First off, I encourage you to get out and vote, as this is the biggest election in awhile, ever for myself. Don't care who, don't care why, just do it. Even if it's a write-in candidate. If it is a write-in, go with Jeff Potter, who is already a president, and maybe back him up with Coach Roth, who, though, not as tech savvy as I initially thought, is on the cutting edge, doing the whole video-podcast thing every Monday (New one's up). Potter-Roth '08. I'd give Dan Reed a nod as he is the D-League president, but he's doing his thing with the D-League and I enjoy it.
Alright, the main reason for this post was to look at some of the veteran talent out there. With John Lucas III being released today, there are about 75 guys out there, available, just from the NBA camps. From there, when adding Summer League guys and other minor league guys there's another 100+ guys out there without a contract, that didn't play in the D-League last year. Add to that the random ex NBAer nobody would expect coming back from overseas for another shot (a la Jelani McCoy), and there's a pretty solid amount of guys that could be drafted this year. Some of my favorites are obviously pretty well known, but for the next few days, I'll highlight some guys I know will be in the draft (According to Coach Roth's podcast, there's 220 guys in.. My list consists of 250ish, but I don't have the roster of guys that showed up at the pre-draft camp) and some I hope will be in the draft (For both my sake and theirs).
Let's let the fun begin by looking at some of the bigger names for possible veterans:
Chris Richard and Jermareo Davidson -- Obviously wouldn't be smart heading overseas, as they are young bigs that can rebound, play defense, and have NBA experience playing with the Timberwolves/Bobcats last season and this preseason. I would be SHOCKED, SHOCKED I TELL YOU if they arenn't in the draft and top ten picks... I know one of them is in the pool.
Cedric Bozeman -- Bozeman played for Albuquerque two seasons ago between stints in the NBA and overseas and played this summer with the Lakers summer league team down in Vegas. Since he's back in the states after playing mediocrely (let me know if this is a word. Thanks in advance) at best in Poland, I wouldn't be surprised to see him try his hand at the D-League again, hoping to make an NBA roster. The big question is would he be allocated to Albuquerque since he played there two years ago? Would he be allocated to Los Angeles since he went to school at UCLA and played for their Summer League team this season? Will he even be allocated? I'd love to let you know, but the allocation process is, to my knowledge, not defined, so to my knowledge it's basically up to the discretion of Mr. Reed and his minions. I have found this article, written by the great (And not just because he got me a 50 cent pay raise to keep me from dipping below minimum wage) Wizards beat writer Lou Babiarz of the Bismarck Tribune, where he gives a decent look at the allocation process and its precedents, among other things.
Coby Karl -- Obviously another good known commodity for the D-League, though his dad, Coach George Karl, told the Denver Post "I don't think there's a rush to make a decision — in a week or 10 days, we'll evaluate the D-League, evaluate the NBA possibilities, evaluate Europe. It's all part of the equation. Whatever he decides, I want him to be a committed, passionate player in the next year. If he shows this, his talents will come to the surface and he'll have another opportunity to make the league." Come on Coach Karl, if you guys wait that long, he won't get drafted, then he'll go in the available player pool, then who knows what will happen!
Jared Jordan -- Jordan went to Marist. You know who else went to Marist? The Dunking Dutchman Rik Smits. Fran Fraschilla wondered aloud if he's the next John Stockton. His dad's name is Michael Jordan. SI also gushed about him before last years NBA draft here. He belongs, he's destined, to play in the NBA, and after getting cut by the Hornets this preseason, his best option is the D-League.
Jackie Butler -- Though I don't know what he's been doing with his life since not making it out of camp with the Rockets last season, I think the D-League would be a step in the right direction for this guy. He was undrafted out of high school, played in the CBA and got on with the Knicks toward the end of the season (I believe was the last call-up non-D-League, coincidentally). He played 2005-06 with the Knicks, got in 11 games with the Spurs in 2006-07, apparently sat out last season and was signed with the Bobcats for Summer League this year, but never played (Don't remember if he was even there). According to USBasket, his agent is Keith Glass, and I liked his book, so hopefully he knows what he's doing.
Justin Williams -- Williams was a top 5 pick in the 2006 D-League draft, and would be worth a high pick in this years draft as well. A stud in his short time in the D-League, he averaged 13 points, 13 boards, and over 3 blocks in his 12 games, playing just 32 minutes a game. Once again, the allocation rule takes effect here: If he's in the pool, is he allocated to the Dakota Wizards, the only non-NBA, non-college team he's ever played for? I'll have to track down someone at the D-League to find out if they can give me something to off of for this.
Renaldo Major -- Major is another one of the will he/won't he's of the NBA D-League allocation process. Since he didn't play in the D-League last year, the Wizards technically no longer have his rights. But since he came back last season and just hung out in Bismarck after having open heart surgery for the last couple months of the season, I think he would qualify as having regional significance, having won a championship in Dakota, being called up to Golden State from Dakota, and coming back to Bismarck last season with no real intentions of playing.
Josh Davis -- I've always liked Josh Davis. Apparently I like guys from the U of Wyoming because both he and Williams attended school there. He's played in parts of two seasons when the Idaho Stampede were still in the CBA along with parts of three seasons in the NBA. The last two years have been spent overseas in Russia and Ukraine, before playing with the Blazers summer league team, where he averaged 9 points, 7 boards and a block in their first three games before playing just 16 minutes combined in their final two games.
And just for fun...
Darius Miles -- We all know the story on Miles. What I'm wondering is what would happen if he plays 10 games in the D-League this year? Is he still suspended for his first ten games if it's the D-League? I don't know, but I think the Blazers fans would be interested in knowing this as well, as it basically determines their cap space future. And, if this is all possible, wouldn't it be fun if the 66ers, OKC's team, signed him, reviving some rivalry that was lost when the Sonics were moved?