin around Feb. 8, but no schedule details have been set.
There will be 18 teams in the league, including the G League Ignite — the new team formed this season to serve primarily as a one-year development program for elite NBA draft prospects. Eventually, eight teams will advance to a single-elimination playoff.
Former NBA players who have signed with the G League in recent weeks include 2008 No. 2 overall draft pick Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson, Jeremy Lin and Nik Stauskas. All did so with plans of playing in the Disney bubble.
The season is expected to last for about a month.
The G League did not crown a champion last season. It suspended play March 12, one day after the NBA originally did, in response to the coronavirus pandemic and ultimately canceled the remainder of its season in early June.
NBA teams that are not sending affiliates to the G League bubble will still be permitted to assign roster players and transfer two-way contract signees to go play at Disney. It will be a similar operational plan to what the NBA used at Disney from July until October — including daily testing, strict protocols and other mechanisms designed for safety. Those rules will also be in place for coaches, team staff and league staff that goes to Disney.
The 17 NBA clubs sending affiliates to the bubble are the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio, Cleveland, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Indiana, Charlotte, Minnesota, Orlando, Brooklyn, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Toronto, Houston, Utah, Golden State and New York.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.