Had it not been for the late addition of Rasheed Wallace, things might have been different and Henry Sims could have been splitting time between the Knicks and Erie BayHawks as the organization's fifteenth and final man.
Instead, despite displaying solid defensive instincts, good hands, and physicality under the basket, he was let loose and forced to prove himself in the NBA D-League as a full-time member of Erie's squad.
It was in the minors that Sims looked like a man among boys, emerging as not only an NBADL "Rookie of the Year" candidate, but a D-League All-Star, and just last month, ventured to New Orleans to play out a ten-day contract as a member of the Hornets.
Despite accomplishing so much in the minors this season (all the while averaging 16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks through 41 contests), Sims won't be leading the way for the BayHawks, should they advance to the postseason.
Like many aspiring NBA prospects, Sims is forced to continuously weigh the pros and cons between both playing close to home in the D-League, or making a move overseas to go where the more lucrative opportunities may be. With just a few weeks left in the NBA season and the chances of earning a call-up perhaps growing slimmer by the day, the big man has opted to go where the money is.
Overnight Tuesday, Sims was en route to the Philippines, where he will join the Petron squad.
At this point in the season, "getting noticed" and being able play stateside could just as well be valued less because of the little time left in the regular season. Thus, it makes sense for Sims to cash in on a different opportunity before perhaps returning to the states in time for Summer League.
Nevertheless, such a departure still has to sting for Erie. The team is currently fighting for the NBADL's eighth and final playoff spot with less than a week remaining in its regular season. The team traded All-Star D.J. Kennedy to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers earlier this season, and will now be without their second rock of sorts in Sims.
The team reportedly scurried to reach some sort of agreement that would have kept Sims in town for just a little while longer, at least through the remainder of the regular season so that he could lead Erie to a strong finish. Despite their efforts, the league informed the BayHawks that the young gun's contract had been bought out by Petron after all. He was seen saying his goodbyes to the squad on Monday afternoon.