2013-2014 NBA D-League Preview

The 2013-2014 NBA Development League season tipped off a few days ago and is poised to be the best, and most competitive, one yet. There is a great mix of young and veteran talent along with some very strong coaching staffs.

Here is a look at all 17 teams and a quick breakdown of their opening day rosters:

Austin Toros

Affiliate: San Antonio Spurs

Head Coach: Ken McDonald

Roster

 Player

 Position

 Height

 Weight

 Cameron Bennerman

 G

 6’4

 205

 Jazwyn Cowan

 F

 6’8

 235

 Eric Dawson

 F

 6’9

 250

 Courtney Fells

 G

 6’5

 205

 Josh Howard

 F

 6’7

 210

 Kyle Hunt 

 F

 6’8

 230

 Myck Kabongo 

 G

 6’3

 180

 Tre Kelley 

 G

 6’0

 188

 Ronald Murray

 G

 6’3

 200

 Jonathan Simmons

 G

 6’6

 195

 Terrance Woodbury

 G/F

 6’7

 223

 

Outlook

Two years removed from being D-League champions, the Toros have a nice mix of veterans, including ex-NBA players, and young, intriguing talent. Former first round pick and 10-year NBA vet Josh Howard is looking to extend his career a bit longer by working his way through the D-League. He is joined by Ronald “Flip” Murray, a streaky shooting guard who also spent part of 10 seasons in the NBA. Eric Dawson is a vet to the Toros’ squad, averaging a double-double last season. Dawson’s ability to use his body in the low post gives the Toros a solid post presence. Point guard Tre Kelly also returns from last year’s team and gives the Toros a good scorer and distributor at that position.  Terrance Woodbury made his mark for the Toros last season with his outstanding athleticism and ability to score in a variety of ways.  Courtney Fells is another good scorer on the wing and can guard multiple positions. First round draft pick Kyle Hunt is strong and athletic for his size, and will give the Toros another good post player behind Dawson. Jonathan Simmons and Cameron Bennerman add some depth to the 2 spot. The intriguing thing to watch will be the development of Myck Kabongo, a highly-touted high school player who left college way too soon. Kabongo attended the same high school and college as Spurs, and former Toros, point guard Cory Joseph, so there may be some hope that the Toros’ staff can help him improve his game.

 

Bakersfield Jam

Affiliates: Utah Jazz, Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks

Head Coach: Will Voigt

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Billy Baptist

F

6’5

185

Brian Butch

C

6’11

240

Markeith Cummings

G

6’6

240

Jared Cunningham*

G

6’4

194

Jordan Demercy

F

6’7

215

Brandon Fortenberry

G

6’3

185

Aaron Johnson

G

5’8

175

Mac Koshwal

C

6’10

240

James Nunnally

F

6’7

205

Dmitry Pirshin

F

6’7

242

Akeem Scott

G

6’1

180

Carlos Strong

G

6’4

215

Doug Thomas

F

6’9

245

*Assigned by Atlanta Hawks

Outlook

The Jam return a couple of pieces that led them to 36 wins and 1st place in the Western Conference last season. Brian Butch is one of the best post players in the D-League, and possibly the toughest. Butch gives the team a strong body around the basket, but Butch can also step out and hit the 3 (72 made last season.)  James Nunnally has impressed during the past two NBA Summer Leagues and gives the Jam a versatile scorer and defender. Joining the team this year is Billy Baptist, a quick guard who thrives in the open floor, and center Mac Koshwal, the former DePaul center, who is a good defensive presence in the post.  The Jam also did a great job in this past draft. Point guard Aaron Johnson is a former Conference USA Player of the Year at UAB and a strong distributor. Markeith Cummings and Carlos Strong are both strong scorers on the wing, and Doug Thomas is a true power forward who can defend and rebound well. The Jam have already been assigned former 1st round pick Jared Cunningham by the Atlanta Hawks and during his stay should provide high-level scoring and perimeter defense.   

 

Canton Charge

Affiliates: Cleveland Cavaliers

Head Coach: Steve Hetzel

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Antoine Agudio

G

6’3

185

Rashad Anderson

G

6’5

225

Tyrell Biggs

F

6’8

240

Gilbert Brown

F

6’6

215

Shane Edwards

F

6’7

220

Jorge Gutierrez

G

6’3

195

Robert Hite

G

6’2

184

Zane Johnson

G

6’6

210

Kevin Jones

F

6’8

260

Michael Lee

F

6’9

215

Remon Nelson

G

5’9

175

Bo Spencer

G

6’1

190

 

Outlook

The Charge, who finished atop the Eastern Conference last season, have a strong and versatile team with many names you may remember from their college years. Former West Virginia standout Kevin Jones spent last year bouncing back and for the between the Charge and the Cavaliers, and is still a skilled scorer and rebounder. Michael Lee adds another long-bodied forward who can score efficiently around the basket and rebound well on both ends. Point guard Jorge Gutierrez is back for another year with the charge and the former Cal playmaker is a heady scorer, distributor and perimeter defender. Shane Edwards is an athletic wing who likes to attack the basket and can be a spectacular finisher. Veteran D-League guard Antoine Agudio has been one of the league’s best scorers over the past few years and great long-range threat as well as penetrator.  1st round draft picks Bo Spencer and Gilbert Brown provide added depth and veteran UConn shooting guard Rashad Anderson is capable scorer and good rebounder for his position.  

Delaware 87ers

Affiliates: Philadelphia 76ers

Head Coach: Rod Baker

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Thanasis Antetokounmpo

F

6’7

215

Aquille Carr

G

5’6

148

JR Inman

F

6’9

215

Reggie Johnson

C

6’10

290

Darin Mency

G

6’2

205

Norvel Pelle

F

6’10

207

Dustin Salisbery

G

6’5

205

Damian Saunders

F

6’8

214

Mfon Udofia

G

6’2

194

Steve Weingarten

F

6’8

215

Stefan Welsh

G

6’4

188

Rodney Williams

F

6’7

200

 

Outlook

The former Utah Flash has been reborn as the Delaware 87ers and are back to play after a 2-year hiatus after the move.  The 87ers may have the most intriguing roster in the D-League with plenty of long-term projects. 1st round draft pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the older brother of Milwaukee Bucks 1st round pick Giannis, is a long and athletic wing  who has experience playing in Greece and can be an NBA player with some more polished skills added to his raw ability. Former Miami (FL) center Reggie Johnson has always been a skilled post man, but conditioning has prevented him from being as good as he can be, and he will need time to adjust to the pro game. YouTube sensation Aquille Carr is a flashy point guard who can score and pass, but needs to develop a better understanding of the game. Mfon Udofia was a good college guard at Georgia Tech and should bring some strong defense to the 87ers perimeter. D-League veteran Damian Saunders is a strong scorer in the lane area and has a great ability to get to rebounds quickly on both ends of the floor. Norvel Pelle was once a top high school recruit who was not academically eligible at two different schools. Long and wiry, Pelle is more athletic than skilled, but still has the tools to be a high-level prospect. Forward Steve Weingarten and guard Dustin Salisbery, both products of Philadelphia-area colleges, are both strong scorers around the basket and strong rebounders.  Former Minnesota forward Rodney Williams is a high-level athlete who can defend, rebound, and score in a variety of ways. Expect Williams to be an NBA call-up sooner rather than later.

 

Erie Bayhawks

Affiliates: New York Knicks

Head Coach: Gene Cross

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

CJ Aiken

F

6’9

200

Justin Brownlee

F

6’7

230

Nick Covington

G

6’2

200

Ricky Davis

G/F

6’7

205

Terrence Jennings

F

6’10

230

Andre Jones

G

6’2

195

CJ Leslie

F

6’9

209

Andrae Nelson

F

6’7

235

Mustafa Shakur

G

6’3

190

Chris Smith*

G

6’2

195

Scott Suggs

G

6’6

195

Jeremy Tyler

C

6’10

260

Darren White

G

6’4

210

 

Outlook

The Bayhawks have put together an interesting roster with a good dose of young talent and potential NBA players. The team is led by D-League veteran Mustafa Shakur, the former Arizona standout, who is one of the top point guards in the league. A strong scorer and distributor, Shakur can still be a bit wild at times, but he plays hard every game. Long-time NBA player Ricky Davis has always been a scorer, though never very efficient. He gives the Bayhawks a player who won’t back down from any defender and someone who will thrive on looking to take over games. Center Jeremy Tyler is still recovering from a foot injury or he may have been on the Knicks’ roster right now. Tyler is still only 22 years old and has shown progress as a player over the past year. Former NC State star CJ Leslie has always wowed with his athletic ability, but he still has a long way to go skill wise and on defense. Scott Suggs gives the Bayhawks a solid 3-point threat and a versatile defender. Terrence Jennings is a former 5-star high school player who never lived up to his billing  in three seasons at Louisville. Still, he is big and athletic and should find some opportunity to show his ability in Erie if he works.  Guard Nick Covington played well for Erie last season though he still needs to work on becoming a more consistent shooter. Former St. John’s forward Justin Brownlee was a good role player for Maine last season and will add some much-needed toughness to the Erie frontcourt. CJ Aiken is tall, athletic forward who can protect the rim and score around the basket or in the mid-range area, though his desire to play away from the basket hurt his team in college.  Chris Smith is on assignment from the Knicks and should see himself in Erie for most of the year. Smith is a good defender who is capable of playing either guard spot.

 

Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Affiliates: Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic

Head Coach: Conner Henry

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Olek Czyz

F

6’8

240

Will Frisby

F

6’8

235

Anthony Harris

G

6’2

190

Ramon Harris

F

6’7

220

Terrance Henry

F

6’9

210

Ron Howard

G

6’5

185

Chris Hunter

F/C

6’11

250

Trey McKinney Jones

G

6’6

220

Chris Porter

F

6’7

214

Titus Robinson

F

6’7

205

Sadiel Rojas

G

6’4

190

Terrance Thomas

F

6’6

230

 

Outlook

The affiliate for 6 NBA teams, the Mad Ants are coming off 27 wins and playoff appearance last year. Point guard Ron Howard is entering his 7th year with the Mad Ants and is one of the best all-around guards in the league. Howard can score, pass, defend, and is a true leader for this Fort Wayne franchise. Former Auburn All-American Chris Porter has bounced around over the past decade, but was a solid role-player for the Mad Ants last year and should be taking on a bigger role this year, especially on the offensive end. Forward Terrance Thomas has played for a few different D-League franchises and is a versatile defender and good rebounder. Center Chris Hunter is a strong post presence on both ends of the floor and is capable of a double-double every game.  Forward Ramon Harris is a strong athlete who can run the floor and like to try and get to the rim.  Anthony Harris was a part-time starter for the Mad Ants at the point last year and is a good distributor and perimeter defender. Sadiel Rojas also was a good role player in the Fort Wayne backcourt last season and provides some depth.  Olek Czyz is a skilled power forward who is strong around the basket and a top-level rebounder. Former Ole Miss forward Terrance Henry is will give the Mad Ants a strong defender and shot-blocker who can also score consistently out to 15 feet. Trey McKinney Jones is a big guard who can knock down perimeter shots consistently and uses his length and athletic ability to disrupt passing lanes.

 

Idaho Stampede

Affiliates: Portland Trail Blazers

Head Coach: Mike Peck

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Dee Bost

G

6’2

176

Jason Ellis

F

6’7

200

Reggie Hamilton

G

5’11

180

Reggie Hearn

G

6’4

210

Antoine Hood

G

6’4

200

Richard Howell

F

6’8

250

Pierre Jackson

G

5’11

176

Dallas Lauderdale

F

6’8

260

EJ Singler

F

6’6

215

Kellen Thornton

F

6’7

242

 

Outlook

The Stampede have brought in some new additions which should bolster the team, at least in the short term. First round pick Pierre Jackson, a 2nd round pick of the New Orleans Hornets, should be among the top scorers in the league with his ability to get to the rim or hit the 3, and he is also a capable distributor. Former Mississippi State point guard Dee Bost is also a strong scorer and passer, though not as quick as Jackson, but more versatile on the defensive end.  Power forward Richard Howell is a good post scorer and is capable of facing up and knocking down short jumpers. Howell will also be a big boost on defense with his big body and rebounding ability. EJ Singler is a versatile forward who is good at finding holes in the defense for his shot and playing tough defense. Dallas Lauderdale is another big body in the middle who can rebound and block shots and should have more opportunity on the offensive side than he did at Ohio State. Guards Reggie Hearn and Antoine Hood are both good perimeter threats, and forward Jason Ellis is Stampede veteran who isn’t afraid to mix it up with bigger players. Reggie Hamilton is a former NCAA scoring champion who finds shots almost anywhere on the floor and can provide a spark off the bench.

 

Iowa Energy

Affiliates: Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Washington Wizards

Head Coach: Nate Bjorkgren

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Chris Allen

G

6’3

205

Reggie Buckner

F

6’9

235

Patrick Christopher

G

6’5

209

Moses Ehambe

F

6’6

215

Augustus Gilchrist

F

6’10

240

Esian Henderson

F

6’9

210

Othyus Jeffers

G

6’5

200

Kalin Lucas

G

6’1

195

Ben Strong

C

6’11

220

Jarvis Varnado

F

6’9

230

Eric Wise

F

6’6

240

 

Outlook

The Energy have assembled a veteran roster that is among the biggest in the league. Guard Othyus Jeffers is a veteran D-Leaguer who has also had a few small stints at the NBA level. Jeffers uses his strong body well to attack the basket and is tremendous rebounder for his size.  Wing Moses Ehambe also returns to the energy and gives them one of the top 3-point shooters in the league and a versatile defender.  Former Cal guard Patrick Christopher is a good scorer who played high-level European basketball the past few years. Center Jarvis Varnado has had a few NBA stints, most recently as a member of the NBA Champion Miami Heat. One of the NCAA’s all-time great shot blockers, Varnado is tough defender, but also an improving scorer around the basket. Point guard Kalin Lucas has always been a smart leader and a strong passer, but he is also a solid perimeter defender. Chris Allen, who played at Michigan State and Iowa State in college, is a good perimeter threat. Augustus Gilchrist was a good rebounder and post threat in limited minutes for the Energy last season and should build on that this season.  Former Ole Miss forward Reggie Buckner was a 1st Round pick in this past D-League Draft and should help out on defense and on the offensive boards. Forwards Esian Henderson and Eric Wise, as well as center Ben Strong, provide nice depth in the frontcourt.

 

Los Angeles D-Fenders

Affiliates: Los Angeles Lakers

Head Coach: Robert MacKinnon

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Matt Bouldin

G

6’5

215

Brandon Costner

C

6’9

235

Gideon Gamble

F

6’7

194

Travis Hyman

F/C

7’0

210

Andre Ingram

G

6’3

195

Josh Magette

G

6’1

160

Jamario Moon

F

6’8

205

Kyisean Reed

F

6’6

215

Kareem Rush

G

6’6

200

Malcolm Thomas

F

6’9

215

Josiah Turner

G

6’3

192

CJ Williams

G

6’5

224

 

Outlook

The D-Fenders have a nice mix of ex-NBA players and new talent to help try and build off of sub-.500 record from last year. Malcolm Thomas has been a player who has been a dominant rebounder in the D-League and during NBA Summer League, but hasn’t had a chance to show anything during a few small NBA stints. Thomas continues to improve on the offensive end and will likely get another shot at the NBA soon. Former NBA guard Kareem Rush is looking for a path back to the League and will give the D-Fenders a strong perimeter threat. Forward Jamario Moon has been an NBA starter, but also very well-traveled, and uses his athleticism well to play defense and rebound. Former Gonzaga star Matt Bouldin is a strong perimeter scorer and passer. Point guard Josiah Turner has had his share of troubles since being asked to leave Arizona, but he is still a dynamic presence who just needs time to learn the game. The D-Fenders 2nd Round draft pick Josh Magette is a smart point guard who will punish teams who leave him open on the perimeter.  The D-Fenders will also likely see more of Lakers’ rookies Ryan Kelly and Elias Harris as they look to get consistent playing time.

 

Maine Red Claws

Affiliate: Boston Celtics

Head Coach: Mike Taylor

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Corey Allmond

G

6’2

180

Marcel Anderson

G

6’0

175

Chris Babb

G

6’5

225

Damen Bell-Holter

F

6’9

245

Abdul Gaddy

G

6’3

195

Frank Gaines

G

6’3

195

Romero Osby

F

6’8

232

Jermaine Taylor

G

6’5

205

Kam Taylor

G

6’2

175

Ty Walker

C

6’11

230

Chris Wright

F

6’8

225

 

Outlook

The Red Claws made the playoffs last season in their 4th year as a D-League franchise and should be a strong team again this season, though undersized.  Chris Wright has been one of the D-League’s best players over the past few seasons and has NBA experience with the Golden State Warriors. An athletic scorer and defender, Wright has also developed into a legitimate perimeter threat. Forward Romero Osby was a 2nd round pick of the Orlando Magic in June before being a late cut. He is a smart and efficient forward who will bolster the Red Claws’ defense and rebounding.  Guard Jermaine Taylor is another NBA veteran who has lit up the D-League every year he has made an appearance and is very tough for teams to stop from getting to the basket. Point guard Abdul Gaddy is exactly the pass-first kind of leader players like Wright and Taylor need to thrive. Guard Frank Gaines was one of the top scorers in the NCAA the past few seasons and may be an underrated perimeter defender. Former Iowa State shooting guard Chris Babb was one of the NCAA’s top 3-point shooters and a lockdown defender on the perimeter. Damen Bell-Holter out of Oral Roberts is long, strong and athletic who goes out and does whatever his team needs from him. Center Ty Walker was once considered one of the best high school prospects in the country, but never lived up to that billing. Walker is a good rim protector and the Red Claw’s only real big man.

 

Reno Bighorns

Affiliate: Sacramento Kings

Head Coach: Joel Abelson

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Mo Charlo

F

6’7

210

Bryan Davis

F

6’9

250

Mohammed Fall

F

6’8

240

Kevin Foster

F

6’8

230

Brandon Heath

G

6’3

200

Ra’shad James

G

6’1

195

DeQuan Jones

F

6’8

221

Reginald Larry

F

6’6

225

Trent Lockett

G

6’5

210

Ray McCallum*

G

6’2

191

Mikki Moore

C

7’0

225

Tejuan Porter

G

5’7

155

KC Rivers

G

6’5

215

* Assigned by Sacramento Kings

Outlook

The Bighorns start their first season as Sacramento’s D-League affiliate with former Sioux Falls Head Coach Joel Abelson leading the way.  Sacramento 2nd round pick Ray McCallum has a big group ahead of him with the Kings, so he is in Reno and should be one of the better point guards in the league. McCallum is a strong scorer, especially driving to the rim, and a smart passer and defender. Former Arizona State/Marquette guard Trent Lockett is a strong perimeter scorer and defender, as well as a good rebounder for his position. Former Orlando Magic forward DeQuan Jones shines when he can show his athleticism, especially in transition. Center Mikki Moore is a veteran NBA back-up center looking for one last go-round and gives Reno a legit 7-footer in the middle. Tajuan Porter is a small, quick guard who loves to try and break down defense and is a pest on the defensive end. Bryan Davis is a strong power forward who is a good rebounder and post defender. Reno’s 2nd Round Draft pick, Kevin Foster, is an efficient scorer around the basket and a good rebounder on both ends of the floor.

 

Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Affiliate: San Antonio Spurs

Head Coach: Nevada Smith

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Tony Bishop

F

6’7

220

Mike Black

G

6’0

175

Isaiah Caanan*

G

6’0

188

Robert Covington*

F

6’8

209

Troy Daniels

G

6’4

200

Akeem Ellis

F

6’6

225

Jordan Henriquez

C

6’11

250

Dario Hunt

F

6’9

245

Chris Johnson

F

6’6

201

James Johnson

F

6’9

245

Dwayne Lathan

G

6’3

190

Kevin Parrom

G

6’6

215

Gary Talton

G

6’1

163

BJ Young

G

6’4

179

 

Outlook

The defending D-League Champions, Rio Grande Valley has an extremely deep and talented team this season and could be front-runners for another title.  Former NBA 1st round pick James Johnson is looking to work his way back up to the league after 4 below-average seasons. Johnson is capable of being a strong scorer and rebounder in the lane area and should make the Vipers tougher defensively. Forward Chris Johnson was a starter on the title team last year and his athleticism makes him a threat anywhere on the floor. Former VCU guard Troy Daniels is a top-level defender and a lethal 3-point threat. One of Rio Grande’s 1st round picks, Dario Hunt, is another strong body at the power forward position who can score efficiently around the basket and rebound well. Point guards Mike Black and Gary Talton are both very good defenders who know how to execute offenses well and punish teams that get lazy defensively. Guard Kevin Parrom was a veteran leader on last year’s Arizona team and he has developed into a tough defender and good perimeter shooter. Former Kansas State center Jordan Henriquez is still developing on the offensive end, but is a heady defender and capable rim protector. BJ Young had the makings of a future NBA pick if he had stuck it out at Arkansas more than 2 years, but is a good defender and thrives in transition. Houston assignees Isaiah Canaan and Robert Covington will get much-needed playing time with the Vipers. Canaan has developed into a good point guard who is capable of hitting big shots when needed. Covington is a versatile forward who can score, defend and rebound, though he needs to work on his perimeter game.

 

Santa Cruz Warriors

Affiliate: Golden State Warriors

Head Coach: Casey Hill

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Joe Alexander

F

6’8

220

Hilton Armstrong

C

6’11

235

Maurice Baker

G

6’1

195

William Buford

G

6’5

215

Seth Curry

G

6’1

180

Kiwi Gardner

G

5’7

155

Taylor Griffin

F

6’8

231

Cameron Jones

G

6’4

185

Kevin Kotzur

F

6’8

260

Daniel Nwaelele

G

6’4

205

Orion Outerbridge

F

6’9

220

Mychel Thompson

F

6’7

215

 

Outlook

The Warriors are coming off a Finals appearance in their first year in Santa Cruz after relocating from Dakota. Back to lead the way is last season’s Most Improved Player, Cameron Jones.  Jones is a good perimeter scorer and defender and uses his body well to get to the basket. Also back is former NBA center Hilton Armstrong, a strong rebounder and rim protector, as well as efficient scorer around the basket. Duke guard Seth Curry is a very good perimeter shooter who is developing into a good point guard prospect. Power forward Kevin Kotzur is a wide-bodied player who clears out space easily to rebound and score around the basket. Former Ohio State guard William Buford is an athletic scorer who defends the perimeter well. Daniel Nwaelele was productive off the bench last season and a solid all-around guard. Orion Outerbridge is long and athletic and should help on defense right away. Veteran D-Leaguer Mychel Thompson is a good wing scorer off the bench. Another veteran returnee Taylor Griffin is a smart player who can defend and rebound. Former Top 10 NBA pick Joe Alexander is with the Warriors hoping to get his career back on track. Kiwi Gardner still has a lot to learn about the game, but he can be exciting to watch on the floor.

 

Sioux Falls Skyforce

Affiliate: Miami Heat

Head Coach: Pat Delany

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Chris Ayer

C

6’10

250

AJ Davis

G

6’6

210

Quincy Douby

G

6’3

175

Larry Drew II

G

6’2

175

Ryan Evans

F

6’8

215

Justin Hamilton

C

7’0

255

Phil Jones

C

6’11

250

DeAndre Liggins

G

6’6

209

Anthony Mason Jr.

F

6’7

215

Jamine Peterson

F

6’6

225

Bill Walker

F

6’6

220

 

Outlook

This is the first season with the Skyforce acting as the D-League affiliate of the Miami Heat. The team is led by former NBA player Quincy Douby, a high-level scorer who doesn’t lack confidence. As of this writing, rumors are that Douby is looking to sign in China, where he played last year, but we’ll see.  Veteran D-League center Chris Ayer has always been a solid big body in the post and knows the league well. Anthony Mason Jr. has a very good year for the Skyforce last season, even showing an ability to consistently knock down threes. He has always been a tough defender and rebounder and can guard multiple positions.  Former Orlando and Oklahoma City guard DeAndre Liggins is trying to get back to the NBA and should provide good defense and passing to Sioux Falls. Forward Ryan Evans came on strong for Wisconsin last year and is another tough defender and rebounder who can score well inside the arc. Add forward Bill Walker to the list of former NBA players looking for another shot. Once a big time high school player, Walker has never come close to his early promise. Centers Justin Hamilton and Phil Jones are both strong post defenders and rebounder, and Hamilton is even capable of stepping out to the perimeter and knocking down shots. Point guard Larry Drew II shined at UCLA last season as a distributor and is improving as a perimeter shooter. Jamine Peterson has always been a strong talent who can score in bunches. In the right offense, he can flourish if he becomes a more consistent shooter.

 

Springfield Armor

Affiliate: Brooklyn Nets

Head Coach: Doug Overton

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

JamesOn Curry

G

6’4

200

Jeff Foote

C

7’0

265

Gary Forbes

F

6’7

220

Dennis Horner

F

6’9

230

Lance Hurdle

G

6’2

195

Justin Johnson

G

6’2

175

Bruce Massey

G

6’3

195

Quinn McDowell

G/F

6’5

205

Willie Reed

F

6’10

220

Adonis Thomas

F

6’6

232

 

Outlook

The Armor are led by a group of returning players who are looking to get back to Playoffs after missing out last season.  Jeff Foote is one of the best true post players in the league and is an efficient scorer and tough defender and rebounder. Willie Reed is long and athletic, a strong rim protector, and a skilled scorer.  Reed and Footer combined are tough to beat on both offensive and defensive boards. Guard JamesOn Curry is an athletic scorer who can find his shot anywhere on the floor, and he has also developed into a good facilitator on offense. Former NBA forward Gary Forbes is a strong undersized 4 who can rebound and defend multiple positions and find easy scores around the basket.  Rookie forward Adonis Thomas has a lot of potential but he needs to learn how to find good shots within an offense. Guard Lance Hurdle did a good job for the Armor last year as a part-time starter, but he needs to become a more consistent shooter. Forward Dennis Horner is another Armor vet who rebounds and defends well, but has seen his scoring drop over the past few seasons.  Rookie Bruce Massey is a very strong perimeter defender.

 

Texas Legends

Affiliate: Dallas Mavericks

Head Coach: Eduardo Najera

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Jeremy Atkinson

F

6’4

210

Chris Douglas-Roberts

G

6’7

200

Ramon Dyer

F

6’7

224

Devin Ebanks

F

6’9

215

Melvin Ely

C/F

6’10

245

Michael Eric

F

6’10

240

Terrel Harris

G

6’5

190

Mickey McConnell

G

6’0

190

Sean Singletary

G

6’0

185

Paul Sturgess

C

7’8

320

Booker Woodfox

G

6’1

185

Sammy Yeager

G

6’4

190

 

Outlook

The Legends are a very skilled team with great size and athleticism. NBA veteran Chris Douglas-Roberts is still a very good all-around guard who can light up the scoreboard when given the chance. Former Laker Devin Ebanks is long and athletic, but can score inside and out and is a good rebounder. Guard Terrel Harris has had a few NBA stints and is a strong perimeter shooter who can also will his way to the basket. Sean Singletary is back for his 2nd year at the point for the Legends and gives them a good perimeter defender who can get into the lane and score or dish.  Melvin Ely and Michael Eric give the Legends two big bodies in the middle who can defend the post well, block shots, and add some scoring.  Former St. Mary’s point guard Mickey McConnell is a smart distributor and defender who can knock down open shots.  Guard Jeremy Atkinson can defend multiple positions and is a very good scorer in transition.  Guard Booker Woodfox is more scorer than distributor, but he is crafty when he has the ball in his hands and a decent defender. Paul Sturgess is 7’8 and a massive presence in the middle, but he hasn’t played any high-level basketball and still needs a lot of time to develop.

 

Tulsa 66ers

Affiliate: Oklahoma City Thunder

Head Coach: Darko Rajakovic

Roster

Player

Position

Height

Weight

Xavier Alexander

G

6’6

225

Rodney Bartholomew

F

6’8

230

Scoop Jardine

G

6’2

195

Grant Jerrett

F

6’10

220

Jon Kreft

C

7’0

262

Mario Little

F

6’6

218

Nick Murphy

G

6’4

215

Maurice Sutton

C

6’11

220

Chase Tapley

G

6’3

195

Larry Owens

F

6’7

215

Ben Uzoh

G

6’3

205

Isaiah Wilkerson

G

6’3

215

 

Outlook

The 66ers are looking to get back to the playoffs with a talented and diverse roster.  Veteran guard Ben Uzoh is a skilled point guard who likes to get into the lane and does a good job using his strong body to finish around the basket.  Former Kansas forward Mario Little is an explosive wing scorer who is comfortable stepping back behind the 3-point line. Guard Nick Murphy is a 3rd year D-League player who likes to attack the basket and get out in one of the lanes in transition.  Forward Larry Owens is in his 4th year at Tulsa and has been a steady scorer and rebounder as well as a good perimeter defender.  Rodney Bartholomew played well off the bench last season for the 66ers and provides help around the basket. First round D-League pick, and 2nd Round Oklahoma City pick, Grant Jerrett is big and likes to shoot 3’s.  He has a long way to go before he provides more than that. Former Villanova big Maurice Sutton is long and thin, but tough, and is a skilled scorer within 10 feet. Center Jon Kreft is a bull around the basket and while not very skilled, he will fight hard for the ball down low. Guards Chase Tapley and Scoop Jardine are both strong leaders and scorers, though Jardine likes to get into the lane and Tapley is a much better perimeter shooter.  

 

Links

Official NBA D-League Site

Full D-League Schedule

Watch Live Games

 

Follow me on Twitter – @NBADraftBlog

 

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