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Players Less Likely To Be Enticed By European Money Carrot After This Year's D-League Draft

Following last year's D-League draft the second overall pick Alando Tucker chose to buyout his D-League contract and head overseas to play. However, with a full NBA schedule on the docket, this sort of player decision will be less likely to occur following this season's draft.


Alando Tucker was the second overall selection in last year's D-League draft. The former Wisconsin product was a highlighted pick selected by the Texas Legends, but Tucker's time with the Legends would become very short lived to start. As discussed here by former writer Scott Schroeder, Tucker inevitably chose to head over to Europe, buying out his contract with the Legends in what likely could be seen as an attempt to chase more money.

Tucker's decision to leave took place mid-November of last year, the NBA was in a completely different state as the unpopular and seemingly drawn out lockout was taking place. At the time players could not have been certain that an NBA season would take place at all, leaving them with the decision as to battle it out on the D-League circuit, or head overseas and rake in a little more cash while the lockout took place. With no chance at receiving a Call-Up, it was hard to criticize any player who chose the latter.

In the Legends' case, things worked out for the once drafted Phoenix Sun, now a member of the Milwaukee Bucks in training camp and preseason. Tucker later rejoined the Legends after spending time in Spain and would go on to finish the better part of the second half with the Legends. Tucker averaged 14.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists in 23 games.

A few weeks later, the Maine Red Claws experienced a similar case when J.R. Reynolds bought out his contract to play once again over in Europe. Reynolds was not drafted by the Red Claws, but his decision left the Red Claws roster very thin while they saw their roster take a noticeable hit with players leaving for NBA training camps, which took place later than they normally would, due to the lockout. The odd timing of NBA training camp was another hurdle for D-League teams to jump over in an attempt to secure any kind of roster in a league where roster fluidity is always an issue.

Now that the NBA and D-League will enjoy a normal schedule coinciding with each other ultimately benefiting one another, the lure of more money either in Europe or Asia should be less of a worry for D-League teams as they finish up their draft. Players drafted by D-League teams will now feel like their opportunity at a Call-Up is just a phone call away with the NBA regular season scheduled for it's full length. This in itself will entice players to stick it out with their teams and prove to their NBA affiliate that they are ready to achieve their NBA dream through hard work and development.