The Miami Heat and the Sioux Falls Skyforce continue to prosper ever since the three-time NBA Champions took over basketball operations of the NBA Development League beginning with the 2013-14 season.
With former Heat assistant coach Dan Craig at the helm starting this season, the Skyforce won an NBA D-League record 40 games and currently lead the Canton Charge 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Stokes was a big part of that as he shuffled between the Skyforce and smaller stints with the Heat. After Miami traded him to New Orleans on Feb. 18, he was waived by the Pelicans a day later and then returned to the Skyforce permanently on Feb 27.
Stokes was a 2016 NBA D-League All-Star and shot a league-high 66 percent from the field. He also scored in double figures 27 times and notched 13 double-doubles in 28 games (all starts) this season, averaging teams highs of 20.6 points and 9.3 rebounds. He led the team in scoring 14 times and rebounding 13 times while earning Player of the Month honors for March and April.
The 6-7, 250-pound forward was traded by the Memphis Grizzlies to Miami in the Mario Chalmers trade last November and appeared in five games with the Heat this season, where we saw brief glimpses of his athleticism and his natural ability to score in the paint. In 26 career NBA games with Miami and Memphis, he has averaged 2.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 5.5 minutes.
He will be presented with the MVP award before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday, April 17 at 6:00pm in Sioux Falls. The game will be televised on ESPNU.