At the beginning of the month, more and more players with D-League experience began signing with NBA teams in hopes of making a positive enough impression during training camp.
But as teams begin to fine tune their rosters and more seriously mold a competitive team towards opening night, some of these same D-League alumni have failed to make the cut.
With the NBA preseason now officially upon us, coaching staffs are putting different units on the floor to explore who fits well with who, and which of the players still remaining from the camp roster can make surprising impacts.
As other D-League prospects have been forced to pack their backs and prepare for another season in the minors, Alando Tucker, Orien Greene, and Eddie Gill have been left still standing in Milwaukee. All three D-League alum are fighting for a spot on the Bucks, and have at the very least, made it thus far, as they try to do so.
No longer considered "prospects" themselves, the trio of guards have all had their fair share of chances to break into the NBA. As a group, Tucker, Greene, and Gill have a combined fifteen "seasons" of experience in The Association, though much of that time has been spent between stints as they simply try to break in.
Given that they're all veterans of sorts in their own right, the experience each has amassed over the years could be a huge asset to them. The Bucks have been on the NBA playoff bubble for quite some time, just missing out on that final spot again and again. That said, poised to boast a roster balanced with youth and experience this coming season, perhaps this is the year Milwaukee finally makes noise.
And as they look to put a competitive team on the floor, each player's own ability to keep composure throughout is undoubtedly crucial. When the starters come out, the Bucks can't afford younger players getting overwhelmed and slipping up under the bright lights in the bigger moments. Tucker, Greene, and Gill have all been on the big stage before, can handle all the hype, and will likely make choices similar to that of a savvy NBA veteran when they hit the hardwood.
The NBA D-League is not a place where superstars emerge, rather a league where strong niche players ready to fulfill their roles, develop. The experiences each guard has had over the years have certainly prepared them enough to be a role player on an NBA team, giving a franchise quality minutes, whether it be in garbage time, or instead while spelling the first unit.
Having most recently played overseas in Australia, Gill last played in the D-League during the 2008-09 season. Tucker joined a bevy of players with NBA experience on the Texas Legends last season, averaging 14.5 points per game on 44% shooting from the field. Greene, the final journeyman of the bunch, had a strong showing in the NBADL postseason for the Los Angeles D-Fenders after averaging 9.2 points and 4.5 assists per game in the regular season.