While social media was abuzz with speculation about Philadelphia rookie Ben Simmons’ return from a fractured foot in the coming days, weeks or months, it was another NBA Ben making news of a quieter sort.
According to Adam Johnson of D-League Digest.com, Ben Gordon – a shooting guard from UConn who played 11 seasons for Chicago, Detroit, Charlotte and Orlando – has signed to play in the NBA D-League, with his whereabouts to be determined via a waiver claim:
Former NBA veteran Ben Gordon has signed a D-League contract, league source tells @DLeagueDigest. Windy City Bulls sit atop waiver order— Adam Johnson (@AdamJNBA) January 18, 2017
The possibility of Gordon landing with the Windy City Bulls in Chicago’s northwest suburbs might intrigue some fans. Gordon, 33, was drafted No. 3 overall by the Bulls in 2004. He had his best years in that city, averaging 18.5 points and hitting 41.5 percent of his 3-point attempts in five seasons there.
He left as a free agent in July 2009, signing with Detroit and averaging 12.4 points in 196 games. Gordon made 94 appearances for Charlotte from 2012-2014, then played in 56 games with the Magic in 2014-15. Gordon’s last NBA appearance came on March 22, 2015, not quite two years ago.
As the NBA continues to position the D-League as a full-fledged minor league that will facilitate two-way contracts with parent franchises and eventually have 1-to-1 affiliations with the 30 teams, it’s likely we’ll see more former NBA players trying to revive their careers there.
Our man Scott Howard-Cooper wrote a piece about players transitioning to coaching careers in the D-League, and a comment by Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder – who spent three seasons with the Austin Toros – can apply just as well to guys eager to keep playing.
Said Snyder: “Guys that have been in the D-League are having a greater opportunity for people in the NBA to see them, get to know them and respect them. It’s the opportunity to gain respect.”
For Gordon, it might be a chance to get back to The Association and some lucrative paychecks, if he has enough game to attract a buyer.