The NBA Development League was ravaged quite a bit as 60 players were called up over the past few days to fill out training camp rosters, but games still happened. Not all of them were pretty and many didn't feature the usual allure of NBA prospects, but games still happened as the box scores located here will show.
Now that that's out of the way, though, it would seem that looking back on exactly what happened as far as NBA prospects and the NBA are concerned is of a bit more importance -- game recaps aren't particularly important when most teams have make-shift starting lineups in place and a few players stepping onto the court right off the plane.
The NBA has picked the D-League pretty clean, but there are still a number of players toiling in the D-League with legitimate basketball careers ahead of them ... or in their recent past, which should allow them at least another training camp invite).
Players like Durrell Summers (Charlotte Bobcats), Marshall Brown (Portland Trail Blazers) and Casey Mitchell (Miami Heat) all earned camp invites a bit later in the process than most and, if the NBA decision makers are smart, there are a few players that should still be headed to the NBA as camp progresses in the next couple of weeks.
- Eric Musselman and the Los Angeles D-Fenders had the most players called up to training camp with six different prospects earning their way aboard an NBA roster, but a seventh -- big man Brandon Costner -- was probably more deserving than a couple of their invites. He doesn't look to be in optimal shape at the time, but the former North Carolina State standout has a nice outside game and has been an NBA prospect in the past with Summer League invites from the Chicago Bulls to show for it.
- Paul Mokeski's Reno Bighorns had three players make the jump from the D-League to the NBA over the weekend, but at least two of his players probably have better resumes than the majority of the training camp call-ups. Cedric Bozeman and Nick Fazekas are both former second round picks in the NBA, but were overlooked when teams came calling last week. The Bighorns picked up a victory this weekend as Fazekas scored 22 points to go with eight rebounds while Bozeman scored 24 points and added eight assists for good measure.
- The Bighorns tandem isn't the only deserving pair of teammates that deserved an NBA look this weekend, however, as the Bakersfield Jam backcourt of Mustapha Farrakhan and Osiris Eldridge both possess the ridiculous upside necessary for an NBA prospect. The two combined for 41 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds on Saturday night as Eldridge took his transgressions out with a particularly aggressive dunk.
- Ryan Reid of the Tulsa 66ers also probably deserves a shout-out in this little segment. The Tulsa 66ers big man is averaging a rather modest 11.8 points and 8.9 rebounds in the D-League, but his size and strength make him at least worthy of a training camp invite. Reid was a second round pick of the Oklahoma City Thunder a couple of seasons ago, however, meaning they would lose his rights if he were invited to camp and then cut -- necessitating him staying at home in the D-League.
- I went on record to say that the Dakota Wizards had perhaps the strongest group of returners in the D-League before the season even started. That hasn't changed since, either, but there are still three solid players playing in Bismarck instead of Boston. Veteran point guard Maurice Baker along with forwards Mike Anderson and Curtis Withers all seem to either have the veteran know-how to at least be worthy of a training camp invite.
- Last, but not least, is Anthony Mason Jr. of the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Mason Jr. has had trouble staying healthy in the past, but after a summer training at IMG Academies, he's seemed in good shape thus far in the D-League season. Mason Jr. scored a season-high 26 points against the Iowa Energy on Saturday night, though his five turnovers in the loss probably aren't the most helpful in his quest for a call-up.
It's likely NBA training camp cuts will come sooner rather than later during the lockout-shortened preseason. Until then, though, the above ten players are all worth keeping an eye on when looking for NBA potential in the D-League.
For a full list of training camp invitees, check here.