Like it or not, the D-League loses players each season to more lucrative contracts of the overseas variety. Last season, it was Andre Brown, Anthony Tolliver, Smush Parker, Coby Karl, Chris Alexander, Carl Elliott, Glen McGowan, Cory Underwood, Kendall Dartez, Sung-Yoon Bang, Alton Ford and T.J. Cummings.
Obviously, not all of those names are household (Sung-Yoon Bang should be, I'd argue), but they all spent an extravagant amount of money (I believe the number is over $30,000, which is more than the duration of the top D-League contract) to buy out of their contract.
Just like last season, the buyouts have again begun. Most recently, it was Bakersfield's Amara Sy following in the footsteps of Zabian Dowdell, Cedric Simmons, Joe Krabbenhoft, Garrett Siler and Adam Harrington. There was also a rumor that Rob Kurz may be next, thought no agreement has been reached.
On the surface, it doesn't make sense to me to play in a league that is not considered the "most heavily scouted league in the world," as D-League president Dan Reed recently told Steve Weinman.
Is that statement true? If so, it makes me question if the D-League is actually doing what it's supposed to, you know, be doing - Why would NBA caliber players pay good money to leave the D-League?
Anyway, let's take a look at where these guys are going.
- Mark Deeks tweeted that Sy has signed a contract with C.B. Murcia in Spain, a team that also features former Illinois forward (and Arkansas Rimrocker) Roger Powell.
- Dowdell left the Tulsa 66ers to join Unicaja in Spain, playing with Robert Archibald and Omar Cook.
- Krabbenhoft, since leaving the Sioux Falls Skyforce, is playing with the SK Knights in South Korea, averaging 9.3 points and 4.7 boards.
- Simmons is, I believe, somewhere in China, but I haven't seen him sign with a team since leaving the Idaho Stampede.
- Siler, after leaving the Utah Flash before playing a game, is averaging 12.8 points and 9.8 boards with Shanghai Dongfang Sharks in China.
- Harrington is in Poland.
Perhaps more importantly - who's next?