The Korean Basketball League had their draft last week. So why are we talking about it? The draft featured several players who saw time in the D-League last year. Unlike the NBA draft, where players are picked then sign contracts (or ahem, decide to stay in Spain), players sign with the KBL before the draft, so the players listed below will definitely be in Korea next year. Among those picked were Jasper Johnson, Herbert Hill, Gary Wilkinson, Joe Dabbert and, of all people, Samaki Walker. Not that I'm surprised he's playing in Korea, I'm just surprised he's playing at all.
Anyway, as you'll notice, all of the guys drafted are power forwards and centers. The Korean Basketball League used to have a 6'8" height restriction, but that's gone now. Because of that, in some cases it seems like a team drafted the tallest guy it could find in the first round, regardless of talent. Regular readers of this site will now a bit about the players I mentioned above, so here are some notes on the ones you might not be as familiar with:
Overall I thought Busan and Seoul did pretty well. I was under the impression Samaki Walker had nothing left physically, but he must be alright enough to be able to play in Korea, and the combination of him and Dabbert will be solid for the SK Knights. I'm not a huge Greg Stiemsma fan (he just didn't produce a whole lot at the college or American pro levels), but his per-minute rebounding numbers were okay and should be even better in the Korean league, and Jasper Johnson should be pretty good over there.
Nigel Dixon is a large man (listed at 6'11", 320 pounds) who spent some time in the D-League a few years ago, and who's been playing around the world since then. Turnovers and fouls were a problem in the D-League, as was his weight I imagine, but I don't know how he's faring with those these days. Chris Alexander played in the D-League more recently (as in, the last two seasons), and while he 2007-2008 was fairly solid for Sioux Falls he fell off a little bit this past season before going to the Chinese Professional League. Craig Bradshaw is a New Zealand national teamer who also played for Winthrop, and he's more of a shooter than an "around the rim" guy. Amal McCaskill bounced around the NBA for a few seasons, and appeared in 59 games for the 76ers in 2003, but he's primarily played outside the US since being drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1996. Mack Tuck is probably best known for going into the stands after being hit with a water bottle in the Chinese Professional League a few years ago. If he does that in Korea, though, he'll likely be expelled from the league.
Here's how the two rounds went (three teams re-signed a player each and so forfeited a first round pick):
|1||Daegu Orions||Herbert Hill|
|2||Busan KT Magic Wings||Greg Stiemsma|
|3||Seoul SK Knights||Samaki Walker|
|4||Anyang KT&G Kites||Nigel Dixon|
|5||Incheon ET Land Black Slamer||Chris Daniels|
|6||Changwon LG Sakers||Chris Alexander|
|7||Wongju Dongbu Promy||Marquin Chandler|
|8||Wongju Dongbu Promy||Gary Wilkinson|
|9||Changwon LG Sakers||Craig Bradshaw|
|10||Incheon ET Land Black Slamer||Amal McCaskill|
|11||Anyang NT&G Kites||Rashad Bell|
|12||Seoul SK Knights||Joe Dabbert|
|13||Busan KT Magic Wings||Jasper Johnson|
|14||Daegu Orions||Kevin Martin|
|15||Ulsan Mobis Phoebus||Abdullahi Kuso|
|16||Jeonju KCC Egis||Mack Tuck|
|17||Seoul Samsung Thunders||Bryant Matthews|