UPDATE: None of these guys stuck, but it sounds like former D-Leaguer Cheikh Samb was there and will get a contract. Hopefully if Marbury is bought out, one of these guys gets a shot, whether it's James White or Dontell Jefferson.
Knickerbocker fans, the D-League will be coming to your city soon. At least a couple of players, anyway. In a story from the NY Daily News, the Knicks are planning a huge try-out today, bringing in D-Leaguer's Demetris Nichols, James White, Joe Crawford, Dontell Jefferson, and Chris Hunter, along with Quincy Douby.
This is very good news for the D-League, as they're trying out quite a few guys at all different positions, meaning someone will more than likely stick and they'll know what they want down the road. It's very similar to what Phoenix did earlier in the year with point guards.
I'm surprised Walker Russell wasn't included, but am very glad that Jefferson is getting a shot. I did a post on Jefferson a couple of weeks ago, easily the most underrated player in the D-League. Also, sorry Knicks fans, but Patrick Ewing Jr. seems like he'll be sticking in the D-League, or at least not in the NBA.
Quick rundown on the rest of the D-League guys:
Chris Hunter, 5 -- This one surprises me, but I'm happy about it. According to a few of the D-League coaches I've talked to Chris Hunter is higher on their list than Courtney Sims, current Suns call-up. I don't know if I'd go that far, as he's not as polished, but is definitely a force inside. The third year pro out of Michigan will bang with the best of them, as his 6'11", 240 pound body would seem to tell you. He's averaging 18 points, 10 boards, and a block per game. He's also shooting 55% from the field. As long as you don't need anything further than seven feet from the basket, he's your big man.
Joe Crawford, 2/3 -- The Lakers 2nd round pick this season out of Kentucky, is a solid, not stand-out, player. He's got a great team around him, but they've got the 2nd least wins in the D-League. He takes a lot of shots, makes a good amount of shots, and generally plays hard in the games I've watched. He's averaging 21.7 points, shooting 38% from 3 and 46% from the field.
James White, 2/3 -- James White is, hands down, the most amazing athlete in the the D-League. He's a talent, but he's been nothing close to consistent lately. In his last game, he went crazy, scoring 33 points, grabbing 11 boards and dishing seven assists. The night before, he went 3-for-9, scoring 12 points with three assists and three turnovers. The game before that, he scored 35 points, but hit just 1-for-8 from the 3-point line. On the season he's averaging 25.6 points, butwith more turnovers than assists. But boy can he dunk!
Demetris Nichols, 3 -- He's played 16 games in the NBA over the past two seasons between the Cav's and the Bulls and was traded to the Knicks in a draft day deal in 2007, before semi-screwing them/himself. In the D-League this season, he's averaging 19 points, but little else. The nice thing to see is he's picked up his perimeter game, shooting 43% from the 3-point line, something he struggled with last year in the D-League. He'll mostly sit out on the perimeter and shoot 3's, and as a 6'8" dude, that's not such a bad thing if he's hitting them.
Who do you think would be the best fit? I'm hoping they go with Jefferson and Chris Hunter, as the rest have had their shots. Crawford will have plenty in the future, but I'm always down on a guy that can't lead his team to a win. Seems like Nichols will more than likely be the front runner. I just hope they go with two and the second doesn't rhyme with Chinsey Hruby.