by Matthew Brennan, NBA D-League.com
The 2010 NBA D-League Showcase is next week, with a total of 16 games in four days from Boise, Idaho. The action kicks off Monday at 1 p.m. ET with Albuquerque vs. Rio Grande Valley, and continues with four games each day. If you are not familiar with the NBA D-League Showcase, or just want to refresh your memory on why it's an important event for both the NBA D-League and the NBA, here is a primer. Listed below are some big reasons why you should be paying attention to the basketball that will go down in Boise.
1. The Search For GATORADE Call-Ups
|Joe Crawford is one of many former NBA players looking to excel at the 2010 Showcase.|
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/Getty Images
The main reason for the Showcase is for NBA scouts and general managers to get a chance to see all of the NBA D-League's teams or players in one place, resulting in some of the most talented players receiving GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA. A good performance at the Showcase can do a lot for a player's career with so many important basketball people in the stands watching the action. Some current players who have used the Showcase to help launch their basketball careers into the NBA include Houston's Chuck Hayes
, Phoenix's Louis Amundson
, Detroit's Will Bynum
. During the 2007 Showcase, Dakota's Renaldo Major
actually was signed by the Golden State Warrior's after an excellent game on the first night of the event. Check out the latest Prospect Watch
post on the top present candidates for a call-up. A big game or two at the Showcase could see them on an NBA roster in the next few weeks.
2.NBA Assigned Players
The NBA D-League Showcase isn't just about players trying to get signed by the NBA. It also give NBA players on assignment a chance to show how they are developing during their time in the NBA D-League. An excellent showing at the Showcase can help an assignned player get a recall to his NBA team and possibly break into their rotation down the stretch. Or, with so many NBA teams at the Showcase, an assigned player can imrpove his stock around the league with the NBA's trading deadline approaching in February. A few notable NBA players who have starred at the Showcase while on assignment include Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Barea, Lakers guard Shannon Brown, Raptors forward Amir Johnson, and Timberwolves guard Ramon Sessions. This year's Showcase might feature several NBA players on assignment, including Houston's Joey Dorsey (Rio Grande Valley), Charlotte Alexis Ajinca (Charlotte), and Phoenix's Taylor Griffin (Iowa).
3. NBA Veterans Looking For Another Shot At The NBA
The NBA D-League Showcase isn't only for young prospects trying to get their first shot at the NBA. They are also plenty of players with NBA experience who will be in action as look to play their way back onto an NBA roster. Some of the most notable include former Atlanta Hawk Mario West (Maine), fomer Celtic Gabe Pruitt (Los Angeles), former first-round picks Cedric Simmons (Idaho) and Yaroslav Korolev (Albuquerque), veteran guards Billy Thomas and Keith McLeod, and former Miami Heat center Earl Barron. There are also many players who have gotten GATORADE Call-Ups in past NBA D-League season who are back in search of another call from an NBA team. Some of the top examples are Dontell Jefferson (Utah), Joe Crawford (Los Angeles), Will Conroy (Rio Grande Valley), and Jared Reiner (Fort Wayne).
4. College Stars Making Their Way In The Pros
Was there a March Madness star that you might have lost track of after his college career ended? He might be playing in the Showcase and trying to earn a spot on an NBA roster. The NBA D-League is full of big names from recent college basketball seasons and they will all be in action during the Showcase. Some of the recent college stars who you can see try to elevate their game to the next level include Memphis's Antonio Anderson (Rio Grande Valley), Syracuse's Eric Devendorf (Reno), Arizona's Mustafa Shakur (Tulsa), Notre Dame's Kyle McAlarney (Fort Wayne), and Wisconsin's Brian Butch (Bakersfield).
2. Watch All The Action On NBA Futurecast and NBA TV
If you can't make it to Boise, you can still catch all of the action from the Showcase via NBA TV and NBA Futurecast. A total of seven of the 16 games will be shown live on NBA TV, and the rest can be seen for free on this website on NBA Futurecast. Of course, NBA D-League.com and NBA.com will also have plenty of coverage of everything happening in Boise.