The NBA Development will tip off on Friday night, meaning everyone should give thanks and celebrate family and friendship as much as possible on Thanksgiving while preparing themselves for seven games on Futurecast the following evening. I'm thankful for quite a few things -- one of which is the seven readers that are going to stop by Ridiculous Upside on a holiday (or any day) -- so it made sense to drop some news and notes in case anyone needed to get away for a bit today.
The biggest happenings thus far this week came when D-League teams submitted their final rosters on Wednesday afternoon. Teams had to get to 10 players prior to Friday night's opener, meaning quite a few players had to either be released outright, due to injury or because of "personal reasons." If players are released because they are hurt or due to personal reasons, the team still retains their rights -- it's essentially a "reserve" list with a worse-sounding name.
Quite a few people made a big deal about Antoine Walker being waived by the Idaho Stampede, but it was only a formality considering he hasn't even made it to beautiful Boise this season. The former NBA All-Star will host some parties, make some in-court appearances (not to be confused with on-court, for those keeping track at home) and join the Stampede after their first four games of the season.
There were quite a few other prominent players that were released on Wednesday.
- The Austin Toros released Leo Lyons, their leading scorer from last season, due to injury. He isn't expected to miss any significant time, but their frontcourt won't be quite as intimidating until he returns.
- The Bakersfield Jam had to waive Mac Koshwal due to personal reasons. Koshwal, a native of Senegal, is still working out some visa issues and will play in the D-League as soon as they're figured out -- though no timetable is set.
- The Dakota Wizards waived Andrew Gonzalez due to personal reasons, too, as the wing is still at Houston Baptist completing his schooling. He could join the team once his college semester is complete.
- The Erie BayHawks waived D.J. Kennedy due to injury. The former NBA prospect from St. John's is still trying to get healthy from an injury that ended his college career.
- Fort Wayne released Chris Hunter due to injury. The former Golden State Warriors call-up has had plenty of injury issues in his career, but should be able to return in about a month.
- Along with 'Toine, the Idaho Stampede also released Kendall Dartez due to injury. Aside from 7-foot-5 Will Foster, expect a lot of small-ball to be played in Boise to begin the season.
- The Los Angeles D-Fenders released Anthony Gurley, the team's second round pick. Gurley participated in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament following his career at Massachusetts and will probably be added by another team sooner rather than later.
- The Maine Red Claws released Paul Harris due to personal reasons. He could join the team soon, but I have no idea what his "personal reasons" consist of.
- The Springfield Armor released former NBA big man Chris Taft due to injury. Taft suffered a bone bruise in his knee, but is still an option in the Nets' system.
- The Texas Legends waive Jake Kelly due to personal reasons. As it stands, it looks like 2011 All-NAIA Second Teamer Vance Cooksey out of Pikeville will start for them at point guard. Oof.
- The Tulsa 66ers waived Gary Johnson and Byron Eaton due to injury early in training camp. The extent of their injuries is unknown.