EDINBURG, Texas (Feb. 27, 2020) – The Rio Grande Valley Vipers announced today that they have acquired the returning player rights to Jarnell Stokes from Sioux Falls Skyforce. In exchange, RGV agreed to trade Jacobi Boykins and their 2020 NBA G League Draft 2nd Round Pick (via Wisconsin Herd). In addition, the Vipers agreed to trade the returning player rights to Kevin Hardy and the 2020 NBA G League Draft 3rd Round Pick to the Herd in exchange of the 2020 NBA G League Draft 2nd Round Pick. The trades are not subject to any player passing a physical.
Stokes (6-9, 250 lbs.) was recently competing in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers during the 2019-20 campaign. He has averaged 22.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 19 appearances, two starts.
Prior to the Tigers, Stokes appeared for both the Memphis Hustle and Sioux Falls Skyforce during the 2018-19 season. Stokes appeared in six games, five starts, for the Skyforce as he averaged 15.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.5 blocks. While being with Memphis as a two-way player, he appeared in two games, one start, averaging 20.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
During the 2017 NBA Summer Leagues in Orlando and Las Vegas, Stokes eventually signed with the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls of the CBA. With the Golden Bulls, he averaged 25 points and 13.9 rebounds in 28 appearances.
In 2015-16, Stokes averaged 20.6 points and 9.3 rebounds for Sioux Falls, winning the NBA G League MVP award while leading the Skyforce to their first championship. After averaging 21.1 points and 8.7 rebounds (shot 72.6% from the field) in seven playoff matchups, Stokes won the 2016 NBA G League Playoff MVP award as well. Stokes was also named All-NBA G League First Team.
Stokes was drafted fifth pick of the second round in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz but was drafted to the Grizzlies where he made his NBA debut. He appeared in 19 games, two starts, with Memphis during his rookie campaign. Stokes averaged 3.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 6.6 minutes of action. During his stint with Memphis, he appeared in 23 games (14 starts) while on assignment with the Iowa Energy during the 2014-15 season. Stokes averaged 15.1 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.
Boykins appeared in 31 games (nine starts) for RGV this 2019-20 campaign. He averaged 13.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 26.1 minutes of play. Boykins was also a part of the 2018-19 Championship squad averaging 9.3 points, 2.9 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per game.
The Vipers will face Santa Cruz Warriors on the road on Friday, February 28. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. CT.