Justin Williams to Kings
Power Forward Justin Williams
will be called up by the Sacramento Kings on Friday for a 10-day contract, DraftExpress was informed by his agent Darren White late Tuesday night. Williams averaged 12.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game for the Dakota Wizards this season. The Kings roster sat at 14 players before the signing, so it will not be necessary for them to cut somebody for roster purposes.
Williams played on the Kings summer league team in Las Vegas, and also participated in their veterans camp. He will add some athleticism to the Kings front line, and he has the potential to be the type of shot-blocking presence they have sorely lacked in recent years. He will sign a 10-day contract on Friday, and will be eligible to sign another before his contract becomes fully guaranteed should the Kings want to keep him after that.
The Williams signing by the Kings is the second D-League call-up of the season. He leaves a Dakota Wizards team that is currently tied for the best record in the league. Justin Williams
ranked #1 overall in the D-League in both rebounds and blocked shots per game. Melvin Sanders to D-League
Free agent guard Melvin Sanders, who played for the Austin Toros last season, is signing a contract with the league to enter his name into the available player pool. Sanders was one of the top wing players in the D-League last season, and played 16 games with the San Antonio Spurs after being called up. He averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in 7.1 minutes with the Spurs last season. Sanders is known for his solid jump-shot and tough defense. He is the type of player that an NBA team could look to if they need a rotation wing player. The Fort Worth Flyers just lost Kelenna Azubuike
and Maurice Ager
, so they are in need of a wing player. Sanders' former team in Austin has been struggling, and they could use a tough defensive scoring guard. D-League Showcase
The showcase is an annual event designed for NBA General Managers to get a look at every player in the D-League while going to one location. This year the Showcase is being held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, from Monday, January 15th until Wednesday January 17th. Each D-League team will play 2 games in the three day span. DraftExpress will be attending the event.
The showcase is designed for teams to get a look at NBA hopefuls, but various NBA GMs are considering sending players down to the D-League for the event. The teams in the D-League are scattered throughout the Central and Western parts of the United States, and it is difficult for an NBA decision maker to travel to a place like Boise, Idaho with the intention of watching just one basketball game. It is much easier to send the player down for the showcase, and be able to watch them play twice in the same spot. Multiple front office personnel from each team are expected to be at the showcase, so it also provides an environment to fuel trade discussions among teams with the trade deadline a month away.
There are a few possible players who may be sent down for the Showcase. Rookie forward Marcus Vinicius from the New Orleans Hornets has been mentioned among the possible send down candidates, but injuries may prevent this from happening. Rookie center Saer Sene
has been mentioned as a possibility for the D-League, and the showcase would be a good chance for him to prove what he can do. If Seattle decides they are deep enough at the center position, this is a distinct possibility. Toronto Raptors rookies P.J. Tucker and Uros Slokar
have been mentioned as possible candidates for the D-League in the past, and this would be a good time if Toronto determains they are deep enough without them.
DraftExpress will provide coverage from the D-League Showcase and all of the prospects and NBA players participating. The schedule for the showcase can be found on the official site of the D-League. Julius Hodge Recalled
Guard Julius Hodge
has been recalled by the Denver Nuggets. He appeared in 9 games with the Colorado 14ers, and averaged 12.1 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game. The Nuggets sent Hodge down after he was cleared to play in November, but he may not be in their future plans. It is possible that they send him back down after getting a look at his progress for a week or two. Hodge was inconsistent throughout his time in the D-League. He looked like a good transition guard who could find teammates at times, but displayed a very poor jump shot, and struggled at times in the half court offense.