Brian Kotloff, NBADLeague.com
Once each week, NBADLeague.com will update the Prospect Watch presented by BBVA Compass, our list of the top 30 Prospects in the NBA D-League. Our rankings are a combination of upside and experience, potential and production. Only Call-Up eligible players will be ranked. The rankings are compiled by the editors at NBADLeague.com.
WELCOME BACK: CALL-UPS RETURN WITH CLOCK TICKING
Time is running out for the NBA D-League's Top Prospects: Less than three weeks remain for NBA teams to make Call-Ups. Many will see their season end on April 5, while those lucky enough to be a part of winning teams will continue on into the playoffs beginning next week. Four players who received March Call-Ups rank among the Top 11: DeAndre Liggins, Chris Wright (pictured), Adonis Thomas and Tony Mitchell.
MAD ANTS COACH CONNER HENRY ON MITCHELL
"Since Tony came back from his Call-Up, he's been my favorite player. He's learning the game and getting better every single day within our system. He's seeing things now that I think he may have seen before, but didn't feel like he needed to embrace it. I look at a guy like Gerald Green two years ago in L.A. ... Tony has that same type of ability, maybe a notch down. He's now having faith in others and trusting the process."
No. 21 JEREL MCNEAL -- G -- BAKERSFIELD JAM
McNeal has been on the cusp of the NBA ever since graduating from Marquette as the school's all-time leading scorer. A Summer League/preseason regular, the 26-year-old has received two Call-Ups while starring for RGV and Bakersfield over the past four years. Though the normally smooth scorer hasn't found his jumper since returning to the Jam on Feb. 28, his point guard skills have shined more than ever -- a crucial development heading into the offseason.
No. 25 MUSTAFA SHAKUR -- MARCH 28 VS. RGV
No stat captures Shakur's value to the 66ers more than the most basic: The team is now 15-7 with him in the lineup and 8-18 without him. Yet just to reinforce the point, the point guard returned from his stint with the affiliate OKC Thunder and carried Tulsa to a 19-point win over RGV with some gaudy numbers: 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, his first career triple-double.
SEEING IS BELIEVING
Ron Howard's NBA D-League career scoring record is without a doubt a bittersweet accomplishment, since there are seven years of unrewarded work behind it. Yet it also truly needs to be seen to be appreciated. The "sweet" side comes in the fact that there's no better person to represent the league than Howard, who has the adoration of the Fort Wayne fans and the respect of his peers. Watch the bucket that brought him past Renaldo Major's mark of 4,252:
KNOCKING ON THE DOOR
ABDUL GADDY -- G -- MAINE
The rookie out of Washington has come to the NBA D-League as advertised: a fantastic floor general who's athletic limitations are holding him back from a level. He ranks among the top 10 in the league in both assist percentage and assist ratio, but more importantly he shot a blistering 23/38 (60.5%) from three in March. Still just 22, Gaddy has set himself up to get plenty of looks this summer -- an maybe more, if he can emerge as an elite shooter.