Jamaal Tinsley's name was brought up with one other rather interesting name in a text message from a D-League coach to me on Monday afternoon, a few hours before it was the hot topic on my Twitter account. I hinted at it on Twitter, but didn't know if it was worth putting out there as it seemed Tinsley didn't make a lot of sense to enter the draft for a league with Development in its name.
Tinsley will be 34 at some point during the D-League season, making him the second oldest player in the D-League Draft behind fellow former NBA stalwart Antoine Walker. Unlike Walker, however, it seems as though Tinsley's zest for playing basketball has been absent for quite awhile.
A first round pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, Tinsley was injured often enough that he made it through just more than 53 games just three times during his eight-year NBA career -- and that isn't counting the fact that he sat out the 2008-09 season while exiled from the Indiana Pacers or this past season after not finding an NBA home due to a lackluster comeback season with the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2009-10 season.
This isn't to say that Tinsley won't make the most of his D-League opportunity because it obviously takes quite a bit of humble pie to be able swallow one's pride and announce to the world that the D-League is going to be the league you're calling home. It does make me wonder if he'll stick it out, however, knowing he's been unhappy in much better situations in the past.
Regardless of what I think of Tinsley, however, he's currently the best player known in the D-League Draft and therefore the probable first overall pick of the Los Angeles D-Fenders under head coach Eric Musselman. Typically, however, the best players wait until the last possible day to send in their D-League contracts just in case an offer they can't refuse happens to pop up overseas.
Other recognizable names that seem like they would be worthy of early-round picks as of Monday's signings, however, include:
- Chris Daniels (he worked out for the Heat, Timberwolves and Pacers prior to the lockout)
- Villanova's Curtis Sumpter
- Former Louisiana-Lafayette standout Tyren Johnson
- Former Siena standout Edwin Ubiles
- South Florida rookie Jarrid Famous
- Dayton rookie Chris Wright
- Illinois big man Mike Davis
- Virginia guard Mustapha Farrakhan
- U-Mass guard Anthony Gurley
- Brady Morningstar, formerly of the Kansas Jayhawks
- Montana guard Anthony Johnson (He was pretty good in this game)
- Mac Koshwal, former DePaul big man/teammate of Mike Gansey in Spain
Hopefully, for the sake of the D-League, more interesting names arise on Tuesday. With players who played in the NBA last year outlawed from playing in the D-League this year, however, those names will have to include Tinsley-like retreads (Larry Hughes, anyone) and undrafted rookies.
For everyone's information, the first round is draft order is included below:
1. Los Angeles D-Fenders
2. Austin Toros
3. Maine Red Claws
4. Sioux Falls Skyforce
5. Texas Legends
6. Bakersfield Jam (from Iowa Energy)
7. Erie BayHawks
8. Bakersfield Jam
9. Erie BayHawks (from Idaho Stampede)
10. Fort Wayne Mad Ants
11. Tulsa 66ers
12. Dakota Wizards
13. Bakersfield Jam (from Reno Bighorns)
14. Rio Grande Valley Vipers
15. Canton Charge
16. Tulsa 66ers (from Springfield Armor)