There is a drastic difference between winning an NBA Championship and winning an G-League Championship. NBA Championship teams want to keep the core of the success together and go into the next season in search of a repeat.
On the other hand, a G-League championship can help propel the career of the players. Perhaps to the NBA. Or maybe just to greener pastures.
Darrun Hilliard signed a two-way contract with the San Antonio Spurs a year ago this week. He and Matt Costello were the first to engage in this new facet of the NBA. As part of the two-way contract, Hilliard would be a member of the Austin Spurs, the G-League affiliate. But he could be called up to the NBA San Antonio Spurs for a total of 45 days.
As a result, Hilliard played in 14 games while in San Antonio, but he was a crucial piece of the puzzle that led the Austin Spurs to a G-League Championship last April against the Raptors 905. Over 36 games in Austin he averaged 20.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.1 steals. In the title-clinching game. he was one of five Spurs to score in double figures scoring 12 points and adding 2 steals, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Hilliard was tendered a qualifying offer by the San Antonio Spurs making him a restricted free agent.
Just a month ago on August 13, Hilliard signed a one-year deal with Kirolbet Baskonia. He’ll be joining another former Austin Spur Patricio Garino.
Best of luck in Spain next season, Darrun!
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