Top 10 D-League Call-Up Candidates

Top 10 D-League Call-Up Candidates
Jan 08, 2007, 06:36 pm
With the recent call-ups of 5 D-League players to the NBA, we’ve decided to compile a list of the top call-up candidates remaining. When looking at the list, it’s important to keep in mind that each NBA team has its own criteria that they use to decide who to add to their team. Some teams look for a guy with potential and some look for a player who can step in and play a role right away. Some players will do better in certain systems than others. After the D-League showcase, look for us to release a list of the top 5 players at each position.

1. Will Conroy, Point Guard, Tulsa 66ers
16.6 ppg, 9.9 apg, 5.2 rpg, 46% fg, 35% 3pfg, 80% ft

Conroy is in his second season with the Tulsa 66ers, and has really developed nicely. He recently surpassed NBA veteran Randy Livingston as the league leader in assists, and has really improved his scoring ability over the past year. Conroy graduated from Washington in 2005, and was in veterans camp with the Charlotte Bobcats this season. He brings leadership and toughness to the table along with his passing abilities and his ability to score at the basket. If there is anything else for Conroy to show, it would be improved three point shooting. If an NBA team is looking to the D-League for a 3rd point guard, Conroy would surely be the top choice at this point in time.

2. Von Wafer, Shooting Guard, Colorado 14ers
20.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.9 apg, 49% fg, 49% 3pfg, 75% ft

A 2005 second round pick of the L.A. Lakers, Wafer was assigned to the D-League last season. He struggled to get into the rotation with the Fort Worth Flyers, and didn’t show enough for the Lakers to want to keep him. This season, Wafer has displayed much improvement while playing for the Colorado 14ers, and looks like one of the top shooting guards in the D-League. His three point shooting has always been pretty streaky, but he has been consistently shooting nearly 50% from the three point line this season. Wafer still has limited ball handling ability, but uses his athleticism better inside this season. He can hit three pointers contested, and has been shooting them better off the dribble this season. The key to Wafer receiving a call-up will be his willingness to accept a position as a role player with an NBA team. Wafer has improved his defense from last season, but it's still an area that could use some improvement. If he can concentrate on finding spots and knocking down open threes, he could prove to be very valuable to an NBA club.

3. Vince Grier, Shooting Guard, Sioux Falls Skyforce
18.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.8 apg, 54% fg, 65% ft

Grier is a good all-around shooting guard who probably would have been drafted if he possessed a better shooting stroke. He has good size and athleticism for the NBA, and displayed the ability to lead his team during his junior year at Minnesota. After going undrafted in 2006, Grier went through training camp with the Miami Heat, and was the last person cut from their roster. In the D-League, shooting is still a weakness for Grier, but he is scoring very efficiently from the field, and not trying to force the outside shot. He also has a lot of potential on the defensive end of the floor, and has looked like a lockdown defender at times in the D-League. He is averaging around 4 assists per game on the season, and could handle some playmaking duties in the NBA if needed. Grier's combination of slashing ability, athleticism and intangibles makes him a strong candidate for an NBA team who wants a rotation guard.

4. Randy Livingston, Point Guard, Idaho Stampede
10.2 ppg, 9.6 apg, 3.4 rpg, 36% fg, 33% 3pfg

Livingston was ready to retire after last season and go into coaching, but decided to give the D-League a try instead. He has been a steady leader for the Stampede, and one of the best distributors in the league throughout the season. Livingston has spent 10 seasons with different teams in the NBA, including part of last season with the Chicago Bulls. His value to an NBA team comes as a leader in the locker-room as much as it does on the court. Teams who struggle with injuries are always looking for a veteran presence at point guard late in the season, and this is what makes Livingston a valuable commodity.

5. Jawad Williams, Forward, Anaheim Arsenal
19.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.5 apg, 44% fg, 35% 3pfg

Williams has turned down numerous offers overseas this season to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA. He has been one of the best scorers in the D-League throughout the season, despite his lack of a true position at the next level. He has played both forward positions for Anaheim, and is a match-up problem for smaller players at the 3. He scores off of jumpers out of the post a lot, and also scores on isolation plays starting at the top of the key. He would bring a solid scorer to an NBA team at the end of a rotation, and his reputation as a winner from college doesn’t hurt either. To better improve his NBA chances, Williams will need to improve his rebounding.

6. Luke Schenscher, Center, Fort Worth Flyers
10.2 pgg, 7.6 rpg, 52% fg, 62% ft

Schenscher started his D-League season slow this season after working his way back from a summer injury, but has really started playing strong lately. He gained experience late last season playing with the Chicago Bulls, and was their last cut from veterans camp in October. There are very few big men available who are 7 feet tall with NBA experience, and that alone makes Schenscher a valuable commodity. He is still improving his body, but can get his hook shot off in the post, and is good for 6 fouls on the defensive end.

7. Louis Amundson, Power Forward, Colorado 14ers
8.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 61% fg, 29% ft

Amundson has struggled with an injury lately, but his energy, hustle, and shot-blocking ability make him a valuable asset on the basketball floor. Right now, he’s out with a hip pointer, but he should be back soon. Amundson lacks the ideal size for an NBA power forward, but has the athleticism to make up for it. He put up his numbers in the d-league in only 22 minutes per game, but his value also lies in the intangibles he brings to the table. If Amundson can come back and play well in the D-League Showcase, Amundson is a strong possibility to receive an NBA contract at some point this season. He will help his chances greatly if he can improve his free throw shooting.

8. Denham Brown, Shooting Guard, Tulsa 66ers
18.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.5 apg, 47% fg, 46% 3pfg

Brown has been inconsistent this season, but has stepped up his game lately. He has been a solid three point shooter the whole season, and has done a good job of getting to the free throw line as well. Brown has college experience as a role player, and is a solid defender who can do a lot of things on the basketball court. He is not the ideal shot creator for the 2 guard spot in the NBA, and is a little undersized to play the 3, but he could be solid enough to gain a spot with a team who has a spot at the end of their rotation.

9. Elton Brown, Power Forward, Colorado 14ers
17.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, 54% fg, 58% ft

Brown started the season slow, but has been playing well over the last month. He has a solid back to the basket game, and scores most of his points within 10 feet of the hoop. Rebounding is also another big strength for Brown. To better improve his call-up chances, he needs to become a better shooter from the free throw line. Brown’s ability to score inside and rebound the basketball make him a top talent in the D-League, and could make him an option for an NBA team looking to fill in an open roster spot.

10. Andre Owens, Guard, Anaheim Arsenal
15.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.1 apg, 43% fg, 28 % 3pfg

Owens started the season slow, but has really improved his play as of late. He is undersized for the shooting guard spot in the NBA, but can create his own shot, and can handle ball handling duties a little bit too. Owens could help his NBA chances but improving his 3 point shot, but the fact that he has recent NBA experience will help him as well. He is a good passer when he wants to be, but has concentrated mostly on his scoring in the D-League this season. Owens could be picked up by an NBA team looking to a fill a spot because of a guard injury.

Recent articles

Twitter @DraftExpress

DraftExpress Shop