The NBA Development League is still in the local tryouts stage of the offseason. The next step was decided on Tuesday night at the D-League coaches meetings in Denver, Colo. when the 2011 D-League Draft order was determined (by random drawing) for the annual conference call scheduled to take place on Nov. 3.
In a bit of irony, Los Angeles D-Fenders coach Eric Musselman will have the first overall pick in the 2011 D-League Draft for the second season in a row after selecting Nick Fazekas with his first pick as head coach of the Reno Bighorns last season. It's an interesting twist considering Coach Musselman traded away the Bighorns' first round pick in this year's draft -- Reno ended up with the 13th overall pick -- in order to improve last season by picking up Patrick O'Bryant.
The draft order isn't necessarily as important in the D-League as it would be in most leagues, though, as it operates in the serpentine format seen in most fantasy sports drafts. For example, the Springfield Armor will pick last in the first round, but the New Jersey Nets owned team also has the first pick (17th overall) in the second round.
The order of the first round will be:
1. Los Angeles D-Fenders
2. Austin Toros
3. Maine Red Claws
4. Sioux Falls Skyforce
5. Texas Legends
6. Iowa Energy (to Bakersfield)
7. Erie BayHawks
8. Bakersfield Jam
9. Idaho Stampede (to Erie)
10. Fort Wayne Mad Ants
13. Reno Bighorns (to Bakersfield)
14. Rio Grande Valley Vipers
16. Springfield Armor (to Tulsa)
Hopefully the NBA lockout ends in time, but if not, the D-League is the next best option for those of us stateside interested in watching professional basketball this season.