Point guard Josh Gray spent his collegiate career between 3 colleges (Texas Tech, Odessa, LSU), and the first 3 years of his professional career in the NBA, G League, and even South Korea. Gray’s basketball career to date has included constant change.
After going undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft, and playing for the Orlando Magic in the 2016 Summer League, Gray found himself with the Northern Arizona Suns in the G League. Where he spent 2 seasons.
In the first (2016/17), he averaged 13.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.6 steals, through 50 contests. In the 2017/18 campaign (45 games), his production increased to 19.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. This was as his minutes average increased to 34, from 25.2 in the previous season with Northern Arizona.
An NBA opportunity opened up with the Phoenix Suns at the end of the 2017/18 season. Where he was called up with two 10-day contracts. In that time, Gray featured in 5 games, averaging 6.4 points, 2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.6 steals.
For his third season in the professional ranks, Gray decided to take his talents to the Korean Basketball League (KBL) for the Changwon LG Sakers. Before returning to the United States to feature for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019 NBA Summer League. Consequently earning him a two-way contract with the New Orleans Pelicans for the current campaign.
Now 26-years-old, Gray has had an impressive season in the G League for the Erie BayHawks, to say the least. Through 37 games, he is posting averages of 22.5 points, on 44.7% shooting (33.2% from 3). Along with 5.1 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 2.4 steals per game.
In November, the opening month of the season, Gray set an average of 31 points, 4 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. On 51.2% shooting from the field. This was all through the opening 7 games.
To date, Gray is leading the league in points (831) and field goals made (321). Additionally, he is sitting 7th in assists (254), and 4th in steals (84).
He’s passed the 30+ mark in scoring on 7 occasions. As well as impressively erupting for 40+ points on 2 occasions. Those being a 41-point outburst against the Canton Charge back in November, and the other being a 40-point performance against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants a month later.
Despite standing at 6-feet, Gray uses his speed and agility to form dynamic moves at the top of the key to breeze past his defender. With that, he possesses the ability to finish in the paint with contact. Alternatively settling for mid-range looks.
When he heats up, he can be lights out from range. Holding a smooth, speedy release that can be pleasing on the eye. In addition, his ability to read the floor is first-class. Providing quick, easy dimes for his teammates to score. In flashy fashion every-now-and-then too.
From a defensive standpoint in the NBA, there would be concerns with Gray in terms of his size, at 6-feet. He may be a target for switches. But he does possess a reasonably sized frame, suggesting that he could potentially hold his own.
When looking at the statistics, in the G League this season, Gray holds a defensive rating of 112.9. Which outweighs his offensive rating of 106.1. Although, the BayHawks’ 13-30 record has to come into consideration before making judgement.
A concern does come to the forefront when looking at his 4.1 turnovers per game. The highest average in his G League career to date, and is a league-leading statistic. Gray sits second in the league for missed field goals too, with 392.
Whilst the above may cause concerns around his production. As previously mentioned, Gray has been playing on a team with a losing record this season.
From an offensive standpoint, his 44.7% conversion rate is definitely acceptable. In regards to his turnovers, a large facet of his game is through providing assists. Dishing out 254 to date, which is good for 7th best in the entire G League. With that naturally comes turnovers. Although, he could tune it down a bit.
Josh Gray certainly holds a well-rounded offensive skill-set and has played incredibly this season. Well enough to surely lure to the eyes of his parent team, the New Orleans Pelicans, in his direction. As well as other NBA suitors most likely.
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