The NBA G League is back and officially underway with rosters and schedules being made official over the past several days. In total, 18 teams will descend on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and compete in a "bubble" similar to how the NBA finished its season in 2020.
Three players with Montana connections, whether that be Treasure State natives or those who played college basketball in Montana, will take part in the tipping off of the NBA's developmental league.
Missoula native and Oregon State grad Tres Tinkle has officially signed to play with the Raptors 905, the G League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors. As previously reported by MTN Sports, Tinkle was signed and waived by the Raptors back in December so the team would hold his rights if he opted to sign a G League contract.
A two-time Montana Gatorade Player of the Year at Missoula Hellgate, Tinkle became Oregon State's all-time leading scorer in men's program history last March and finished his career with 2,233 points for the Beavers. Tinkle will be suiting up for the Raptors 905 alongside former OSU teammate Gary Payton II, who along with Tinkle helped lead OSU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in over two decades back in 2016.
This season will be Tinkle's first as a professional basketball player.
It will be a battle of Montana natives to begin the season, as Tinkle and the Raptors 905 will take on Great Falls native Josh Huestis and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to open the season on Feb. 10.
Huestis is a veteran in the pro ranks after getting drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2014. Huestis has played in 76 NBA games while also serving stints with the G League affiliates for the Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs. The Great Falls CMR and Stanford product most recently played in Germany before signing to play for the Vipers, Houston's G League affiliate.
Rounding out the group is former Montana State product Tyler Hall who will suit up for the Westchester Knicks, the G League affiliate of the New York Knicks. This will be Hall's second season playing for Westchester after appearing in 39 games and starting in 17 for the club in the 2019-20 season. In his first season of pro basketball action, Hall averaged 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists for the Knicks and shot at a 42.2% clip from the field and 40.6% mark from 3-point range.
Hall, a Rock Island, Illinois native, is the Big Sky Conference's all-time leading men's scorer with 2,518 career points. His 431 made 3-pointers with the Bobcats is tied for ninth all-time among NCAA Division I men's players. Hall and Westchester open their season against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Indiana's G League affiliate.
Each G League team will compete in 15 games from Feb. 10-March 6. The top eight teams will advance to a single-elimination playoff which begins March 8 and will conclude on March 11.