NBA D-League Alumni Find Themselves Shipped Out After NBA Trade Deadline

Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

The NBA trade deadline was a quiet one for big league teams. Nevertheless, a trio of D-League alumni found themselves to be on the move.

From the likes of Josh Smith to Monta Ellis and Iman Shumpert, there were quite a few notable household NBA names being tossed around as part of speculation relating to Thursday's trading deadline.

But alas, this year's deadline was a rather quiet one for The Association, as J.J. Redick was arguably the biggest name changing addresses.

That said, over the last two days, there have been a handful of deals between teams that aimed to swap some younger talent, salary fillers, etc. in hopes of making a small positive tweaks to their respective squads. As a result, three players who have all spent considerable time this season in the D-League were found to be on the move.

Let's take a look at the promising trio and examine what their minor league future may hold for them as they each settle in to new gigs.

Dexter Pittman (former Sioux Falls Skyforce big man) gets traded from Miami Heat to the Memphis Grizzlies

After three experimental seasons of failing to stick in Miami, Pittman will now look for a fresh start with the Grizzlies. One could argue that after making a couple of moves already this season, Memphis could have been looking to bolster their front court depth. However, fellow new acquisitions Ed Davis (10.4 minutes per contest) and Jon Leuer (2.6 minutes per contest) have both played rather sparingly. It's difficult to say for certain that Pittman would earn more minutes with Davis in the mix, let alone Leuer and the Grizzlies' other talented big men on board as well.

That said, as one of their main goals was to get under the luxury tax earlier this season, Memphis has proven not to be afraid to take chances on cheaper, high-risk, high-reward type players. Recently hired Vice President John Hollinger was present at both the NBA D-League Showcase and the league's All-Star Game, so there's no doubt the organization values the type of talent present in the minors.

If worse comes to worse, Pittman will simply find himself back in the D-League to develop a bit further, but this time, he'd be donning a Reno Bighorns' uniform. The former Heat big man averaged 12.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks through 15 contests with the Skyforce earlier this season.

Tyler Honeycutt (former Reno Bighorns forward) gets traded from Sacramento Kings to the Houston Rockets

Honeycutt fought his way back from various injuries this past offseason to be able to hit the hardwood with the Kings for his sophomore campaign. Aiming to help him work his way back slowly, the Kings sent the forward to Reno for a minor league stint during the month of December.

The UCLA didn't disappoint, not only averaging a near double-double, but also posting 2.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. What was interesting about Honeycutt's time with the Bighorns was that he didn't quite go out of his way to be much of an offensive star. He did what he had to do, running up and down the floor well on offense, but really focusing in on putting forth a physical and scrappy effort on defense each and every night.

His 46% shooting percentage is misleading, simply because he had games where he was red hot from the field, and others where he was ice cold. Though he wasn't very consistent on offense, it'll be interesting to see what type of chance Honeycutt gets in Houston. Don't be surprised to find him back in the NBADL this season, as the Rockets have actively flipped and flopped many of their players between the big league club and the RGV Vipers so far this campaign.

Doron Lamb (former Fort Wayne Mad Ants guard) gets traded from Milwaukee Bucks to the Orlando Magic

Whereas Pittman and Honeycutt could find themselves back in the D-League relatively soon with each of their respective new teams' affiliates, expect Lamb to stick around in Orlando a bit more.

As it stands, Lamb spent more time in Milwaukee and earned more minutes on the hardwood than either of the aforementioned NBADL alumni did with their NBA teams. The Magic are a rebuilding team focused on giving younger studs with higher upside a chance to shine and see what they can do for an NBA team. Like many of his new Magic teammates, expect Lamb to see more playing time in Orlando than the D-League the rest of the season.

Nevertheless, the guard can still be a called an NBADL alumni after serving as the Mad Ants' sixth man for six games, posting an average of 10.3 points on 38% from the field and 47% from down town.

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