The NBA invited 60 players from the NBA Development League to vie for spots on the team's regular season rosters, but there are plenty of other players invited that were sitting at home waiting for their next opportunity when the lockout ended earlier this month. Those players could end up back in the D-League, too, thanks to a loophole the D-League has once again decided to instill this season.
D-League affiliates will own the rights to three players invited to their NBA team's vet camp for the second straight season, meaning some of the training camp signings could simply be leveraging those players for extended looks with the D-League affiliate -- particularly in the case of the nine NBA teams that are directly affiliated with a team in the Development League.
29 players found their way on to the roster of an NBA team's D-League affiliate after being released from vet camp last season, the first time such a rule was in place, and it's quite possible a similar number of players could be added to the D-League this season under the same rule.
One spot where it gets dicey this year, though, is there are quite a few players already claimed by the D-League thanks to the NBA season starting after the Development League season began. Returning players take priority over the affiliate rule, but there are still plenty of players in camp that won't be returning to a D-League team.
The San Antonio Spurs, for instance, have invited Luke Zeller, Doug Thomas, Devin Gibson, Frank Hassell, Gani Lawal and Antoine Hood to training camp. Zeller and Thomas would return to the Austin Toros and Reno Bighorns respectively if they're cut, three of the remaining four could automatically join the Spurs-owned Toros if they decide to sign with the D-League upon being released in camp (teams are limited to three total players from their NBA affiliates).
The rule obviously helps out NBA teams that own their affiliates more than others because they're able to potentially add worthy prospects to their D-League affiliate to keep them close and under the guidance of their coaches, but the rule should help bring in more talent when training camp ends either way.