Prospect Watch presented by BBVA, Playoffs Edition: Round 2
The NBA D-League regular season came and went, but NBA eyes are always watching, and the NBA D-League Playoffs gives the players lucky enough to make it yet another platform to showcase their abilities. Whether during NBA Summer League, training camp or next season, being a part of a winning team could pay off down the road.
Here are the players who boosted their stock the most during the second round.
Stock Watch: Howard didn't do anything during Fort Wayne's two wins over Sioux Falls that he hadn't done all season -- or for the last seven years, for that matter. But the Mad Ants' surprising run to the NBA D-League Finals -- winning 10 straight games and 17 of 19 -- is a testament to their unselfish, dependable leader. Even after another year passed by without an NBA Call-Up, Howard has sacrificed his personal goals with team goals in mind, setting the tone for his younger teammates.
Stock Watch: While the "Splash Brothers" offer a cool storyline, it was really Goulbourne who was Santa Cruz's semifinals MVP. As we anticipated prior to the series, the Vipers had no answer for him down low, where he got 16 of his 18 buckets within five feet of the rim. His length and athleticism was equally important on the other end of the floor, where he helped hold Rockets rookie assignee Robert Covington to 50 points on 49 shots, including 5-of-27 from three.
Stock Watch: For the past two years Rojas was a classic effort player off the Mad Ants' bench, who survived with all-out hustle more than anything else. Now he's arguably their best player. It's a remarkable rise made more remarkable considering his career appeared over after a horrific back injury two years ago. The corner three continues a weapon for Rojas, who hit 4-of-9 from the corner during semifinals.