The good news for fans of the Sacramento Kings is that Beno Udrih scored 18 points, dished 15 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds for a triple double in 47 minutes and 31 seconds of action yesterday again the .
The bad news is that the Kings were forced to play Udrih 47 minutes and 31 seconds. With Tyreke Evans still out due to the concussion/jaw injury he suffered over a week ago and well, no other real point guard options on the roster (the emergency option would be Francisco Garcia, but he missed the last game as well), the Kings could possibly be looking to a point guard from the D-League to ride out the season according to Sactown Royalty's Tom Ziller.
This is where I come in and suggest point guards from the D-League in the D-League salesman role I seem to have come to embody. Luckily, we have a few different models from the PG position that could fit in with the Kings for the remaining few weeks of the D-League season.
After the jump, I present to you my three favorites along with every other candidate I could assume might be in line for a D-League call-up!
Mustafa Shakur, Tulsa 66ers (20.4 ppg, 7.1 apg, 4.6 rpg, 50% FG, 40% 3pt, 2.3 steals) - I realize that Shakur didn't necessarily endear himself to the Kings when he was in town as a rookie back in the 2007 preseason, but the times, they are a-changin'. I profiled Shakur rather in-depth here, but what he's able to bring to the Kings is great shooting percentages, good size, a decent assist average and some possible sticking ability/upside if the Kings would happen to like what they see for the next few weeks. He's already been called up once this month (to the ), so why not make March twice as nice?
Will Conroy, Rio Grande Valley Vipers (15.6 ppg,10.1 apg, 6.2 rpg, 52% FG, 38% 3pt) - Conroy has already been called up twice this season to the , owners of his D-League team, which probably says something. And, like Shakur, I recently profiled Conroy for an article I wrote for HoopsAddict. In short, he's a bit of an NBA veteran (five call-ups during his career), he's running an NBA system and the most efficient offense ever in the D-League and has been able to adapt to whatever situation he's needed (scorer, distributor or a combination of both).
Coby Karl, Idaho Stampede (18.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.0 apg, 43% FG, 33% 3pt) - I thought about making him the prohibitive favorite simply because Kings assistant Bryan Gates coached him during his D-League days, but I'm not sure how much pull Gates has with Sacramento - yet. Karl's been an NBA player due to mostly being the son of coach George Karl and therefore exhibiting all of the traits NBA teams like out of coach's sons - hard work, determination, effort, high basketball IQ and good teammateability. He's already played for the Cavs and the this season, so it's not a stretch to assume that one more call-up is a possibility.
Combos I like:
Marcus Williams, Austin Toros (25.3 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.3 rpg, 61% FG, 48% 3pt) - Williams isn't a prototypical point guard due to his lanky 6-foot-7 frame and pretty solid scoring abilities. Still, as chronicled in this post from 48 Minutes of Hell, he began to transition into a point guard with the Austin Toros last season more out of necessity than anything and it seemed to work quite well. He's only been back in the D-League for four games this season after starting in China, but his averages thus far are pretty much on par compared to last season.
Trey Johnson, Bakersfield Jam (21.5 ppg, 6.9 apg, 3.4 rpg, 48% FG) - Again, by no means is he a pure point guard, but he's been developing into the position since mid-last season. He's 6-foot-6 and finished as the second-highest scorer in the NCAA while at Jackson State, so he has both of those things going for him as well. Last season, he was called up to the Cleveland Cavaliers twice, though didn't see much court time.
Curtis Stinson, Iowa Energy (15.3 ppg, 11.0 apg, 5.5 rpg, 47% FG, 16% 3pt, 4.2 TO) - In my recap from Stinson's most recent game, I dedicated an entire paragraph to him, so I'll steal my summarization of his game from that: Why isn't he in the NBA, you ask? Iowa Energy announcer Marty Tirrell explained that very question during the Baker run in the fourth quarter: "If you wanna know why 's not in the NBA, watch his mouth right here. He can't keep his head in the game." While I'd always heard it was his shooting (he shoots jump shots at a 39.6% clip on the last report I got and has made just eight of his 49 3-point attempts on the season), his head may also be an issue as he leads the league in technical fouls with 12. Still, those numbers are rather impressive - could the good outweigh the bad?
Cedric Jackson, Erie BayHawks (16.4 ppg, 7.4 apg, 5.6 rpg, 43% FG, 27% 3pt, 2.1 spg) - His numbers are pretty spectacular and he's already been called up to the Cleveland Cavaliers and during this, his rookie, season. Jackson does a lot of things well in the box score, but is prone to trying to take the game over by taking the ball to the rack play after play after play instead of distributing it to his able teammates. He has his fans, but for some reason I can't consider myself one of them.
Andre Barrett, Idaho Stampede (18.3 ppg, 6.7 apg, 2.4 rpg, 49% FG, 33% 3pt) - He's a former NBA player, but at 5-foot-11, I'm not sure exactly what he'd bring to the table. He's always played well in the D-League, but his 67 games of NBA experience have never really shown much promise. For instance, those 67 games have come with six different teams over four seasons.