2007 Expansion Draft Recap

by Matthew Brennan, D-League.com

Rio Grande Valley made JR Pinnock the first choice in the 2007 Expansion Draft.
Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images
The 2007 D-League Expanion Draft is in the books after four teams each selected the rights to ten different players on Wednesday afternoon. These players will be in action for the teams that drafted them if they choose to sign a D-League contract for the 2007-08 season. Here is a team-by-team recap to lend you some information on what players were chosen.

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    Rio Grande Valley Vipers

    The Vipers, led by coach Bob Hoffman, used the first selection of the draft on JR Pinnock. Pinnock is a 6-5 guard out of George Washington who averaged 11.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.6 assists for Arkanasas last season. He also spent time with the Lakers in the 2006 preseason and you may have caught him in action playing for Panama in the recent FIBA Americas Tournament.

    The Vipers selected back-to-back in the second and third rounds, where they chose Trent Strickland and Alfred Neale. Both players are athletic swingmen who appeared briefly in the D-League last season. Strickland played in the final two games of the season with the Austin Toros, while Neale appeared in 17 contests with the Dakota Wizards in the middle of the season.

    Other selections:

    Terrance Thomas - led the D-League Ambassadors in scoring at Stankovic Cup, recorded a triple-double with Fort Worth last season
    Clay Tucker - 2006-07 D-League All-Star with Arkansas, set a then D-League record when he scored 51 points in a game last season
    Nigel Dixon - Big man who played in four games with Sioux Falls last season
    Desmon Farmer - Three-point marksman who started last season with Seattle Supersonics before finishing the year with Tulsa (19.8 ppg)
    John Gilchrist - Point guard who split time last season between L.A. D-Fenders and Idaho Stampede
    Joe Dabbert - Power forward who played in 16 games for Sioux Falls last season
    Milone Clark - Athletic wing who played entire season with Anaheim in 2006-07

    Fort Wayne Mad Ants

    The Mad Ants and coach Kent Davison used the second pick of the draft on the rights to Jeremy Richardson. Richardson, a 6-6 guard, averaged 17.4 points for Fort Worth on his way to second team All-D-League honors. He also received two GATORADE Call-Ups, one each from the Atlanta Hawks and the Portland Trail Blazers. Richardson signed with the Heat in June after the NBA Summer League and will be in training camp in October.

    The Mad Ants selected a pair of former Arkansas RimRockers in the second and third rounds. Guard Anthony Roberson joined the RimRockers last season after being released by Golden State, and also spent time in Little Rock on assignment from Memphis during the 2005-06 season. He averaged 16.7 points in 18 games last year. Olu Famutimi, a 6-5 guard, spent the past two seasons in Arkansas and impressed NBA scouts during the FIBA Americas Tournament where he played for Canada.

    Other selections:

    Antonio Meeking - Low post scorer who played in 10 games for Sioux Falls in 2006-07
    Mike Benton - Center who did not play in the D-League in 2006-07 season
    Badou Gaye - Power forward who was a late-season acquistion by Idaho last season
    Tyrone Sally - Small forward, D-League veteran who played for Arkansas last season and Roanoke in 2005-06
    Chad Bell - Seven footer who played with four different D-League teams last season, played in D-League Championship game for Colorado
    Walker Russell - Point guard who appeared in 15 games with Fort Worth
    Armein Kirkland - In training camp with Fort Worth prior to last season

    Utah Flash

    The Flash spent the third overall pick on Brian Jackson, who averaged 11.5 points in 42 games (38 starts) with Arkansas last season. The Flash also used their next two picks on former Arkansas RimRockers James Lang and Roger Powell. Both Lang and Powell bring plenty of NBA experience to the table. Lang, a 6-11 center, spent the beginning of last season with the Washington Wizards, and received two GATORADE Call-Ups in 2005-06 from the Hawks and the Raptors. Powell dominated the D-League to the tune of 22.3 points per game last season after starting the year with the Utah Jazz. He was an Honorable Mention All-D-League selection and won the Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award as voted on by the coaches.

    Other selections:

    Curtis Stinson - Combo guard who started for the Fort Worth Flyers in the latter half of 2006-07
    Kevin Burleson - Former Charlotte Bobcat who started 49 of 50 games at guard for Fort Worth Flyers last season
    Chris Copeland - Power forward who played in 19 games for Fort Worth
    Corey Santee - Averaged 11.2 points off the bench for Fort Worth, played in all 50 games
    Cezary Trybanski - 7-2, averaged 2.5 blocks for Tulsa last year, played in 22 NBA games with three teams from 2002-2004
    Butter Johnson - Small forward who averaged 8.4 points in 16 games with L.A. D-Fenders
    Jeff Hagen - Big center who was in training camp with Austin last season, played in D-League during 2005-06

    Iowa Energy

    The Energy used their first pick at the end of the first round on Will Conroy, who was one of the league's best point guards over the past two seasons with Tulsa. Conroy is the D-League's career leader in triple-doubles, and received three GATORADE Call-Ups last season, one from the Grizzlies and two from the Clippers. Conroy has recently signed to play for Virtus Bologna in Italy, but the Energy will have his rights if he returns to the D-League.

    Iowa used their next two picks on Jackie Manuel and Anthony Terrell. Manuel, a former North Carolina star, was a mainstay in the L.A. D-Fenders lineup last season while Terrell helped lead the Fort Worth Flyers to two D-League playoff appearances over the past two seasons.

    Other selections:

    Brandon Robinson - Played in all 50 games with Albuquerque, swingman averaged 11.0 points
    Denham Brown - Former UConn star averaged 18.6 points in 42 games for Tulsa before heading overseas, member of Canada's national team
    Matt Haryasz - Post player averaged 10.6 points while starting 27 games for Arkansas last season
    Luke Whitehead - Played in eight games for Sioux Falls last season
    Deji Akindele - Shot-blocking center appeared in 48 games for Fort Worth
    DeAnthony Bowden - Appeared in final three games of the season for Arkansas
    Luke Schenscher - Seven-foot Australian center who played for Fort Worth last season before finishing year with Portland Trail Blazers