That was Joe Alexander after he was selected as the eighth overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks on draft night.
Since then, Alexander's played in 59 games with zero starts, became the highest pick to have his rookie option turned down (only other
two four? Patrick O'Bryant, Reno's Mark Deeks) and has missed all of this season with a lingering hamstring injury. He will get a chance to show what he's able to do soon, however, as league sources tell Ridiculous Upside that Alexander will be assigned to the D-League's Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
I have no indication as to how long Alexander will be assigned, but I'd assume at least until he's back into basketball shape and probably until he's able to be showcased as part of a trade package with the glut of expiring veterans on the roster.
Personally, I'm really excited for this because Alexander, at least pre-injury, had what I, and many others, would call ridiculous upside.
Alexander's game is unpolished in all facets, which is why a bout in the D-League could actually help him figure his role at the NBA level out. Last season, he split time at both forward spots, but didn't excel at either position. Seems to me, once Alexander decided what he's going to be good at, and then, you know, gets good at it, he'll be able to be a respectable rotation player. As of right now, he's mildly okay at a lot of things, but not really good enough at one thing (besides being an athlete, I guess).
In Fort Wayne, though, they can certainly help him with this. Between longtime former DePaul coach Joey Meyer, who was credited with the development ofwhen he was with the Tulsa 66ers, former assistant and defensive specialist while in the NBA Mike Sanders, big man coach by default and Mike Gansey's brother, Steve (Seriously.), he'll have enough coaching to develop ... something.
The most interesting part to me, regarding this assignment, is where the Mad Ants decide to play him. With Rob Kurz holding down the 4-spot, Alexander would presumably have to play the 3 (Neither player is a center, even in the D-League). While his future is on the wing, I don't think he's got the footspeed that requires him to play exclusively on the wing, especially with Kurz one of his "big men."
If he plays tonight (I'm not sure when he's joining the Mad Ants), he'd be matched up with the Austin Toros', who went to camp with the after playing this Summer for the (He's good). Following that, two games against Othyus Jeffers, who was nearly called-up at the end of last season with the . Next comes Springfield, where he'd, presumably, match-up with , king of the D-League scorers.
If those match-up's go as planned, I'm not sure that Alexander's D-League stint is going to be any easier than his NBA career has been. What do you think?