The money carrot that led many NBADL athletes overseas this past summer proved to be too tempting for plenty of them to turn away from. By choosing to play international ball, such prospects also put their dream of ultimately playing in the NBA on the shelf, albeit for at least a year.
James Nunnally's offseason ended up being a bit different, though the results thus far have proven to be that much sweeter. After spending last season with the Bakersfield Jam, the sharpshooter participated in both NBA Summer League sessions (in Orlando and Las Vegas) with the Miami Heat.
Playing alongside a bevy of D-League alumni for Miami, including the likes of Jarvis Varnado, D.J. Kennedy, Tony Taylor, and Jam teammate Damion James, Nunnally still managed to stand out, nevertheless. Such promising efforts did not, however, result in an NBA gig with the Heat.
Still, Nunnally aimed to capitalize on that same success later in the offseason. Strutting his stuff for an array of teams this month, the swingman worked out for the Spurs, Jazz, Suns, and Pelicans. Luckily for him, Nunnally impressed one team enough to inch that much closer to reaching his dream.
The Suns announced on Saturday that Nunnally will join them for training camp as he competes for a roster spot. Such a signing shouldn't be much of a surprise. Phoenix is one of many NBA affiliates to Bakersfield, and assigned some of their young guns to the minor league squad throughout the year. What's interesting about that is the fact that along with their players, the Suns sent team officials (like Lindsey Hunter before he become head coach) along with them. This clearly also provided them with a better look at players like Nunnally.
It'll be interesting to see what kind of mark Nunnally will make through training camp and/or preseason competition. One of the D-League's deadliest shooters from long range last season, the 23 year old is a reliable option to help his team spread the floor, and prides himself on being a lockdown defender. With such a reputation, could Nunnally be in line to follow the footsteps of fellow minor league alumni Danny Green? Only time will tell.
A source close to the situation told RidiculousUpside.com that the Memphis Grizzlies invited Nunnally to training camp earlier this month, but he held out for an opportunity like the one that's ultimately come his way now.