The NBA D-League draft happened yesterday, and our Idaho Stampede did a fine job. But first, a breakdown of what this draft is, and who is eligible to be picked:
NEW YORK, October 31, 2014 - Almost 180 players, including eleven with NBA experience, will be eligible to be selected in the 2014 NBA Development League Draft Live via Cisco WebEx, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 3:30 p.m. ET via Cisco WebEx from the league's New York headquarters.
Players selected in the eight-round Draft will join NBA affiliate, returning, draft rights and local tryout players at each NBA D-League team's training camp, which begin no earlier than Nov. 2. No trades will be permitted during the Draft and only players signed to an NBA D-League Standard Player Contract are eligible to be selected. The first six rounds of the Draft are mandatory, while teams may opt not to select players in the seventh and eighth rounds.
So, got it? Eight rounds, and there are only 18 teams. This is going to be fun.
Yeah. So who did Idaho pick?
The overwhelming thing you see here is that there are a bunch of short guards who don't distribute enough to be relied upon as point guards, but seem to favor scoring. These short shooting guards litter the minor leagues, and it is there that they have to learn to transition their games to be better suited for any future prospective jobs. In some ways this is the process that's happening right now with the 6'3 Ian Clark with the Utah Jazz. The reverse happens in the NBA-DL as well, as 6'5 shooting guard Toure' Murry learned how to be a point guard, and then got a shot with the New York Knicks. (And now, the Jazz)
The other major point is that there are a bunch of forwards who aren't big enough to play power in the NBA, and do not have the overt face up skills to be NBA small forwards . . . who exist in this tweener role. They have to work on their face up games and develop an outside shot. This is what Malcolm Thomas did for years in the NBA-DL before getting shots in the NBA. It can be done. And I'd like to think that in Idaho they'll learn what they need to work on to get to the next level.
Yes, it is true: I don't think many of these guys will one day be house hold names, but more and more players are going to the NBA-DL to improve their games, and work their way into the NBA. Not being drafted is no longer a death sentence for these young men.
"Hey, who you saying can't play point, Amar?"
"Portugal and Idaho are like the total opposite of one another."
"I heard that a guy like Randy Foye got to start here for an entire season . . . "
"If I got called up to the Jazz, I would be one of the oldest players on the team."
What about the rest of the draft? Well, the show stoppers in our world are Erik Murphy and Carrick Felix -- who went #3 and #4 in the draft. There are plenty of people you may marginally know about, either because their father was an NBA player, or the Jazz brought the player in for a pre-draft workout or in one of the free agent minicamps . . . but unless you are really crazy, then the only names you'd recognize are the Marquis Teague level ones. And only then if you follow along bench warmers on Eastern Conference NBA teams. (But if you are curious, full results here)
One of Paul Millsap 's brothers was selected, and so was one of John Stockton 's sons. So all in all, this was a pretty Jazz draft, and one that will help the Stampede get going early on in their season.