And just like that, the dominos begin to fall.
This week, D-League prospects are putting their all into standing a fighting chance at snagging that coveted roster spot on an NBA team. Though it's undoubtedly an uphill battle, some sneak by and/or make the cut, while others get sent packing early.
Vipers guard Vance Cooksey, who signed on with the Chicago Bulls for training camp just earlier this week, saw his own NBA training camp stint end far too early. The guard was waived by the big league squad just four days after joining them.
With past NBA M.V.P. point guard Derrick Rose scheduled to be sidelined for much of the upcoming season while he rehabs back from a horrific knee injury, Chicago appears likely to depend on a brigade of floor generals (led by veteran Kirk Hinrich) to help get them by.
Cooksey certainly had potential to be solid enough to help them fill the void in the meantime. The playmaker split last season in the D-League with both the Legends and Vipers, averaging 8.8 points 4.8 assists, and 1.1 steals through 38 contests.
Last season, the Bulls also looked to the D-League to potentially solve their point guards woes as well. While Rose nursed a separate injury, the team signed veteran Mike James, who used a successful stint with the Erie BayHawks to catapult his way back into the NBA.
Plucking a player from the D-League worked once for the Bulls, but with an abundance of other guards at the one already on the training camp roster, they may not have to this time. Currently fighting for minutes at the backup point guard position are Nate Robinson, Marko Jaric, and Marquis Teague.
With those three skilled players already duking it out, was there truly a need to bring Cooksey in at that point as well? Some teams prefer to stack up their training camp rosters simply to have more bodies in practice. Of course, even if the odds aren't in their favor, a respective D-League player may still take advantage of such an opportunity, if only for the exposure and experience. Perhaps Cooksey signing with the Bulls happened to be one of those cases.
After starting 25 (out of his possible 38) D-League contests last season, one could certainly conclude Cooksey understands how to run an offense at the professional level. It'll be interesting to see if he somehow soon catches on with another NBA squad, or if he ultimately returns to the NBADL to continue his quest.