With the bevy of offensive superstars gracing the NBA hardwood these days, squads often look to the D-League for players with different talents to fill out their respective rosters.
With scoring covered, the better prospects in the minors are more likely to get noticed by being productive at all the little things-- rebounding, passing, running the floor, playing lockdown defense, etc.
But just sometimes, if a big league team is in need of an offensive boost, the most dominant scorers in the NBADL will get called upon to help fill the void anyway.
That's exactly how three-year NBA veteran and 2012 D-League standout Chris Douglas-Roberts has inched his way back to The Association so early in the season.
After spending training camp with the Los Angeles Lakers this past fall, Douglas-Roberts was released following preseason play. Despite failing to make the contender's roster, he still managed to catch the eye of the Dallas Mavericks. Though he was waived just a day after signing a contract with the Mavs, the team did so in order to retain his rights and assign him to the organization's D-League squad, the Texas Legends.
With many wondering if the three-year vet still had what it takes to compete in the NBA following a short hiatus, the guard wasted no time trying to put any doubt to rest. Douglas-Roberts scored an eye-popping 49 points in his D-League debut, a preseason matchup.
But as the regular season has progressed, the former Nets and Bucks swingman has continued to soar. Helping the Legends to an 7-4 record going into the weekend, Douglas-Roberts has not only led the NBADL in scoring with 22.5 points per game (shooting 49% from the field, 40% from deep, and 90% from the free-throw line), but has also averaged 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.9 steals through 11 contests.
There's no denying that Douglas-Roberts has been as efficient as they come, but what's perhaps more impressive is how he's taken advantage of minor league defenses all season long. Able to fool defenders in a number of ways, the 25 year-old has quite the offensive repertoire. Not only can the guard beat an opponent off the dribble, he has the ability to make it rain around the court, or be aggressive and drive inside for easy buckets.
After keeping a close eye on his progress (and evident success) with their affiliate, the Mavericks appear ready to continue reaping the benefits of Douglas-Roberts' offensive specialties. Following the release of veteran Derek Fisher, Dallas has called the Legends' resident star back up to the NBA.
Such an acquisition is simply another domino in what has been a season of unique moves for the Mavs. Without Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas is now led by O.J. Mayo, who with an average of 19.8 points per contest is out for redemption this season. The likes of veterans such as Chris Kaman, Vince Carter, Shawn Marion, and Elton Brand have also come together to log quality minutes and be productive all the while.
As they continue to receive key contributions from a pleasantly surprising and somewhat unlikely cast of characters, Dallas is ready to let Douglas-Roberts join in on the all the fun. Currently sitting at 12-15, the team undoubtedly could benefit from a little injection of life, be it off the bench or otherwise. Clearly not opposed to giving an array of different names an opportunity, it'll be interesting to see if CDR is able to shine bright enough during his new stint with the Mavs as he makes his NBA return.