"We don't do many encores and, well, this is why."
If you're wondering why the training camp invite series sputtered to a finish, I encourage you to read on! A lot of guys are starting to get waived, so I didn't see much point to talking about a player who's only going to be around for a few days afterwards. I'll talk a little bit about those players I didn't get to but are listed here, but they won't get the full treatment.
See what I mean? Starting with Minnesota, McClinton's waiver is unfortunate in that there should be a place for him in the NBA, even as a rookie. It's possible that that sentiment is based on the myth of San Antonio draft picks and how they almost universally end up as contributors, even if it takes them a few years, but McClinton's collegiate three-point shooting and overall scoring efficiency is real, and I hope he decides to go the D-League route (big surprise) and figure out how to improve his scoring closer to the basket. Gee is almost the opposite of McClinton in that he's a slasher with no real outside shot to speak of. There are so many guys either in the NBA or trying to get into the NBA that fit that profile that an additional skill would be helpful, but Gee's defense leaves a lot to be desired as well.
Brumbaugh is a guy I hadn't gotten to yet, and while he once had a history of off-court stuff, it's been a few years since any of that came up (I guess the history is still there, just further in the background) and Brumbaugh has some scoring ability, and he's a pretty good three-point shooter (he shot .375 last season for Sioux Falls). He wasn't very consistent, though, and while he's listed anywhere from 6'8" to 6'10" his rebounding comes and goes. There's definitely talent there, but it may be Europe for Brumbaugh.
I don't know a whole lot about Sykes, but he's apparently a powerful dunker. His per-36 minute averages as a senior at Clemson were around nine points and six rebounds, which isn't really enough to be considered for the NBA. Frankly, with those numbers and not much other information available about the guy, I'm a little surprised he got a training camp invite.
October 7: Idaho Stampede - retained Joel Abelson as an assistant coach; Bakersfield Jam - named Greg Minor, Mark Strickland and Chris Leazier as assistant coaches.
I'm already (briefly) discussed the Jam hires here, but more broadly it's an interesting staff. Woolpert is a pretty good coach, so Minor likely learned a bit working for him last year even though that team was terrible (and injuries played a part in that, etc.) But other than that you have two college assistants, guys who will be figuring out how the D-League works along with their boss. I know I talk about how D-League coaching experience is important for understanding the league's quirks, and who knows, maybe I overstate it. But having an entire (or nearly entire) coaching staff essentially starting from scratch could make it tough for Bakersfield this season. Greg Minor was an assistant in the CBA as well, so watch for him in the future for a head coaching job (or an NBA assistant job). As far as Abelson is concerned, he did a solid job as an assistant to Bryan Gates last season, even if he didn't get his own Day like colleague Randy Livingston.
October 8: New York Knicks - waived Sun Yue, Ron Howard, Warren Carter and Gabe Pruitt; Rio Grande Valley Vipers - named Gersson Rosas as general manager and Paul Mokeski as assistant coach.
I don't know much about Rosas, who's also the Rockets' VP of player personnel and worked his way up through Houston's front office after being a college video coordinator and a Rockets scout. Everything you need to know about Mokeski may be found here.
October 9: Fort Wayne Mad Ants - named Michael Sanders as assistant coach; Miami Heat - waived Alade Aminu and Andre Brown; Los Angeles Clippers - waived Taj Gray; Robert Vaden - signed with Imola (Italy)
Sanders is a great hire for Fort Wayne, as he's been a head coach in the CBA and an assistant in the NBA, and combined with Joey Sanders that team has a strong, strong coaching staff. Hopefully they'll be able to turn that team around after a pretty bad season. Vaden's rights is belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but they have so many people on that team who are of a certain (young) age that Vaden might be "another year away from making the team" for, well, several years. He's a perimeter shooter and not much else (as far as I can tell), but he'll be in his mid-20s before he see time in either OKC or Tulsa. Gray has spent the last few years playing in Europe, and averaged around 20 and seven last year in France. He's a former University of Oklahoma player, so I wonder if he'll go for the D-League this time and try to get on the 66ers roster as a local allocation.
October 11: James Mays - signed with Beijing (China); Cedric Bozeman - signed with Beijing (China)
Both of these players are very talented, and could play in the NBA if teams gave them an honest chance. They were also both part of the expansion draft, and if they decide China's not for them and come back to the D-League, each of them will play for the Springfield Armor. That's something to keep an eye on as the season goes on, as they're both very good scorers who could give Dee Brown's team an added push towards the playoffs or, depending on how the season goes, avert a first-year disaster.