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D-League Draft Preview (NBATV, 8:30 PM EST)
by: Jonathan Givony - President
November 2, 2006
The annual D-League draft will be held tonight at 9 PM and will be covered live by NBA TV, NBA Radio on SIRIUS Channel 127 and D-LEAGUE.com. DraftExpress.com has obtained a copy of the eligible player list for the 10 round draft and breaks down some of the more interesting players whose name could be called.

According to a press released issued by D-league.com “NBA TV coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. ET with a pre-draft show hosted by Rick Kamla designed to preview the selection process and to bring fans up to speed on the latest D-League news. The D-League’s new basketball featuring Spalding’s Cross TraxxionTM technology will also be unveiled during the preview show.

Draft coverage continues on NBA TV and begins on NBA Radio on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Channel 127) and on D-LEAGUE.com with the start of the draft at 9 p.m. ET. NBA director of scouting Marty Blake, along with assistant director of scouting Ryan Blake, will team up with Kamla and D-League vice president of basketball operations Chris Alpert to offer commentary throughout the event.

The Anaheim Arsenal secured the first overall selection through a lottery conducted at the annual coaches meeting in Dallas on October 2. The Sioux Falls Skyforce will have the second overall pick, followed by the Colorado 14ers, Fort Worth Flyers, Dakota Wizards, Arkansas RimRockers, Los Angeles D-Fenders, Tulsa 66ers, Idaho Stampede, Austin Toros, Bakersfield Jam and Albuquerque Thunderbirds.

Since the draft is serpentine, or “snaked”, the order will be reversed in each of the 10 rounds. For example, after picking first, Anaheim’s next selections will be the 24th and 25th overall. Albuquerque will select last in the first round, but first in the second round, giving the T-Birds the 12th and 13th overall picks.

The selection process will operate with each team having one pick in each of the 10 rounds. Teams will have up to two (2) minutes to make a selection in each round. No trades will be permitted during the draft and only players signed to an NBA Development League Standard Player Contract are eligible to be selected. “




Something to keep in mind while watching the draft is the fact that some players have already been allocated to D-League teams. For example, Louis Amundson will play for the Colorado 14ers. Chet Mason will play for the LA D-Fenders. Jerome Beasley will play for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Will Conroy will again play for the Tulsa 66ers after his rights have been retained from last year, and the same goes for Luke Schenscher and Kelenna Azubuike with the Fort Worth Flyers.

Excluding the players who have been allocated, here are some intriguing names to look out for tonight.

Top Available Players

These are players whom in our opinion could make up both some of the first draft picks and NBA callups, ala Chuck Hayes, Andre Barrett and John Lucas last year.

Andre Owens- 6-4 tough-nosed athletic guard who can slash, play great defense and hit the open jumpers. Should he decide to stay in the D-league and not take advantage of a $20,000 buyout clause to go play in Europe, he could very well be the top player in the D-league. Owens was cut by the Golden State Warriors despite having a fully guaranteed $664,000 contract.

Darius Washington Jr.- Washington is a player with nice potential who could really benefit from the development aspect of the D-league.

Denham Brown- A top candidate to lead the league in scoring, Brown was surprisingly cut by Seattle despite being the #40 pick in this year’s draft. He needs to develop a part of his game that can be considered his bread and butter, but is surely one of the most intriguing guys you’ll find on this list.

Devin Green- Spent an entire year under the Los Angeles Lakers and has a great upside to continue to improve. Will really benefit from getting regular playing time and should be scouted closely all year long.

Justin Williams- Despite playing extremely well in both Portsmouth and the Orlando pre-draft camp, Williams did not make the Sacramento Kings in training camp. He’s without a doubt the most intriguing defensive prospect you’ll find and in my mind will be one of the first players to get a callup once NBA teams come to their senses and see what they have on their hands.

Matt Haryasz- Once considered a very likely draft pick, Haryasz’s stock fell after a horrendous performance at the Orlando pre-draft camp. He has some very intriguing skills but needs to develop a go-to NBA skill. The development aspect of the D-league could really benefit him.

PJ Ramos- Former early 2nd round draft pick who spent two non-descript years on Washington’s roster. Has great size at 7-3 and solid mobility, but has not developed his feel for the game. You can’t teach size as they say so a rash of injuries in the post from one NBA team or another could earn him a callup.

Von Wafer- Drafted last year and spent the entire season on the roster of the Los Angeles Lakers. A terrific athlete who can really score, but has some question marks about his approach to the game.

Sleepers

The D-league draft, unlike the NBA draft, has an added wrinkle that teams must consider when they make their draft picks. All players are split into three groups which decides their pay for this upcoming season. ‘A’ ($24,000), ‘B’ ($18,000), and ‘C’ ($12,000). Since teams are limited on the amount of ‘A’ players they can have on their roster—usually two—they could very well look to draft a ‘C’ player they consider a potential steal over an ‘A’ player that might fall a bit because of the restrictions. Although we do not know whether all these players are ‘A’s’, we do know something about them that makes us think they have breakout potential despite the fact that they aren’t the biggest “names” in this draft.

Andre Brown- 6-9 and freakishly athletic, Brown could really find a niche for himself in the D-league and potentially even earn a callup if he shows improvement in his all-around game. He needs a solid point guard to create shots for him, but he’s a name to look out for.

Armien Kirkland- A 6-8 swingman who played four positions at Cincinnati, Kirkland might have had a shot at being drafted had he not suffered a serious injury mid-way through the season last year. If he’s fully recovered, he could be one of the most versatile players in the league.

Carl Edwards- A sleeper in the truest sense, Edwards is an outstanding athlete who flashed great promise at the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league in July playing for the Atlanta Hawks.

Chris Rodgers- Probably the most well known name on this list, Rodgers played four contentious seasons under Lute Olsen at Arizona, butting heads with the Silver Fox for much of the way. He’s a 6-4 combo guard who plays outstanding defense and showed some real flashes of potential when he wasn’t in the doghouse, and could be a very nice role-player if he managed to keep his attitude in check.

Luke Whitehead- High energy Louisville alum who can shoot and handle the ball pretty well. According to players who played with him this summer, Whitehead has improved his all-around game out of college and could make a nice impact this year in the D-league.

Jeff Graves- 6-9 Kansas big man with a huge body. Used to have weight problems, but has trimmed down and has nice potential. Graves is coming off a knee injury but has reportedly looked excellent this summer.

Nate Williams- 6-10, but plays on the perimeter thanks to his excellent ball-handling and perimeter shooting skills. From what we’ve seen from tapes of his from China last year, Williams looks to have added some weight out of college, and might be considered one of the more versatile big men in the league.

Pooh Jeter- Little point guard with much better playmaking skills than he showed in college. Jeter can really score, but he’s also an extremely smart player who can definitely lead a team.

Robert Taylor- We came across a tape of his from Ireland this summer, and Taylor looks like an excellent ball-handler who can really shoot the 3-pointer. If he gets the chance, he could open up some eyes as he definitely has some talent.

Mo Charlo- Charlo looked a lot more talented than he did at Nevada when we saw him at the Las Vegas Summer league. He’s active, very athletic and has solid potential on the defensive end.

Mike Harris- I’m not sure that Harris is an NBA player, but at the D-league level he can surely dominate. We’re talking about a 6-6 beast who played in the post almost exclusively over his college career, but has slowly been making the transition out to the perimeter, starting by losing plenty of weight. Harris made a ton of money last year in the Ukraine and just got cut by the Milwaukee Bucks out of training camp.


A Blast from the Past

Some names you might recall…

Aloysius Anagonye- Former Michigan State role-player who played in the Euroleague, Spain and Italy over the past three years. Could be a solid cog an NBDL team.

Corsley Edwards- Former draft pick of the Sacramento Kings, he’s got a big body and surprisingly nimble feet. Played at the highest level of Europe over the past few years.

Eddie Robinson- Probably the richest player on this list if he’s held on to his money, the former Chicago Bull Robinson signed a ridiculous 32 million dollar contract that automatically made him one of the most overpaid players in the NBA. Has been out of basketball for the past 2+ years from what we’ve managed to gather.

Frank Williams- Former first round pick and Illinois star. Had injury problems and will probably be looking to get back into form.

Yuta Tabuse- The first ever Japaneese player in the NBA (although very very briefly), Tabuse played in the D-league last year as well. It’s shocking to see him continue to turn down absurd amounts of money in his local league to play for peanuts in the D-league.

Julian Sensley- Former Mcdonald’s All-American who flamed out in college (going through Cal, Fresno State, Iona and a brief appearance in the 2002 NBA draft) and eventually transferred to his home state of Hawaii. He somehow acquired a German passport and made a run to play with Dirk Nowitzki in the national team this summer, and then signed a contract in the Italian 2nd division. At age 24, he’s definitely one of the better traveled players in this league relative to his age.

Troy Bell- Jerry West’s #16 pick in the 2003 draft after a solid pre-draft showing, including being named the #1 athlete in his class, Bell has floated around over the past few years (stops include Spain, Germany and starting a career as a boxer) and will look to regain his form from Boston College.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com .

 

Louis Amundson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 221 lbs.
Birthday: 12/07/1982
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Monarch
Previous Team: UNLV , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
0.0 Pts, 0.0 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Chet Mason
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 184 lbs.
Birthday: 04/25/1981
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Cleveland South
Previous Team: Miami OH , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
12.0 Pts, 6.7 Rebs, 4.3 Asts


Jerome Beasley
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 237 lbs.
Birthday: 05/17/1980
33 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Moreno Valley
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #4 in 2003 Draft
by the Heat
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: F,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
12.5 Pts, 8.1 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Will Conroy
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 189 lbs.
Birthday: 12/08/1982
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Garfield
Previous Team: Washington , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
5.2 Pts, 2.1 Rebs, 3.3 Asts


Luke Schenscher
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 1"
Weight: 242 lbs.
Birthday: 01/01/1982
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Lake Ginninderra
Previous Team: Georgia Tech , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
6.7 Pts, 5.3 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Kelenna Azubuike
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 208 lbs.
Birthday: 12/16/1983
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Victory Christian
Previous Team: Kentucky , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
6.0 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Chuck Hayes
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 232 lbs.
Birthday: 06/12/1983
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Modesto Christian
Previous Team: Kentucky , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
2.1 Pts, 2.9 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


Andre Barrett
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 171 lbs.
Birthday: 02/21/1982
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Rice
Previous Team: Seton Hall , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
0.0 Pts, 0.0 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


John Lucas
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birthday: 10/31/1953
60 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Hillside
Previous Team: Oklahoma State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #1 in 1976 Draft
by the Rockets
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
5.8 Pts, 1.8 Rebs, 4.9 Asts


Dirk Nowitzki
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 237 lbs.
Birthday: 06/19/1978
35 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Rontgen Gymnasium
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #9 in 1998 Draft
by the Bucks
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: PF,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
21.7 Pts, 6.2 Rebs, 2.7 Asts


Jerry West
Full Profile
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birthday: 05/28/1938
75 Years Old
Teams:
High School: East Bank
Previous Team: West Virginia , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 1960 Draft
by the Lakers
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G


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