Alonzo Gee's Contract Assures The Value Of Former D-League Swingmen

Mar 19, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Nets shooting guard Gerald Green (14) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Alonzo Gee (33) during the first half at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

It appears a three year/ $10 million contract is the NBA's going rate for a young, athletic, and high-flying talent who developed his skills while grinding in the NBA D-League.

Just ask Gerald Green, and now Alonzo Gee. Gee inked a 3-year pact with the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday. Perhaps it was fellow D-League call-up and slam dunk artist Gerald Green's Indiana Pacers deal that helped shape Gee's final numbers?

The patience and hard work that it takes to spend time in the D-League (along the way to the NBA) is hard enough for players, but when you're a noted swingman whose sort of in-between positions, it is even more difficult. However, Gee and Green were able to prove that they have much more worth than a once in awhile spot in SportsCenter's nightly top-10 to NBA franchises this off-season.

Gee's D-League stint was highlighted by winning NBA D-League Rookie of the Year honors in the 2009-2010 season with the Austin Toros. The swingman averaged 21.0 points and 6.6 rebounds for the Toros and was coached by Quin Synder, another D-League gem who received praise and heavy consideration from the NBA this off-season.

Gee was able to utilize his time in the Spurs' single affiliate to undoubtedly help guide him to where he's at today as a player.

The D-League alum had impressive numbers last season, and the Cavs organization made it clear that he was a top priority this off-season. I would want to keep this guy too if I were in charge of a young team who's looking to rebuild for the future...(see below)

Alonzo Gee TOP10 in 2011-12 Season (via lance1229)

Both Gee and Green will have impacts for their squads this upcoming season. Gee will likely see more time as a possible starter for Cleveland, whereas Green will have to fight for his playing time within Indiana's crowded backcourt. In a league where teams are criticized for overpaying players left and right, Indiana and Cleveland should both feel like their money was well spent in regard to these two youngsters.

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