2008 NBA D-League Draft: Top Prospects
by Matthew Brennan, D-League.com
November 5, 2008: The 2008 NBA D-League Draft will take place this Friday, when all 16 teams will select 10 players each. Here is a look at some of the top prospects who could hear their names called on Friday night. The Draft will air live on NBA TV at 7 p.m. ET. Click here for the draft order for the first round.
Ned Dishman/Getty Images/NBAE
Derrick Byars, G/F, Vanderbilt: Byars, a 6-8 swingman, was the SEC's Player of the Year as a senior at Vanderbilt in 2006-07, leading the Commodores to the Sweet 16. Byars was drafted 42nd overall in 2007 by Portland and traded to the 76ers, but did not make the team heading into the regular season. He split the season in Europe between teams in Germany and France, and most recently was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the preseason.
Kris Clack, F, Texas: The veteran Clack was an All-Big 12 performer for the Texas Longhorns during his college career, and played the entire 2006-07 season in the NBA D-League as a member of the Austin Toros. Clack averaged 8.5 points in 43 games for the Toros, and had previously played in Italy for parts of five seasons. The Austin native was a McDonald's All-American at Anderson High School in 1995.
Jermareo Davidson, F, Alabama: Selected 36th overall by Golden State in the 2007 Draft, Davidson was then traded to Charlotte and appeared in 38 games last season. He was also briefly assigned to the Sioux Falls Skyforce in February. The 6-10 forward was one of Charlotte's final cuts heading out of training camp in October. During his career at Alabama, Davidson was named to the All-SEC team three different times and helped the Crimson Tide reach the Elite Eight as a freshman.
Taj McCullough, F, Winthrop: McCullough just concluded his college career at Winthrop, where the Eagles reached the NCAA Tournament for all four seasons of his career. The 6-7 forward played for the Washington Wizards over the summer in Las Vegas and also participated in their pre-season training camp.
James White, F, Cincinnati: "Flight" White was a second-round draft pick by Portland in 2006, and eventually landed with the Spurs who assigned him to Austin in 2006-07, where he averaged 16.3 points in 15 games. After parting ways with the Spurs prior to last season, White landed with Fenerbahce where he averaged 7.6 points in 37 games as the team reached the Euroleague Quarterfinals. White, honorable mention All-Big East at Cincinnati, most recenetly appeared in the Las Vegas Summer League with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Prospects, November 4
Larry Ayuso, G, USC: A long-time member of the Puerto Rican national team, Ayuso was part of the team that defeated the United States at the 2004 Athens Olympics. The 6-3 guard has seen training camp stints with the Spurs, Mavericks, and Nuggets in his career. He most recently played in Croatia during the 2007-08 season, and has also gained international experience in Russia, Puerto Rico, Greece, and Italy.
Alpha Bangura G, St. Johns: The 6-6 Bangura was the NEC Newcomer of the Year at Monmouth in 1998 before he transferred to St. John's to finish his college career. Bangura has gone on to play in the NBA D-League with North Charleston in 2003-04 where he averaged 15.0 points and earned Honorable Mention All-D-League honors. He has also played in the CBA with the Sioux Falls Skyforce in 2004-05 and the Idaho Stampede in 2006. Other stops on his resume include teams in Portugal, Isreal, Puerto Rico, Japan, and Lebanon.
Geno Carlisle, G, California: Carlisle was an All-Big 10 selection at Northwestern in 1996 and then transferred to Cal, where he was named Honorable Mention All-Pac 10. Since college he has played in Italy, the CBA, Kuwait, Portugal, and Turkey. Carlisle picked up some NBA experience in 2004-05, when he played in six games for the Portland Trail Blazers. He averaged 11.6 points in Turkey in 2007-08.
Gary Ervin, G, Arkansas: A 6-0 guard, Ervin starred at Mississippi State before transferring to Arkansas to finish his college career. He ranked fifth in the SEC with 4.8 assists as a junior, earning Player of the Week honors twice. The Brooklyn native was named to the SEC's All-Freshman Team in 2004.
Gary Forbes, G, UMass: Forbes is a 6-6 guard who recently concluded his career at UMass, where he was named the 2007-08 Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year after averaging 19.4 points. Born in Panama, Forbes also plays for the Panamanian National Team, averaging 17.8 points and 4.5 rebounds at the FIBA Americas Championship in 2007. Forbes was also impressive at NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Orlando this summer, but was not selected in the NBA Draft in June.
Alton Ford, C, Houston: A 6-10 center, Ford was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 51st overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. After playing in 53 games as a rookie, Ford moved on to the Magic and Rockets before playing in China, Greece, and Bosnia. A native of Houston, Ford was a McDonald's All-American and finalist for the Naismith Award in high school before comitting to the hometown Houston Cougars, where he earned C-USA All-Freshman honors in 2001 before declaring for the NBA Draft.
Gavin Grant, F, North Carolina State: Grant, a 6-8 forward, concluded his career earlier this year as North Carolina State's 24th all-time leading scorer with 1,342 points. He started 79 games for the Wolfpack in his careeer, with his best season coming as a junior when he averaged 14.7 points per game and earned All-ACC Tournament honors.
Vernon Hamilton, G, Clemson: A 6-0 guard, Hamilton was an All-ACC Defensive Player at Clemson and was in training camp with the Cleveland Cavaliers prior to this season. Hamilton averaged 12.3 points as a senior at Clemson in 2006-07, and then split the 2007-08 season between teams in Germany, Turkey, and Latvia.
Jawan McClellan, G, Arizona: A McDonald's All-American and the Houston Chronicle Player of the Year in high school, McClellan played for the 76ers at the Las Vegas Summer League after finishing his career at Arizona in the spring. He earned All-Defense PAC-10 honors as a senior and averaged 8.4 points and 3.6 rebounds for the Wildcats.
Antonio Meeking, F, Louisiana Tech: The 6-8 Meeking played for the Sioux Falls Skyforce for ten games in 2006-07, averaging 8.6 points per game. He also won an NBA D-League title with the Asheville Altitude in 2003-04, appearing in 46 games and scoring 11.2 points. Meeking finished his college career as Louisiana Tech's 11th All-Time leading scorer with 1,541 points and ranks fifth in school history with 61 blocks. In addition to his D-League experience, Meeking has played in NBA Summer Leagues with the Hornets, Bobcats, Grizzlies and Nets and has played for clubs in Isreal, Germany, and Italy.
Chris Richard, F, Florida: Richard was a second round pick (41st overall) of the Timberwolves in 2007, and was assigned to Sioux Falls in February. A 6-9 forward, Richard was the SEC Sixth Man of the Year in 2007 and helped the Florida Gators win consecutive national titles as a junior and senior. He played in 52 games for the Timberwovles as a rookie in 2007-08.
Russell Robinson, G, Kansas: Robinson is coming off a National Championship as a senior at Kansas, where he was named to the Big-12 All-Defensive Team for three straight years. The 6-1 guard attended the Portsmouth Inviational and played for Houston at the Las Vegas Summer League. He signed to play in Turkey earlier in the fall but will now place his name in the NBA D-League Draft.
Lanny Smith, G, Houston: A 6-3 guard, Smith recently finished his college career at Houston and played for the Rockets during the summer league season. He was named Third Team All-C-USA as a junior after averaging 12.1 points and ranking fourth in the conference with 5.4 assists. Smith finished his career 32nd all-time in Houston history with 1,250 points.
Jeff Trepagnier, G, USC: Trepagnier, All-PAC-10 at USC, was a second-round pick (36th overall) by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2001 NBA Draft. After appearing in 12 games during the 2001-02 season, Trepagnier moved to the D-League where he averaged 17.7 points for Asheville, earned first team All-D-League honors, and received a GATORADE Call-Up to Denver. Since leaving the Nuggets Trepagnier has played in Italy, Turkey and France, where he scored 9.1 points per game for Pau-Orthez during the 2007-08 season.
Ezra Williams, G, Georgia: Williams was a two-time All-SEC player during his career at Georgia, and has gone on to make two appearances in the NBA D-League. Williams played for Columbus during the 2003-04 season and for the Austin Toros in 2005-06, averaging 12.6 points in 42 games. He most recently played for the Hornets in the 2007 Las Vegas Summer League after spending the 06-07 campaign in Turkey.