The Toros and new head coach Brad Jones bring back a few veterans of the NBA D-League as well as two training camp cuts from the Spurs. Lewis Clinch was a solid shooter off the bench for the Toros last season, while heady point guard Squeaky Johnson returns for his fourth season in Austin. Johnson is one of the NBA D-League's iron men, appearing in 145 of a possible 150 regular season games during his Toros career. Veterans Michael Joiner and Cory Underwood return to give Austin one of the league's most experienced teams. Former Atlanta Hawk shooting guard Thomas Gardner and rookie big man Marcus Cousin are the former Spurs who will be headed to Austin for the new season.
The Jam return the backcourt from last season, with All-Star and former GATORADE call-up Trey Johnson leading the way. He will be joined by Jeremy Wise, who turned in a solid rookie season for Bakersfield. Former NBA player Reece Gaines is also back after averaging 14.3 points in his first year with the Jam. Rookie guard Stephen Dennis was in training camp with the Clippers and was the D-2 National Player of the Year at Kutztown last season, while former Michigan State big man Drew Naymick heads to Bakersfield after a preseason with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Wizards bring back team legend Renaldo Major, the 2006-07 NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year. The 6-7 Major has helped the Wizards reach the playoffs in all three of his NBA D-League seasons. He is joined by experienced reserve Darren Cooper, who has over 100 NBA D-League games under his belt. 6-9 forward James Jackson also returns after splitting 2009-10 between three teams. Former Memphis guard Willie Kemp leads a group of open tryout players.
The BayHawks should have one of the most talented backcourts in the league with Jackson and Rice returning to Erie. Jackson was one of the league's top point guards last season while earning GATORADE Call-Ups to the Cavaliers, Wizards, and Spurs. Rice put up over 18.0 points as a rookie in 2007-08 before spending last year overseas. The team also returns a host of reserve players from last season's team and will also have rookie forward Tasmin Mitchell in camp. Allocated toErie after being waived by the Cavaliers, the 6-7 Mitchell finished his college career as LSU's third all-time leading scorer. He averaged 16.8 points and 9.4 rebounds as a senior.
Fort Wayne Mad Ants
The Mad Ants look like one of the stronger teams with proven veterans and NBA training camp rookies joining the team. Center Chris Hunter was a GATORADE Call-Up and spent all of last season with the Golden State Warriors, while Walker Russell returns from overseas after setting the NBA D-League single-season record for assists in 2008-09. The Mad Ants also bring in three training camp cuts from the Milwaukee Bucks in Tory Jackson, Chris Kramer, and Billy Rush. Jackson led the BIG EAST in assists twice while at Notre Dame, while Kramer was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year at Purdue. Rush hails from the same college program as Iowa star Othyus Jeffers.
The Stampede sent two players to the NBA last season but are looking to rebuild under new head coach Randy Livingston after missing the playoffs. They will bring in two training camp cuts in former Arizona State/Duke big man Eric Boateng (Nuggets) and former Oregon State guard Seth Traver (Trail Blazer). Reserve guard Lance Hurdle is the only returning player.
The Energy looked to be well-stocked heading into 2009-10 after coming one game short of a trip to the Finals in 2009-10. Coach Nick Nurse has no shortage of weapons with 2008-09 MVP Courtney Sims and 2008-09 Rookie of the Year Othyus Jeffers returning. Both players were on NBA rosters in the preseason. The Energy also bring back one of the league's top point guards in Curtis Stinson, another NBA training camp player in Connor Atchley, and reserves Marvin Phillips and Shy Ely. If that's not enough, also heading to Des Moines are a two-year NBA veteran in guard Kyle Weaver and a former Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year in Iowa native Jason Bohannan. Weaver is an affiliate player after getting waived by the Bulls in training camp while Bohannan joins the team after attending an open tryout.
Maine Red Claws
The Red Claws should have a strong team in 2010-11 after just missing out on the playoffs in their first NBA D-League season. 2007-08 NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year Stephane Lasme joins the team after playing for the Celtics in preseason, while NBA veteran guard Mario West is also back after earning a GATORADE Call-Up from Maine last season. The team also returns forward Darnell Lazare and Paul Harris, the former Syracuse star who missed all of last season with an injury after getting drafted in the first round by Maine. Two preseason rookie Celtics also join the team in the form of guard Jamar Smith and intriguing big man prospect Tiny Gallon.
New Mexico Thunderbirds
The Thunderbirds have a new coach in Darvin Ham and a new arena, but there are some familiar faces back for the team's sixth season. Forward Shane Edwards came in last year as an open tryout player, but returns with some NBA experience after playing for the Nuggets in Summer League and the preseason. Reserve guards Jason Horton and Tony Danridge are also back, while open tryout players Ramon Dyer and Stephen McDowell both have NBA D-League experience.
The Bighorns lost their top scorer (Desmon Farmer) and rebounder (Rod Benson) from last season, but they bring a load of talent into camp including two players that were in training camp with their NBA affiliates in Sacramento and one from Golden State. Patrick Ewing Jr. was on his way to a stellar season with Reno in 2007-08 before an injury, and he should be a go-to player for coach Eric Musselman after playing in training camp for the Knicks. Second-year forward Marcus Landry played on assignment from Boston in the NBA D-League last season with Maine, while Donald Sloan is a rookie guard who starred at Texas A&M. Veteran Aaron Miles was a solid point guard in his first NBA D-League stint back in the 2005-06 season, while Bighorns reserves Mo Charlo and Chris Davis are back for another season.
Rio Grande Valley Vipers
The Vipers will be starting over as only reserve center Mickell Gladness, reserve guard Terrel Harris, and Rio Grande Valley mainstay Stanley "The Animal" Asumnu return from last year's championship squad. The team does bring in some promising young players from Rockets training camp, including massive center Jordan Egleseder and guard Jerel McNeal. Egleseder played a big role in Northern Iowa's NCAA tournament run in March, while McNeal was a second-team All-American at Marquette. 6-9 Patrick Sullivan was also in training camp with Houston after finishing his college career as Southeastern Lousiana's all-time leader in blocked shots.
Sioux Falls Skyforce
The Skyforce return only two players from last year's playoff team in super-sub Leemire Goldwire and former NBA swingman Chris McCray. McCray is a veteran who played for the Grizzlies in the Las Vegas Summer League after averaging 8.5 points in Sioux Falls last season. Sioux Falls brings in a crowd of open tryout players as well as Miami Heat training camp cut Anthony Mason Jr. A rookie from St. John's, Mason is an athletic wing who was a prolific three-point shooter in his college career.
| || |
| Jama Abu-Shamala (Tryout)||F||6-7||210||Minnesota|
|Leemire Goldwire (Returning)||G||5-11||180||Charlotte|
| Anthony Harris (Tryout)||G||6-2||187||Miami|
| Ralph Holmes (Tryout)||G||6-4||190||Cal State-Fullterton|
| Anthony Mason Jr. (Affiliate - Heat)||F||6-7||215||St. John's|
| John Millsap (Tryout)||G||6-6||225||Texas State-San Antonio|
| Brandon Smith (Tryout)||G||6-6||215||Minnesota|
JamesOn Curry returns to the Armor for a second season after earning a GATORADE Call-Up to the Clippers in 2009-10. Curry averaged 16.1 points before his season was cut short by injury. One of last year's expansion draft picks, center Jamar Brown heads to Springfield after playing in 46 games for Colorado in 2008-09. Tre Whitted also returns after starting 24 games last season and posting 8.9 points per game.
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The Legends have some big names in the front office, and they're also bringing in some big names from Dallas Mavericks training camp for their first NBA D-League season. The team will suit up two former NBA first-round picks as Rashad McCants and Sean WIlliams will head to the NBA D-League as they seek a return to the NBA. McCants did not play in 2009-10 but enters the season with a scoring average of 10.0 points over four NBA seasons. Williams finished last season in China after he was released by the Nets. He should be one of the best rebounders and shot-blockers in the NBA D-League. The team also will have two superior athletes acquired in the Expansion Draft in the form of Keith Clark and Dar Tucker. Tucker is a high-scoring guard who won the NBA D-League Dunk Contest in February, while Clark is looking to bounce back after injuries derailed his 2009-10 season.
| Pierce Caldwell (Tryout)||G||6-3||200||Incarnate Word|
|Keith Clark (Returning)||F||6-8||245||Oklahoma|
| Andre Gatlin (Tryout)|
|Rashad McCants (Affiliate - North Carolina)||G||6-4||215||North Carolina|
|Dar Tucker (Returning)||G||6-4||205||DePaul|
|Sean Williams (Affiliate - Dallas)||F/C||6-10||235||Boston College|
The 66ers are looking for more after a trip to the Finals in April, and they bring back most of their key perormers from last year's team. Mustafa Shakur, one of the league's top guards in 2009-10, is back after playing for the Hornets in the preseason. He could have some competition at guard in the form of Zabian Dowdell, who played well in Summer League and for the Suns in preseason after a brief cameo in Tulsa last year. Veteran forward Larry Owens, former NBA center Steven Hill, and reserve big man Marcus Lewis also return along with NBA second-round pick Latavious Williams. Three players from Thunder training camp also join a loaded squad in the form of guards Tweety Carter, Jerome Dyson, and Elijah Millsap. Carter led the Big 12 in assists last season at Baylor was a fourth-team All-American.
The Flash have a new coach in former assistant Kevin Young, but the roster will have a very familiar feel with a host of returning players. Former Bobcats Call-Up Dontell Jefferson leads the way and should be one of the league's top guards after he was hampered by injuries in 2009-10. Veteran point guard Kevin Kruger, athletic forward Brian Hamilton, and three-point marksmen Andre Ingram are also back for their third seasons in Orem. NBA veteran Orien Greene and do-everything role player Jordan Brady are also back after spending 2009-10 with the Flash. The team also will get two players waived by their NBA affiliates in training camp, as rookie forward Evan Brock and guard Ryan Thompson join what should be one of the top teams in the West Conference.