After cutting down the nets in Colorado, Billy Thomas will be playing for the Maine Red Claws this season.
While RU had its mock draft on Tuesday, yesterday was the actual expansion draft with the Springfield Armor and Maine Red Claws picking from among the guys who finished last season with either Colorado or Anaheim, both of which are now no more (though Springfield is kinda-sorta the new Anaheim). The teams were actually drafting the D-League rights to these players, not the players themselves, so in some cases the teams were drafting guys who have already signed elsewhere, in the hopes that they're either cut by the NBA or come back from overseas during the season, in which cases the players would join whoever drafted them. A round-by-round list of the picks can be found here, but since there were only two teams drafting I'll just list the final "rosters":
|James Mays||Trey Gilder|
|Eddie Gill||Billy Thomas|
|Kentrell Gransberry||Noel Felix|
|Cedric Bozeman||John Lucas III|
|Jamar Brown||Kedrick Brown|
|Malick Badiane||Dominique Coleman|
|Marcus Taylor||Joe Dabbert|
|Cameron Bennerman||Josh Davis|
|Kirk Walters||Andre Patterson|
Overall, the Red Claws bet heavily on the players I was talking about above, taking James White and Trey Gilder (who both have at least partially-guaranteed NBA contracts) with their first two picks, then followed up later in the draft by taking Dominique Coleman, who's going to play in Belgium, and Joe Dabbert, who's going to be in Korea. If these work out it was a good draft for them, but if not then they'd better hope to get some NBA assignees this season. The Red Claws also were able to pick up Josh Davis in the ninth round, though, which is crazily low, so that was definitely a good pickup.
I really like what Springfield did in the draft, taking up the best center in the draft with the first pick (Campbell*) then surrounding him guys who can score like Bozeman and Mays. They also seemed to have cornered the market on available big men. Felix and Davis are the only two players Maine has right now who can play in the middle. There really were two different philosophies at work here, with the Armor taking guys who can contribute immediately and maybe keep fans coming to games once the novelty of having a new team wears off. Both teams will be filling out their rosters with players from local tryouts, of course, but at this point Springfield seems more ready to start the season.
* Thanks to an alert reader for reminding me that it was Marcus Campbell who was drafted, not Hubbard.
But that's just one man's opinion. What do you, the viewers at home, think?