The NBA Development League's annual Showcase is less than a week away and, judging by the level of talent entering the D-League this week, the scouts in attendance are in line to see the most talent the D-League's had in quite a long time.
Not all of the players in attendance are going to be available for a call-up, however, as NBA teams are also assigning their rookies to get some games in against their D-League contemporaries. Dime Magazine's Aron Phillips noted earlier in the week that there are quite a few NBA veterans playing in the D-League, but there are also going to be quite a few first-year pros plying their trade on D-League rosters across America.
On Tuesday, the San Antonio Spurs assigned rookie Cory Joseph to the Austin Toros, the Denver Nuggets assigned Jordan Hamilton and Julyan Stone to the Idaho Stampede and the Houston Rockets decided Marcus Morris could use some court time with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. They'll join Darington Hobson, Hamady Ndiaye, Tyler Honeycutt and Hassan Whiteside as first and second-year NBA players on assignment.
The assignment of all of these players seems to coincide with something I've believed for quite some time: Young players are better off playing in games rather than sitting on NBA benches -- especially when practice time is sparse during the lockout-truncated schedule.