Tony Mitchell has been impressive for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants - Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE
The NBA Development League All-Star selections were announced yesterday, and the list is chalk full of well-deserving players. However, as with any All-Star selection process some players were perhaps snubbed in the formation of the final official rosters. Check out which players were certainly deserving of an All-Star nod, but failed to earn a respective roster spot on this season's All-Star teams in Houston.
The 2013 All-Star selections in the NBA D-League consists of 14 players with NBA experience. The final rosters for both the Futures and Prospects teams are loaded with talent which represents how incredibly high the level of play has been in the NBADL this season.
Despite the 20 overall selections who will make the trek to Houston, a short list of players may be feeling like they were snubbed based upon their impressive play so far this season. That list of players includes familiar D-League standout names as each player could easily be swapped out for any of the names that will be apart of NBA All-Star weekend.
Some of the players listed below have been under the radar all season, but their numbers alone speak volumes about their performance thus far. As with any All-Star game selection process, debating over the selections immediately ensues, and in the NBA D-League it is no different. In fact, being snubbed for an NBADL All-Star Game could mean missing out on the chance of a Call-Up, as last season 6 players who were All-Star selections went on to earn a Call-Up later in the season. Check out the players who were perhaps snubbed from this year's 2013 NBA D-League All-Star Game below.
Chris Wright - Iowa Energy
Wright fell just two assists shy of a triple-double in the Energy's last contest against the Springfield Armor as the guard displayed his all-around versatility. On the season, Wright is averaging 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. He has eclipsed ten assists on three occasions this season, and leads the NBADL with 171 total assists.
Wright is near the top of the D-League in terms of getting his teammates involved while also contributing in other areas out on the floor. The D-League boasts a large number of talented guards and Wright certainly deserves to be considered as a top-performing floor general in the D-League and worthy of an All-Star selection.
Tony Mitchell - Fort Wayne Mad Ants
Mitchell is ranked 8th overall in points/rebounds/assists average at 25.3, and is coming fresh off his first 30-point game this season. Mitchell has averaged 16.4 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Mad Ants this season, and has been solid all year for Fort Wayne. He has similar numbers to All-Star Demetris Nichols, and now the same amount of 30-point games as Nichols.
You could of gone either way with Nichols or Mitchell, as Nichols averages a better field goal percentage and points per game, yet Mitchell averaged more rebounds and less turnovers than Nichols. Regardless, Mitchell much like Nichols is having a great season and may of just missed out of an All-Star selection by a slim margin.
Brian Butch - Bakersfield Jam
Butch is one of the most unique players in the NBA D-League and continues to provide the Jam with a skill set often hard to come by from a player of his size. Butch has 11 doubles-doubles on the year, and is averaging a very balanced 11.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks per contest.
Arinze Onuaku who was selected as an All-Star averages just .1 more rebounds than Butch, but trails him with 10 double-doubles. The difference between the two are the contributions in which Butch can provide elsewhere on the court. There is no doubt that Onuaku has been a beast on the glass and an impressive low-post talent, but Butch's ability to stretch the floor as a big man, along with his solid averages could of landed him with an All-Star bid.
Justin Dentmon - Austin Toros/Texas Legends
The reigning league M-V-P surely could of added a 2013 All-Star selection to his D-League career highlights. Dentmon is averaging 18.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists while shooting 37% from behind the 3-point line. Dentmon is still one of the most dangerous scoring guards in the NBA D-League and can also help out his team on the glass despite his size.
Dentmon has only failed to score above double-digits in two contests this season, and his likely growing confidence within the Texas Legends lineup will continue to help the former University of Washington product increase his statistical totals. In any event, Dentmon's numbers and impact on the floor position him for possible All-Star consideration.
Ben Uzoh - Springfield Armor
Uzoh's all-around game leads to him to a worthy mention on this list of All-Star snubs. Uzoh is ranked in the top-10 for total steals (42), but also contributes on the offensive end as well for the Armor. On the season, Uzoh is averaging 14.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.7 assists.
Uzoh is once again considered one of the best defensive guards in the NBADL, but has also demonstrated an offensive game to match his defensive abilities. Uzoh has had three different games in which he has tallied over 10 rebounds and two games where he dished out over 10 assists. Uzoh has had a triple-double in the Association, and his threat to do so on a nightly basis in the D-League earns him the right for an All-Star consideration.