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Thread: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

  1. #1

    Default The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    So, the 2010 D-League showcase is on its 2nd day, making this a good time to resurrect this thread.

    1. Facts:

    The D-League is the NBA official minor league basketball organization, trotting out there 16 teams divided into 2 conferences.

    20 percent of the current crop NBA players had spent time in the D-League at some point of their career. For example, D-League fans know about Pacers' Danthay Jones for a longer time than you.

    Most D-League players aren't very good and the quality of the product on the floor is generally quite bad.

    Gerry McNamara was a famous D-League bust. Chris Andersen, Bobby Simmons, Chuck Hayes, Will Bynum and many others successful D-League stories. Former Notre Dame standout Matt Carroll and former Pacers Courtney Simms were D-League MVPs.

    2. Resources:
    The D-League Official Website

    D-League Stats: DraftExpress
    Basketball-Reference

    Blogs: Ridiculous Upside - where potential is way cooler than reality - is the standard bear of D-League blogs and of mandatory reading for any D-League fan. My man Steve Weinman started a D-League blog, affiliated with the TrueHoop network, called D-League Digest. Steve is a great guy, a brilliant writer, a passionate and knowledgeable fan of the game and an insightful basketball analyst, so make sure to check his stuff. The other D-League material I read comes from the well-known Hardwood Paroxysm.

    3. Where to watch?

    Almost every game via Futurecast. It's free and the streaming quality is decent. Unfortunately their best feature from years past, having the archived games available is gone. I've e-mailed them and was answered that the archived games would be available after the Showcase, so we'll find out soon enough.

    Some Showcase games are being shown live on NBA TV. Generally some play-off games will be there as well.

    Recently (like yesterday) it was announced that VERSUS will air 10 regular season and six playoff games throughout 2010. I'm not sure what VERSUS here, but by the reaction of D-League enthusiasts I guess it's a national tv channel most people have available.

    4. Affiliations

    There are 3 type of affiliations between D-League and NBA franchises. The pure ownership (San Antonio Spurs/Austin Toros; LAL/Los Angeles D-Fenders; OKC Thunder/Tulsa 66ers); a new hybrid affiliation model, where the NBA franchise doesn't own the D-League one but controls (and pays for) the basketball operations (Houston Rockets/Rio Grande Vipers) and the the basic affiliation model (like the Fort Wayne Mad Ants being affiliated with the Pacers, the Pistons and the Bucks).

    Anyway, done the introduction, these are important and agitated days for the D-League. After January 10th, partially guaranteed NBA contracts become fully guaranteed. As teams release their 14th men to save a few bucks, an influx of talent to the D-League is bond to happen. On the other hand, the opened roster spots create opportunities for those who are distinguishing themselves in the D-League - and some guys will join Shavlik Randolph, Chris Hunter, Anthony Tolliver and Sundiata Gaines. Performing well in the Showcase, in front of hundreds of scouts from NBA and European teams, it's a most. I'm watching some of the games and will report my findings in the next days. Not very impressed so far, liked last season crop a bit more.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    With the trade deadline behind, some teams are left with roster spots to fill and/or starting to worry more about future seasons than with the current one: meaning it’s a good moment to give the D-League season a look.

    In fact, the timing is even better considering that… archived games are back! Not all of them yet, but enough to allow one to familiarize with this year’s edition of the NBA developmental league. This is big news, especially for those like me who may like the D-League but not enough to stay up till late night to watch games live. Now there’s material to put this thread back to work. Click here and feast your eyes. A reminder: some games are broadcasted in the US by Versus TV and NBA TV.

    Showcase and history being made


    A few weeks have passed since the 2010 D-League Showcase and the folks in Boise, Idaho have already returned to its normal routine - and considering that in most games there were more people on the court than in the stands it's fair to believe that the readjustment was smooth and pretty quick.

    In spite of not being success in terms of public, the attendance was strong when it comes to VIPs: high ranked officials and scouts from every NBA team, including GMs like Danny Ainge, Daryl Morey, Sam Presti, Larry Riley and RC Bufford and from plenty of European teams, especially from Spain and the top Euroleague clubs.

    Nonetheless, two of the most interesting characters who were present in Boise are D-Leaguers - and though in different capacities, two history-makers:



    For one, Nancy "Lady Magic" Lieberman, HoFer, one of the best and most accomplished college players ever, a pioneer of professional female basketball and a former TV analyst. Ms. Lieberman will take over as the new head-coach for the new Dallas affiliate for the 2010-11 season, based in Frisco, TX (club site) - a team owned by the Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson (son of Don and a very interesting basketball mind) that will follow the same hybrid affiliation model the Rockets/Vipers have. It's a very bold move by Nelson, as Lieberman hasn't a lot of experience in the realm of male basketball (a few games in minor league USBL and in a Lakers Summer League team as a player plus a stint with the Washington Generals) or in coaching (a couple of years with the Detroit Shock at the start of the decade with mixed results and an experience as Martina Navratilova's personal coach back in the 80s). Now she will become the first woman in history to work with NBA players. Hopefully she's successful as that will certainly attract some much needed press coverage to the D-League. With longtime NBA coach and former COY Dell Harris and former dunk contest winner Spud Webb aboard as GM and President of basketball operations, she will certainly have a knowledgeable, reputable and experienced FO supporting her.



    Already competing in the D-League world is Tulsa 66ers rookie Latavious Williams, the last first round pick in this years D-League draft. What makes Williams a notable case amongst his fellow rookies is his status as the first player in D-League history to go straight there from high school. Mildly useful analogy, he's D-League's Brandon Jennings.

    A coveted high-school player (ranked #16 in Rivals.com national rankings), Williams didn't meet the academic requirements to play for the colleges he wanted and after some frustrated attempts to find a spot in an overseas team, he's now playing for the team owned by the OKC Thunder (note: the Thunder won't have any right of preference when Williams decides to enter the NBA draft. Required change in the D-League rules?).

    Williams is a 6'8'' combo forward who will probably end up as a 4 down the road (right now he's a tweener, but he has a good frame to add bulk and is lengthy), with excellent agility and very explosive on the boards. He didn’t do much else in the games featuring the 66ers I've watched, but at least he impressed with the quickness he lifts his feet off the floor and moves around, the long arms and the strong hands. I also saw him dunking hard after a very impressive baseline dropstep and burying a couple of mid-range jumpers with good form more recently, but those are exceptions from a very raw offensive game, where he shows little feeling for the game, inconsistent and anxious screening, tunnel vision when the ball finds the way of his hands and a wild and very high dribble.

    That said, Williams is averaging 6pts and 7 rbs in 19 mpg playing for a team with no shortage of competent bigs (Thunder assignees D.J. White and BJ Mullens have been around; Steven Hill, DeVon Hardin, Chris Richard and Larry Owens are solid players) and considering he’s already 20, it’s as a hustle player and rebounder that he can find a place in the NBA. I predict that someone will believe he may become a new Reggie Evans and pick him in the late 1st/early 2nd as long as red flags don’t emerge from the interview/vetting process .

    Call-ups


    You may have not noticed it, but quite a few D-League players have already their chance of playing in the NBA this season. Eleven, to be exact (Anthony Tolliver was called up by 2 different teams); many of them due to the rash of injuries that affected the league. I believe they’d be far less without the injuries because; from my perspective, this is probably the less talented D-League in the last 3 years. Difficult to identify a handful of guys with the ability to break a NBA rotation and there isn’t a lot in terms of potential either. Anyway, the blessed ones so far were (in order of NBA talent/ability/potential):

    - JamesOn Curry (G) (he of dubious fame) Springfield Armor/LA Clippers, a small and frail combo guard who can shoot the ball and has no other high level talent that I’ve noticed. His stay with the Clippers didn’t last longer than a week. Not a NBA player by any stretch of the imagination. He’s not even good in the D-League, at least in my opinion.

    - Will Conroy (PG), Rio Grande Valley Vipers / Houston Rockets, who benefited from playing for the Rockets affiliated and knowing the system. He’s the D-League career leader in points scored, but his best asset is probably his passing. The fact that he predicates his game on getting into the lane and kicking down but a) lacks speed and quickness b) can’t drive left c) isn’t that big explains why he has been signed and waved by at least 100 teams since entering the pro ranks.

    - Mario West (G/F), Maine Red Claws/Atlanta Hawks, can defend really well on-the-ball - I’ve been aware of this since a couple of years ago when he completely frustrated Kobe Bryant. Unfortunately, I later understood he’s a destructive presence to his team offensively and, while explosive, has a tendency to gain weight. Eventually signed a contract till the end of the season, his 3rd in Atlanta, benefiting from already knowing the team, the system and the coaches. Dominic McGuire kind of player, his ceiling is Desmond Mason or something. Running out of time to get there.

    - Cedric Jackson (G), Erie Bay Hawks/Cleveland Cavaliers, was called up because he was in the Cavaliers training camp, played for a local college and is a hard-working, defensive minded player.

    - Mike Harris (G/F), Rio Grande Valley Vipers/Houston Rocket, is one of the most productive D-League players. He’s one of those guys who’s too small to play as a big in the NBA but lacks the skill-set to play the wing: too slow to be more than a defensive liability, lacks an outside shot, solid but far from spectacular creating his shot (he’s a bit of a bully driving into the basket at once there is a very good finisher due to his bulk). Very good player at lower levels when facing less talented, less athletic and smaller defenders and a guy who won’t embarrass his GM as a 5th wing in the NBA.

    - Garrett Temple (G) , Rio Grande Valley Vipers/Houston Rockets, is a very skinny and lanky guard who impresses me with his defensive prowess. Still figuring out what he can do offensively, seems to struggle using his right hand and there’s t. He’s still a rookie and was a defensive specialist in college (you may remember him as the guy who shut down JJ Redick in his last college game), so maybe there’s hope for him.

    - Cartier Martin (F), Iowa Energy/Golden State Warriors, went through his second stint in the NBA (played 33 games for the Bobcats last season) after being a bust in the Italian league. He’s a well-sized wing with average athleticism who can do lots of things decently but nothing really well. If can get back the shooting accuracy he showed in Kansas, then he’s a secondary wing backup who will play spirited, fundamentally sound basketball and stretch the floor. His first step and dribble drives are good enough for the D-League but don’t work at a higher level.

    - Coby Karl (PG), Idaho Stampede/ Golden State Warriors let me down last season during his stint with DKV Joventut. But he’s incredibly productive in the D-League and is a very gritty, versatile and intelligent player who doesn’t make many bad decisions, passes the ball very well and has good shooting mechanics. A really good pick’n’roll player, who knows how to use screens to make up for his lack of a first step. Karl is also a defensive hindrance, especially when matched up versus quicker guards, but IMO he should be playing at a higher level than the D-League, either as a fringe rotation player in a NBA roster or as a productive member of a solid European club.

    - Chris Hunter (FC), Fort Wayne Mad Ants/ Golden State Warriors, was a very good player for the Mad Ants last season and one of the best D-League bigs. A fringe-rotation big for a NBA team, Hunter runs the floor well, settles screens and provides an explosive dunk here and there (and can also hit the mid-range shot when he’s able to get his feet set). He’s pretty strong attacking the rim after catching the ball on movement, especially in pick’n’roll situations, and when he gets good position he likes to turn to his left shoulder and try a baby-hook with his right hand. Not the greatest touch and not exactly a go-to move at the NBA level. With his good size and decent mobility he should be a better defender and rebounder, but he isn’t, which limits his value. Some well-timed blocks suggest that maybe there’s some untapped potential there.

    - Sundiata Gaines (G), Idaho Stampede/Utah Jazz, can become a quality backup guard if he fixes his shot – because he already does plenty of good things in other aspects of the game. I won’t write much more about him because I don’t want to distract your attention from these 2 videos:



    [insert reactionary and emotional cliché of your liking]

    - A hustle player that can become a quality role-player thanks to his impressive motor, intangibles and all-around game, Anthony Tolliver is the best call-up in terms of current ability. A 24 years old, 6' 9", 242lbs, power forward, Tolliver lacks tremendous athleticism or ideal size – nothing that prevents him from being a physical, hard-nosed and relentless presence on the court. Tolliver was called up by the Blazers and then by the Warriors, which later extended his contract till the end of the season. In college, Tolliver was 30lbs center and a prototypical center, but he has transformed his body and his game and the hard work is starting to pay-off.

    When watching Tolliver the first thing one notices is how active he’s on the court: plays with a good spirit and energy, talks defensively, gets wide and large on screen, dives for balls, makes the hard foul on the open lay-up, etc.

    Offensively, a couple of things one quickly notices is that he’s a very good and willing passer from both posts, throwing the ball to cutters and shooters with great speed and accuracy and runs the floor really, really hard (great fit for running teams). Now, his shot creation skills from the blocks or facing-up are incipient (although he’s no slouch at the rim when he gets there, finishing well with both hands and handles the ball well enough to put some – few in the NBA - slower bigs in trouble. He’s a good ball-handler for his size, but dribbles a little too high and slow to be a menace driving into crowded lanes).

    Defensively he’s very sound, doesn’t bite fakes, does a good job using body leverage defending the post, holding excellent position and always keeping his hands up. He doesn’t make many spectacular plays but he puts those who want to shot over him or go through him in trouble and is always in good position to box them out. His weakness on this side of the court is the lack of lateral quickness – making him less effective versus perimeter forwards who have the ability to go around him. He’ll always struggle against finesse forwards with a quick first-step. He’s also a reliable rebounder, but not exactly a good one: he will throw his body around and gain and protect the balls that fall on his area, but not a leaper that will gather the balls above the rim or out of his area.

    That said, the biggest single factor in Tolliver’s NBA career will be his shooting prowess. He isn’t skilled or athletic enough to make a living as a post player offensively, so he needs to play as a stretch big to justify a regular rotation spot in decent teams. Tolliver is a very late bloomer as a shooter (20 triples during his 4 years college caree) and as of now his ability remains inconsistent – he’s been a solid outside shooter in everywhere he played - Summer League, Europe, D-League – but not in the NBA. In the big league, he shot 22% with the Spurs and isn’t doing much better with the Warriors. His mechanics are a bit weird (little elevation and a very late release point) but solid enough and consistent. So, I think it comes down to this: will Tolliver be able to add value to his contributions by stretching the floor, pulling an opponent big of the lane and offering a new weapon to his scoring arsenal? If he doesn’t, he can always be a James Singleton kind of player and hang around for a few years in the league. But if he’s able to translate the outside shooting he displayed in other venues in the NBA, then there’s no reason why he can’t fill a more demanding role, playing at least at a Brian Cardinal (in his prime)/Ryan Gomes level – and once there Robert Horry is the limit. I confess I like Tolliver since watching him in the ’07 pre-season playing for the Cavs and would like to see him succeed.

    So, that’s it for now. Funny, 3 of the top 5 guys were Warriors call-ups. Sometimes I feel they’re the only team actually scouting the D-League.
    Last edited by cordobes; 02-22-2010 at 07:38 PM.

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    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Every time I watch NBAtv and they discuss the NBDL they show highlights of Brian Butch out of Wisconsin playing well. As an IU fan I'm interested in the Big 10 more then any other conference normally and it's good to hear he's doing well. Curious if he'll get called up at all.

    On a side note, Nancy Liberman is a pretty attractive coach/commentator for her age.

  6. #4

    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Ah, and there's this:
    Dunk Contest


    The D-League dunk contest has been better than the NBA dunk contest in the last 2 seasons. Proof:



    Wasn't enough to win.


    A weird trade


    The Springfield Armor (the worst team in the D-League with a 5-24 record) traded D-League leading scorer and one of the best players in the league, former Jazz first round pick Morris Almond and forward TJ Cummings, their 3rd leading scorer and best rebounder for Tony Bobbitt and Noel Felix, two role-players from the Maine Red Claws (20-13). This is more or less like the Pacers trading Granger + Hibbert for Luke Walton + DJ Mbenga.

    There aren’t financial implications here and it tanking doesn’t make much sense to D-League teams (or no sense at all), so one probably has to believe Dee Brown’s explanation: chemistry & defence.

    Stats


    In 2 posts at Basketball Prospectus, Kevin Pelton studied “how statistics compiled in the NBA Development League have historically translated to the NBA for players who have been called up or sent down”. Worth a reading (1/2)

    Enough minor league talk for now, later this week I’ll give my opinion on who are the best and worst D-League teams, who should or will be the next call-ups and how the NBA players sent down are looking.

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    I'm just going to start calling you Professor because everytime you post I feel like I get an education.

    Thank you for this.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by pwee31 View Post
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    Every time I watch NBAtv and they discuss the NBDL they show highlights of Brian Butch out of Wisconsin playing well. As an IU fan I'm interested in the Big 10 more then any other conference normally and it's good to hear he's doing well. Curious if he'll get called up at all.
    He was named the D-League All-Star Game MVP.

    Yes, I think there's a solid chance he will eventually earn a call-up. However, I suspect that former Notre Dame and current Fort Wayne Mad Ants Rob Kurz, a more or less similar player, is ahead of him in the pecking order. I'll analyse Butch tomorrow or something, but he needs to hit the squats and the lunges very hard and work on his lateral quickness. At least he needs to get up vertically more quickly than he's able to do now. Good combination of size+shooting+fundamentals+attitude to start with.

    Quote Originally Posted by pwee31 View Post
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    On a side note, Nancy Liberman is a pretty attractive coach/commentator for her age.
    Yeps.

  10. #7
    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by cordobes View Post
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    The Springfield Armor (the worst team in the D-League with a 5-24 record) traded D-League leading scorer and one of the best players in the league, former Jazz first round pick Morris Almond and forward TJ Cummings, their 3rd leading scorer and best rebounder for Tony Bobbitt and Noel Felix, two role-players from the Maine Red Claws (20-13). This is more or less like the Pacers trading Granger + Hibbert for Luke Walton + DJ Mbenga.
    another possible explanation is that "value" in the dleague is ephemeral - having the league leading scorer means nothing if you're likely to lose him, either to a nba call-up or to a european league. maybe not right away, but certainly within 1-2 years. the dleague drafts get similarly skewed i think - a delicate balance of ability and likelihood to stay.

    regarding the dleague in general, i'm quite frustrated that the pacers aren't making any use of this resource, at all. i'm pretty sure the pacers have never sent a player to their affiliate, the mad ants. the closest to it is courtney sims, who after being cut by the pacers was signed by the ants (who obtained him through territorial rights, i think). especially with the new hybrid model of ownership, there's almost no downside now to turning your dleague affiliate into your very own farm team. the rockets' use of the vipers, for example, is a fine model.

    yeah, golden state has had quite a lot of success in mining the dleague. part of that has to be due to don nelson's willingness to play his dleague call-ups over his lottery picks or expensive veterans...

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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
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    another possible explanation is that "value" in the dleague is ephemeral - having the league leading scorer means nothing if you're likely to lose him, either to a nba call-up or to a european league. maybe not right away, but certainly within 1-2 years. the dleague drafts get similarly skewed i think - a delicate balance of ability and likelihood to stay.
    Yeps, the fact that D-League teams are less able to retain/use talent in the long run it's a factor that makes deals like this less dramatic. However, and this doesn't really affect your point much, teams don't lose the D-League rights to the players who are called-up for the NBA.

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
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    regarding the dleague in general, i'm quite frustrated that the pacers aren't making any use of this resource, at all. i'm pretty sure the pacers have never sent a player to their affiliate, the mad ants. the closest to it is courtney sims, who after being cut by the pacers was signed by the ants (who obtained him through territorial rights, i think). especially with the new hybrid model of ownership, there's almost no downside now to turning your dleague affiliate into your very own farm team. the rockets' use of the vipers, for example, is a fine model.
    Fully agreed. The Rockets have been using the D-League quite well and showing why the cost of a hybrid affiliation - which is more or less half of a veteran minimum salary - may be money well spent.

    I'm not sure that a single affiliation for every NBA team is something we'd like to see as a reality though. Is there enough talent and financial resources to support a 30 teams D-League? I'm not sure, what do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
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    yeah, golden state has had quite a lot of success in mining the dleague. part of that has to be due to don nelson's willingness to play his dleague call-ups over his lottery picks or expensive veterans...
    Heh, he doesn't actually have a choice, who are the veterans he's sitting out to play the promises? In fact, I was irked with him in their last game when he was playing Devean George at the 4 leaving Tolliver to dry out on the bench. I think that the fact that the Warriors play a less structured brand of basketball allows D-Leaguers to have more of an impact. In any case, they pick the guys who are actually showing ability or promise while others don't.
    ---------

    Three new call-ups today! I knew this was going to heat up.

    The Washington Wizards called up Vipers' Mike Harris, who had already experimented 2 stints with the Rockets, likely as a consequence of Josh Howard's injury. What I wrote about him yesterday still applies: Mike Harris is one of the most productive D-League players. He’s one of those guys who’s too small to play as a big in the NBA but lacks the skill-set to play the wing: too slow to be more than a defensive liability, lacks an outside shot, solid but far from spectacular creating his shot (he’s a bit of a bully driving into the basket at once there is a very good finisher due to his bulk). Very good player at lower levels when facing less talented, less athletic and smaller defenders and a guy who won’t embarrass his GM as a 5th wing in the NBA. In a depleted team like the Wizards, where some Isos and post-ups may be available for him, Harris can do some damage with his scoring.

    Austin Toros' Dwayne Jones is near the Dallas Mavericks . Jones is a well known athletic-but-way-underskilled stiff with almost one hundred NBA games under his belt, and there isn't much to say about him that you probably don't know already. Marquee rebounder with 6 hard fouls attached and a decent rim protector, Jones will help the Mavericks as a reliable 4th big and put up some points after collecting offensive rebounds.

    Finally, in perhaps the most interesting call-up, the OKC Thunder offered a 10-year contract to former Memphis defensive ace Antonio Anderson. Anderson has developed quite a bit in his ball-handling during his D-League stint, it looks to me, but what stands out more about him is his composure and activity on the court. It's obvious he'll never be a good 1on1 player or a shot creator, but if he improve his shooting he can be good NBA role-player. He shows a good understanding of the game, makes the right plays, tries to set up his teammates, plays very tough and rough defensively, flies over the court on transition.He's the kind of player that brings intensity and energy to his team and probably a top-level defender in the NBA. I'm curious to see if the Thunder play him significant minutes and how he does.

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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Thank you for bumping this thread, I really enjoy reading it.

    I know little to nothing about the D-League, but find it so intriguing that if I lived in Fort Wayne I'd run the definitive FWMA blog.

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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by cordobes View Post
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    Fully agreed. The Rockets have been using the D-League quite well and showing why the cost of a hybrid affiliation - which is more or less half of a veteran minimum salary - may be money well spent.

    I'm not sure that a single affiliation for every NBA team is something we'd like to see as a reality though. Is there enough talent and financial resources to support a 30 teams D-League? I'm not sure, what do you think?
    i don't follow the dleague enough to venture an opinion, but if you say so i'd take your word for it

    for the pacers specifically though, the fort wayne mad ants are right there. furthermore, they'd make a good affiliate for both the pacers and pistons. you'd think the pacers would want to snap them up before the pistons do, or vice versa. seems like neither team sees the value in it.

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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    I know little to nothing about the D-League, but find it so intriguing that if I lived in Fort Wayne I'd run the definitive FWMA blog.
    I believe you, but the competition would be stiff: you'd be dealing with the excellence of Potter's New Blog , authored by Jeff Potter who is the owner and team president of the Mad Ants; Buckets and Bottles , kept by a Mad Ants Vice-President and Martz Madness, written by yet another Mad Ants insider, Garrett Martz. And I think there was another blog made by a regular fan last season but I can't find it now. Fort Wayne has excellent blog coverage in the NBA.

    They're having a rough season though, it seems that Jared Reiner (yet another Mad Antz blogger) was released due to personal reasons and Rob Kurz' injury is worse than expected. They've lost their last 3 games and they now really a lot on guys like Sean Sonderleiter and Oliver Lafayette who are better suited to play off the bench as backups. I think their playoff chances are getting pretty small.

    I'll write a bigger post later on because there's plenty of material - new call-ups, including one for my favourite D-Leaguer, Othyus Jeffers (finally) and for the promising Reggie Williams; some good games from call-ups/assignees; who could the Pacers pick to fill Diener's roster spot ( Alexander Johnson will probably be my choice); how Thabeet has been doing (not very well) - but for now I just wanted to leave a heads-up: tonight at 8:00 pm ET we'll have two first round picks from last season's draft going at each other: Tulsa's BJ Mullens vs. Dakota's Thabeet. It's live on Futurecast and I expect DJ White to steal the show.

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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

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    who could the Pacers pick to fill Diener's roster spot ( Alexander Johnson will probably be my choice);

    Ah, the infamous Alexander Johnson who the Pacers drafted in the 2nd round of 2006 only to trade for James White.

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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Tyme View Post
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    Ah, the infamous Alexander Johnson who the Pacers drafted in the 2nd round of 2006 only to trade for James White.
    What? But I was told that Bird made a huge mistake in trading away that pick? What is this?!!!



    On an unrelated note, Cordobes, can you explain why they don't have D-League teams in slightly larger cities? Why Boise and not St. Louis or Kansas City, for example?

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  21. #14

    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    [QUOTE=rexnom;970034]

    What? But I was told that Bird made a huge mistake in trading away that pick? What is this?!!!

    /QUOTE]


    So you are saying trading Johnson and 2 2nds for White wasn't a mistake? I suppose giving James Flight White a 2 year guaranteed contract for a 2nd round pick wasn't a mistake either when White couldn't even make the roster? I'd ask what NBA team is White playing for these days, but I know the answer.

    Personally, I'd give Johnson a shot. I'd like to see what Bird saw in him 4 years ago. Maybe he can show he's not another poor pick of Birds or maybe he'll just confirm how I feel about Bird's ability to draft.

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  23. #15
    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by cordobes View Post
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    who could the Pacers pick to fill Diener's roster spot ( Alexander Johnson will probably be my choice)
    what do you think of alade aminu as a prospect? i think he would be a good fit at f/c, and young enough to have a future with the team. a bit of a project though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Tyme View Post
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    Personally, I'd give Johnson a shot. I'd like to see what Bird saw in him 4 years ago. Maybe he can show he's not another poor pick of Birds or maybe he'll just confirm how I feel about Bird's ability to draft.
    if i recall correctly, it was a trade for picks. so bird chose white with the miami pick, and very likely it was miami who chose johnson with our pick. since miami went on to trade johnson, they could have been picking for someone else too.

  24. #16

    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Tyme View Post
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    Ah, the infamous Alexander Johnson who the Pacers drafted in the 2nd round of 2006 only to trade for James White.
    I didn't know about that connection, good catch.

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    On an unrelated note, Cordobes, can you explain why they don't have D-League teams in slightly larger cities? Why Boise and not St. Louis or Kansas City, for example?
    Good question, but I have no idea. Maybe because those larger cities already have pro-sports teams from major leagues and it's easy for a minor league basketball team to get attention and revenues being the only attraction in town? I'm not well versed in American demographics or in other leagues, so maybe I'm wrong. I don't really know the answer, I'll take this question to the attention of D-League specialists and get back at you.

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
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    what do you think of alade aminu as a prospect? i think he would be a good fit at f/c, and young enough to have a future with the team. a bit of a project though.
    Alimu is a D-League rookie playing for a team whose games only this week were made available in Futurecast archives (well, he used to play for that team, he was traded a couple of days ago) and I don't remember seeing him in college, so my judgement of him is based on a single game where he didn't play very well at all. It seems to me you're correct though, he has the kind of eye-popping athleticism and quickness that would be a good fit in the Pacers rotation. But seeing as my notes from that game are filled with "Alimu is braindead" and "Alimu keeps posting up = the suck"... well, he's really, really raw, so he'd probably be a long time project for a team that calls him up. He has always regressed during his stay in the D-League production-wise, which is always a reason for concern, as Bay Hawks insider Matt Hubbert explains in D-LeagueDigest.

    But yeah, I'm with you, screw Johnson; let's try to find and pick up some younger guy with more potential for the Pacers to test. Aminu is a good idea, I'm going to watch more games of him in the near future, he had way better ones statistically that the one I saw.

    Talking of call-ups, I called Reggie Williams promising and he's delivering big time for the Golden State Warriors. In the last game versus the Hornets, he dropped 28 points (10-16 FGA, 1-3 3PA, 7-8 FT), 6 assists and 2 steals - which would be a normal line for him in the D-League if one could add 5 or 6 rebounds.

    Reggie Williams can really be another good finding for the Warriors in the D-League/undrafted pool, to join CJ Watson, Azubuike, Morrow, Tolliver and Hunter - I think he will. He's a natural scorer, very fluid and smooth putting the ball in the basket. Not a very athletic player, little blowbyability, but has good size, a decent jumper and excellent scoring instincts.

    There's something that worries me about Williams - every time I saw him, his use of the right hand (he's a leftie) was... residual. Basically he uses it to help on his stationary dribble. His favourite ISO moves are either a diagonal drive from the left wing finished with a running hook or from the left block - he's really good at this. But in the game vs Orlando I noticed that Vince Carter was smartly overplaying his left and Williams became very timid and never attempted to go right. Even in the D-League he'd quickly pull up a jumper or an innocuous pass after going right. So yeah, he probably needs lots of work on his off-hand. Not someone with great tools to defend, but I'm liking his intensity on that end of the court with the Warriors, even though he's generally assigned the easiest matchup. He's also an excellent and willing passer, I think.

    So, once again thumbs up for the Warriors. Tolliver has been struggling a little lately, I think he's trying to do too much instead of keeping his focus on the little things, but his shooting has been decent enough except for a couple of games and is now averaging 9/6/2 in 27mpg; Hunter keeps doing his thing, it's a shame he doesn't have a better nose for grabbing rebounds.

    Williams joins Tolliver, Jeffers, Antonio Anderson, Temple and Gaines at the top of my call-up rankings.

    More call-ups: commemorating Dwayne Jones call-up was premature, the Mavs eventually passed on him after a workout. It's not like one can say they've been missing him... This probably means Jones is (or should be) done as a D-League player and needs to start thinking about making some serious money while he's at the top of his athletic abilities. If he can't even get a 10 days contract this season, he'll probably never get one (although I maintain he's not bad for a 5th). Giving Europe a new try could be smart of him.

    Cedric Jackson earned a new call-up, this time for the Spurs. He plays very good defence and penetrates a lot with mixed results at best. What else he does well I'm certainly missing, but it must be something to earn 3 call-ups in a season and from good franchises.

    Garrett Temple was called-up by the Rockets and then the Kings. I liked him with the Rockets, he's a really good, energetic, defender. Maybe the Pacers could wait to see if he becomes available, he's a good prospect.

    The Wizards called up the Toros primary scorer and D-League All-Star and Dunk Contest winner Alonzo Gee, an extremely athletic 6'6'' foot wing who may be one of the few D-League top-scorers able to translate his game to the NBA. He's an average shooter with shaky ball-handling skills, but he's a terrific and very aggressive finisher, with excellent body control and physical ability, and a very smart and fundamentally sound cutter. I hope he gets some run in the NBA, I'd like to see him playing with a good PG. With the Toros he was basically excused from defending, but he shows flashes of excellence in terms of lateral quickness. When the Wizards waive Gee, he's another guy Indiana could look at.

    Finally Chris Richard is with the Bulls. Good 5th big to absorb some minutes. Wide body that cleans the glass and plays strong post defence.

    From the guys still waiting for a call-up, I see the aforementioned Aminu, Mustafa Shakur (PG for Tulsa) and Trey Johnson (G for Bakersfield) as the best picks in terms of potential.

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  26. #17

    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    With the D-League playoffs starting today and the Pacers poised to make their first D-League call-up ever, I figured this would be a good day to update this thread.

    1. The 2010 D-League playoffs tip-off tonight with the #7 seed Utah Flash hosting the #1 seed Iowa Energy. The first team to win 2 games advances to the 2nd round. There's a very particular and, AFAIK, exclusive feature in the D-League playoffs - the top seeds can choose their opponents. That's why the #1 seed will play the #7 seed and not the #8: Iowa preferred to play Utah even though they have a better winning record than Tulsa (afraid of Tulsa being reinforced by assignees from the Thunder for the playoffs, perhaps?). I'll write about the playoffs more later, but in case you're interest in watching the game, go here.

    2. Fact: by virtually every metric, this has been the most successful D-League season ever. I've lost count of the number of call-ups, but I think they'll be around the 36 mark by the end of this season, a number that shatters all previous records. There are now more than 80 players with D-League experience in NBA rosters.

    As Aaron Philips notes in Dime Mag, the D-League is better than ever:

    In addition to the national broadcast deal they signed with sports cable network VERSUS to air games during the season (including six games during the D-League Playoffs), NBA Futurecast also provides fans with the opportunity to watch every D-League game live online and for free. And for fans in markets with a team, people came out in record numbers, finishing the regular season by exceeding one million (1,043,261) in total attendance for the first time in league history. (I should also note that my Maine Red Claws played to 100 percent capacity during their inaugural season. That’s how we do.)

    Perhaps this speaks more to the explosion of social media than the popularity of the league, but the D-League Twitter account also exploded this season, currently featuring 146,613 followers after starting the season with 8,000.
    Now, in my opinion the overall talent in the D-League this season isn't (or wasn't if you don't factor call-ups as D-Leaguers) that impressive. The biggest reason for this success is that NBA teams are getting smarter in terms of using the D-League. Teams like the Rockets, the Spurs and the Thunder are showing the way. NBA Fanhouse's Matt Moore explains it pretty well:

    I could have headlined this sucker the way most posts about the Spurs‘ latest move have been: “Spurs Sign Curtis Jerrells, Assigned to Toros.” But that belies the bigger piece of this puzzle.

    One of the primary issues with the NBA D-League is that if you invest in a D-League team, as the Spurs (who own and operate the Toros) do, you risk investing in a player’s development that may end up benefiting a rival. Unless a player is on assignment with a D-League team, he can be signed by any team in the NBA. So, you spend all this time working with a guy to develop a post game, he starts to put it together, starts rocking people, you’re ready to call him up, and … the Clippers swoop in and sign him
    . Even if they only pick him up for a 10-day contract, it messes with his mindset in terms of the long-run and disrupts a team’s plans.

    This is one of the central reasons teams often don’t invest in the D-League. Why put resources into something which you can’t control, and which may end up helping out your competition? It’s a major quandary and one I’d bet will get considerable attention during the brief D-League talks as a part of the CBA negotiations next year.

    In the meantime, the Spurs are working around the problem.
    As Moore notes, there's still a problem - teams like the Spurs are just working around it . But the solution the Spurs and the Thunder of the world found is far from perfect and can't work all the time, so how do you solve this issue or at least minimize its impact? Utah Jazz beat writer for the Salt Lake City Tribune, Ross Siller, outlays some ideas being currently discussed, suggesting that pretty soon we can reach a new paradigm in terms of NBA teams/D-League relationship. This is an excellent article, very worth reading. Money quotes:
    After one of Rio Grande’s recent games, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sent congratulatory text messages to the team’s coaching staff afterward. What they didn’t know (at first) was that Morey was on a scouting trip to Europe and had been watching the game online half a world away in Spain.

    It goes to show the level of investment and involvement that an increasing number of NBA teams are making in the D-League. Among the Jazz’s Western Conference counterparts, Houston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and the Lakers all either own and operate a team or have a single affiliation with one in which they run the basketball operations.

    (...)

    There are various estimates of what it costs ($100,000 to $400,000) for an NBA team to run basketball operations for a D-League team, which includes hiring and paying a coaching staff among other things. Just looking at the Rockets’ transactions for the season, though, you see how they find value from the relationship with Rio Grande.

    (...)

    “I think it’s absolutely terrific,” Jones said. “From afar, I’ve admired it and I spent some time with their assistant coach [Tuesday night] before the game and they are just raving about the connection between having the basketball people with the Rockets being a part of the D-League. They have resources for basketball as far as they have all their scouts help.”

    What contributes to the Jazz’s reservations are both the cost of the investment as well as the difficulty in protecting players with a D-League affiliate as the relationship is currently structured. In recent days, San Antonio signed Alonzo Gee and Oklahoma City signed Mustafa Shakur just to keep other teams away from them.

    (...)

    One possibility is of a D-League team’s affiliate having the right of first refusal when another team wants to call up one of its players. The Jazz could have called up Shakur, for example, but only if the Thunder passed on matching the call-up themselves.

    There’s also talk about allowing D-League teams to protect the rights of two or three players who took part in either summer league or went to training camp with one of their NBA affiliates. If he hadn’t made the Jazz’s roster, Wesley Matthews could have been steered to the Flash that way.

    Among the other things you hear are about creating a new class of D-League players. Maybe NBA teams only would be allowed to carry a maximum of 14 players on their rosters, but they would be allowed to control the rights to two players with their affiliate in the D-League.

    (Instead of paying that 15th player the NBA minimum of at least $450,000, the two D-League/NBA players might make $120,000 combined. So there would be some cost saving benefit on one hand as well as investment in the D-League on the other.)


    (...)

    Just something worth watching in the coming months and years. Would you feel pressure as the Jazz to keep up with something in which the Rockets, Thunder, Spurs and Lakers already have taken a lead?
    I particularly like the idea of giving the team’s affiliate having the right of first refusal when another NBA team wants to call up one of its players. It works well enough to protect those who are investing in the D-League as a way to develop talent and won't rise significant opposition from the NBA players' union.

    In any case, props for teams like the Spurs, the Rockets, the Thunder and the Warriors for their smart use of the D-League. Even in less obvious ways: for example, the Spurs have 4 former D-Leaguers signed to the remainder of the season + signed to non-guaranteed contracts for the next season. This can be a very useful trade asset - the Spurs will have a $4M trade exception in July, meaning they can do a great delayed draft day trade or moratorium trade with a team looking for more cap space. If not, they have 4 talented young players with upside under contract and learning their system, working with their coaches on whatever they feel they need to work - one of them even started for them yesterday and played pretty well.

    Anyway, Marc Stein sums up pretty well this issue in this article:
    http://espn.go.com/nba/dailydime/_/p...ng-moves-ahead


    Interesting trend we're seeing with players called up from D-League, most notably in San Antonio.

    Seven recently promoted D-Leaguers -- six of them in the West -- quietly received non-guaranteed contracts for next season when they were signed for the rest of this season by their new NBA employers.

    Curtis Jerrells, Garrett Temple and Alonzo Gee have secured contracts worth $762,195 next season with the Spurs if they can make San Antonio's roster in training camp.

    Ditto for Sundiata Gaines and Othyus Jeffers in Utah and Reggie Williams in Golden State.

    The lone Eastern Conference callup who falls into this category is Chicago's Chris Richard, who has a non-guaranteed deal with the Bulls worth $854,389 next season if Richard can snag a roster spot.

    In most cases, players will collect between $10,000 to $100,000 in guaranteed money in such deals even if they don't make next season's team. Teams, in exchange, get a whole summer and training camp to take an extended look at the prospect, while also creating a small expiring contract that can function as a minor trade asset.


    The lure of NBA money next season, in Gee's case, convinced him to return to San Antonio -- having spent much of the season with the Spurs' D-League affiliate in Austin -- after completing two 10-day contracts with the Wizards, who wanted to keep Gee for the rest of the season but weren't prepared to extend the contract any further.

    And it's a trend, from a wider perspective, that obviously increases the credibility of the D-League.
    True. And since Stein wrote this, a few more guys got contracts for the next season and some more call-ups happened.
    Last edited by cordobes; 04-07-2010 at 09:19 PM.

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  28. #18

    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    3.Btw, the Gatorade call-ups.

    To be clear, none of this growth in terms of public buzz and recognition would be possible if some D-League players weren't at least serviceable in terms of talent or meeting - and sometimes exceeding expectations - when called-up. If they were bums, teams would quickly lost interest in the D-League - and, in fact, they're having more and more.

    Many of the guys previously mentioned in this thread as potential call-ups do now have contracts with NBA teams.

    The very athletic but even greener Alade Aminu who was suggested for the Pacers was acquired by the Miami Heat. Aminu has plenty of upside due to his tremendous athleticism but he'll probably spend next season with the D-League - although this time around with a NBA contract, I think. The Heat also called Kenny Hasbrouck, a shooting guard in a point-guard body who can shoot and little else. If he improves his ball-handling and defense he can become a decent backup combo guard, but it's not going to be easy.

    I elected Mustafa Shakur as one of my favourites in terms of potential and apparently the Thunder agreed. Shakur needs to improve in a lot of stuff - distribution, shooting, playing the pick'n'roll better - but his quickness/explosiveness getting to the rim and his very competent defence make him a very enticing prospect. He was horrible one year ago in a brief spell with Stanko Barac's team in Spain, wasn't even good enough to be their 3rd string PG, so I'm surprised by how much better he's looking now. His ball-handling and body-control improved spectacularly, seems a completely different player dribbling in traffic and elevating to the rim.

    The Spurs stole the very athletic Gee from the Wizardz, much to the despair of Washington Post's Michael Lee:

    Alonzo Gee's departure to the San Antonio Spurs was a bit surprising to me, because I was actually considering writing a profile on him yesterday under the assumption that he would stick around for the rest of the year. After Gee scored 19 points against Charlotte on Friday, Coach Flip Saunders all but assured that the Wizards were going to keep him.

    But the Wizards weren't counting on other suitors entering the picture, or that the Spurs would put them in a position where retaining Gee this season would also require investing in him next season.
    Gee proved he's a good player to isolate versus your average NBA backup swingman and can be a good rebounder for his position at every level; now he needs to keep adding to his game.

    Besides Gee, the Spurs signed two guards: Toros' PG Curtis Jerrells, a 1-guard who can make shots and create for others but is a pedestrian game manager and a big defensive liability. A quick drive-and-kick'out guard; and the already mentioned Garrett Temple, who had an excellent game starting for them yesterday, dropping an efficient 15 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds in 26 minutes and playing excellent defence on fellow rookie Tyreke Evans. As I've said before, if Temple has a future in the league is as a defensive specialist. Not a new Bruce Bowen but probably a new Keith Bogans.

    The triumvirate of Warriors - Tolliver, Williams and Hunter - keeps doing their thing. Williams has been (deservedly) earning a good reputation around NBA fans and received high praise from his coach recently - Don Nelson called him a special talent. His fluidness is certainly impressive.

    The Knicks added a guy who's been around for a while, 7 footer Earl Barron. In his second game he dropped 17 points and 18 rebounds (!) in a team that shall not be named. Barron is hustling big man who can shoot the mid-range jumper with the best of them, especially from both elbows and the baseline. No 3 pt range, but a useful weapon for the pick'n'pop, as his screens are pretty decent. Not the most athletic guy around, he's a slightly below average rebounder who struggles to read the flight of the basketball and to react and fly for it; his hustle compensates partially for that. Slowfooted and kind of soft, he's an atrocious defender. If he improves just a bit there (not likely, as he's already 28 years old), he can be a poor man's Kurt Thomas. Right now he's comparable to Primoz Brezec or something.

    Guys like Cedric Jakcson and Cartier Martin have been bouncing around and are now signed to the Wizards. Ah, after 394543 unsuccessful workouts, Dwayne Jones is finally back in the NBA - dealing with the Robin Lopez' lower back injury, the Suns signed him to the remainder of the season. Jones is a good defensive rebounder and an excellent offensive rebounder who will get you some boards. He crashes the opponent glass very well, doesn't box out on his own goal as well but will go after every rebounding opportunity. Besides that, he can rebound the ball. He's also very tall and runs the floor fast, which is better than being small and slow.

    Another player mentioned, Alexander Johnson, was on his way to the Bucks but will be working out with the Rockets and will probably sign with them later this week. Looking forward to see him on a NBA court.

    Finally, pwee31 should be happy to know that Brian Butch is on the verge of being called by the Denver Nuggets, per Marc Stein. I don't think Butch is ready to be on a NBA floor, as his positives (the shooting) don't outweigh the negatives (especially the extreme ones, like transition and pick'n'roll defence), but he's no worse than Petro and it should be a good learning experience for the future. Butch essentially needs to work on his lower body pretty hard during the Summer.

    Have to run now; I'm going to watch the Iowa @ Utah game and will write more during it - a playoffs prediction, a write-up about the NBA players assigned to the D-League, with a focus on Thabeet, the Pacers new recruit Marcus Williams and why I believe there are two D-Leaguers who could/should hear their names in the upcoming draft.

    4. Playoffs.

    The game is now on. Even though Iowa is the #1 seed, I have the Utah winning this. Call-ups destroyed the Iowa team - they lost Cartier Martin, Othyus Jeffers and Earl Barron to the NBA. Also, Courtney Sims to the Puerto Rican league. Who's left? A veteran D-League PG who never found a job in Europe because he can't shoot - Curtis Stinson, a couple of shooters in Pat Carroll and Trepagnier, a couple of power 3s in Tyndale and Marvin Phillips (good player) and a single "big", Connor Atchley who's basically a homeless man's Troy Murphy. Not sure how Iowa will play now; they were pretty good in the games I watched (Nick Nurse is an excellent coach) but with this roster they'll be a very flawed team.

    Utah had less quality during the season but they have been more stable. Krueger and Ingram are good shooters, former NBA 1st round pick Orien Greene is a potent perimeter defender who can handle the ball a bit, Smith and Nevill are a decent big man combo and they have the best bench players by far in former Celtics Gabe Pruitt and Brian Hamilton.

    So far the Energy are holding the fort, running and gunning, but the Flash will eventually starting pounding the ball inside and win the game. I predict Iowa wins this series and probably in two games. Wow, what a block by Pruitt.

  29. #19
    Member Kuq_e_Zi91's Avatar
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    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    cordobes, I'm interested in your opinion on Andre Ingram. I've tracked his career since his days at American U, where he joined the 2,000 point club. What's your take on his game?

    Also, are you familiar with Garrison Carr? He's a little known, 5'9 shooting guard who nearly led #15 AU to an upset over #2 Tennessee in last years NCAA tourney. I think I recall he got drafted in the D-League last season, but I'm not sure what happened to him after that - if he's still in the league or if he went overseas somewhere. I figured since you're the D-League scout around here, I'd ask if you knew.

    Thanks in advance.

  30. #20

    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuq_e_Zi91 View Post
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    cordobes, I'm interested in your opinion on Andre Ingram. I've tracked his career since his days at American U, where he joined the 2,000 point club. What's your take on his game?
    He's a light-outs shooter. He played in the game yesterday, had a quiet night but scored 10 points and dished 4 assists. I've been watching him for awhile as well because when I started following the D-League I'd watch Utah Flash games exclusively and he's already in his 3rd season with them. He's also a solid defender when he isn't asked to guard much bigger players. Quick arms, good stance, honest effort. But he's, what, 6-2 maybe, so I don't think he can guard his natural position at the next level.

    Ingram is one of those players that is probably wasting time in the D-League, or at least with the Utah Flash, unless he doesn't plan to play at a higher level. NBA or top European teams don't sign one-dimensional undersized shooting-guards. I think he should develop his combo-guard skills, make some sort attempt to transition to the PG position. I always thought he was very heady with the ball and a willing passer. But he doesn't have the advanced dribble moves he'd need, nor the natural athletic traits. Problem is, Utah is the deepest team at the PG by far: they have four guys with NBA experience - Orien Greene, Kevin Kruger, Gabe Pruitt and the now injured Dontell Jefferson (who is so ball-dominant that could count as 4 PGs by himself). Plus, in the previous years there have been a boatload of guards assigned to the Flash - Pruitt, Walker, Mo Almond, Giddens, all guys that demanded the ball a lot. So, this means Ingram is reduced to play the roll of off-the-ball guard/designated bomber, which may be the ideal for his current ability - but the goal of the D-League is to develop players.

    I think Ingram should consider moving for another team or, ideally, to an overseas league. He probably has some connections to the Jazz, as they have him in training camps and SL teams and have kept him around in the Flash. But he's been there for 3 years and if they're not going to call him up, what's the point? A player with his shooting prowess and ability to defend should find a contract in a decent league; if I were him, I'd opt for a smaller league/team where I could play a more important role as a lead guard, constructing points. Develop and showcase your skills there and start building a reputation as a player with multiple talents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuq_e_Zi91 View Post
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    Also, are you familiar with Garrison Carr? He's a little known, 5'9 shooting guard who nearly led #15 AU to an upset over #2 Tennessee in last years NCAA tourney. I think I recall he got drafted in the D-League last season, but I'm not sure what happened to him after that - if he's still in the league or if he went overseas somewhere. I figured since you're the D-League scout around here, I'd ask if you knew.
    Hah, I'm just a fan, one of the seven. I don't know Carr, he was released by the team that drafted him in the D-League draft. I'm fairly sure he isn't playing in Europe.

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  32. #21

    Default Re: The '09/10 D-League thread - version 2.0

    As expected, the #7 seed Flash destroyed the undermanned Iowa Energy in the opening game of the 2010 playoffs. It seems that the best regular season team won't even sniff a win in the playoffs . The call-ups are really going to impact this post-season. Worthy of note: Curtis Stinson is the only above average player the Energy have - he made tons of plays on both ends of the floor but the Energy game plan was simply to let him create for shooters... and the shooters didn't hit anything. The Flash big man didn't take advantage of favourable matchups (they had a great advantage in terms of size, but the skilled ones are soft, the scrappy ones are unskilled) but their guards took care of the issue. Gabe Pruitt was very impressive - seemed a lot more confident than in the past. Someone to follow.

    Taylor Griffin was horrible. Can't find a single reason why he was drafted. There was a play so surreal I can't even describe properly, he short-cut a Stinson drive into the lane coming out of nowhere like he was a defender and than started running in front of him... it was very awkward. Easily the worst NBA assignee I've ever seen. 0 points, 2 rebounds, 4 fouls - not the kind of production you expect from the only guy with a NBA contract on the floor.

    27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" id="ep">

    -----------------------

    Today it was played the #4 Sioux Falls Skyforce at #8 Tulsa 66ers. The 66ers dominated mostly because OKC Thunder assignees are miles better than Taylor Griffin, at least going by the boxscore.

    http://www.nba.com/dleague/games/box...eId=2040900131

    Alexander Johnson didn't play, so that made the Skyforce missing basically an impossible one. Kyle Weaver, DJ White, Mustafa Shakur, BJ Mullens, Moses Ehambe, Devon Hardin... this Tulsa team is loaded. They'll take this series even if Alexander Johnson returns, I think.

    -------

    8 p.m ET (live on NBA Futurecast) starts the #3 Austin Toros @ #6 Dakota Wizards. Good opportunity to check the ex-future Pacers Marcus Williams, assuming he's playing. The Spurs assigned Gee to the Toros, which is good for them as they are already missing Dwayne Jones. With Williams+Gee+Jerrells the Toros can actually win this and may even be the favourites. However the Wizards have an interesting mix of defensive stalwarts (Marcus Dove, Darren Cooper), experienced veterans (Maurice Baker, Renaldo Major, David Bell) and an explosive scorer off the bench in Lester Hudson. This is probably going to be the most interesting 1st round series.

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