Since a championship trophy was raised back in 2016, a main component of that Sioux Falls Skyforce title run has been in a basketball gauntlet that has him back in familiar territory to start the 2018-19 season.

Jarnell Stokes has reportedly signed with the Miami Heat, renewing a partnership that began with a trade with Memphis back in 2015. During that time, Stokes was assigned to the ‘Force then traded to the New Orleans Pelicans and subsequently released. Though his NBA prospects were dimmed at that time, Stokes rolled into Sioux Falls to complete a 40-10 season which still stands as the best in the NBA G League.

Anyone who wants to compete at the highest level has to keep working on their game to maximize their ability and find that right NBA fit. Stokes continued his preparations by returning to the NBA to start the 2016-17 season with Denver, making the roster as the 15th man. After only two games played in the Mile-High City, Stokes succumbed to injury which sidelined him for the majority of the season. Stokes joined the Skyforce roster near the end of the 2017 season, but did not suit up for the team.

A solid 2017 Summer League with Portland and Indiana led to the next opportunity presented itself in the Chinese Basketball Association and Stokes responded with a burgeoning stat line of 25 points, 13.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 1 block per game. He came off the bench in every game, but still played over 33 minutes per contest. His 2018 Summer League was not as prolific with Chicago, but it was enough to earn another shot with Miami.

At 24 years of age, Stokes is still able to add facets to his game that can make him valuable on the court. For example, while in China, he was able to showcase being an option on the perimeter by adding the three-point shot to his arsenal.

As the 2018-19 slate of games approaches, we know the path for Stokes begins in Miami. Where it leads through the winter and finally toward spring will slowly be revealed.

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