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Ten NBA D-League Prospects With Best Shot At Making The Association

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Scoring machines get a lot of press, but when it comes to making the jump from the NBADL to The Association, it takes offensive talent, strong defense, and a stand out ability. These ten players are all doing the right things to get there.

Chris Douglas-Roberts
Chris Douglas-Roberts
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

How does a player get a call-up to the NBA? That is the question that torments the brains of over 100 prospects grinding for that opportunity. Most importantly, players must contribute on defense. Scorers are recruited out of college. Teams turn to the D-League for contributors and role players. So naturally the answer is easy - be a role playing contributor.

More specifically, there are two clear paths to the Association:

1. Go the Kevin Jones route and average a double-double every game.

2. Be a standout player like Gerald Green was last season.

With these two paths in mind, here are ten prospects in the NBADL that are best positioned to get a call-up to The Association:

1. Chris Douglas-Roberts - Texas Legends - F

Complete domination of the opposition is what makes Chris Douglas-Roberts the number one player in the D-League. He averages 27.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.6 assist, and 2 steals per game. With a PER of 26.93 and a defensive rating of 98.1, he is clearly killing it at both ends of the floor.

Position on NBADL Prospect List - #1

2. Jarvis Varnado - Sioux Falls Skyforce - F

Varnado is utilizing route number two with 15.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 6 blocks per game. His shot blocking ability and defensive specialization (92.6 defensive rating) appeal to teams looking to fill a bench spot. With numbers like this, Varnado will not be with Sioux Falls for very long.

Position on NBADL Prospect List - #7

3. James Mays - Springfield Armor - F

Averaging a double-double (19.5 points and 14.5 rebounds) should pay off for Mays somewhere down the line. His play may soon get the kind of look that Cleveland gave to Kevin Jones last week. Consistency will be the biggest factor in determining if Mays gets the call-up.

Position on NBADL Prospect List - Not Listed

4. Andrew Goudelock - Sioux Falls Skyforce - G

Goudelock is a clutch player. The number 2 D-League draft pick hits the three-pointer when needed, and also works hard on the defensive end of the floor. His 23.6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists have helped the Skyforce start their season strong at 3-0.

Position on NBADL Prospect List - #3

5. Jeff Adrien - Rio Grande Valley - F

Adrien has become double-double machine for the Vipers. He's now averaging 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game and shows no signs of slowing down. Last year, he got valuable experience with the Houston Rockets. This year, his defense has greatly improved, which should help him get back to The Association.

Position on NBADL Prospect List - #22

6. Chris Wright - Maine Red Claws - F

Wright has the ability to take over a game. He fully utilizes his 6' 8" frame to average 19.5 points and 10 rebounds per game. After spending time with the Golden State Warriors last year, Wright is pushing hard to get back in to the NBA with his explosive offensive capabilities.

Position on NBADL Prospect List - #2

7. D.J. Kennedy - Erie BayHawks - F

He is a top defender who also scores 18 a night and pulls down 9 rebounds. Kennedy is a versatile athlete who can play as a small forward, but can also fill in at guard when needed. He spent some time with the Cavaliers last year, and is currently putting up the kind of numbers that should help him land another call-up.

Position on NBADL Prospect List - #17

8. Ron Howard - Fort Wayne - G

"Mr. Mad Ant" can score at will. Not only is he scoring 21 points per game, Howard's field goal to free throw attempt ratio is a ridiculous .90. He attacks the basket and often draws fouls on out of position defenders. The guard is a smart player who could step in and make an immediate impact on most rosters.

Position on NBADL Prospect List - Not Listed

9. Chris Wright - Iowa Energy - F

Wright stands out as a distributor. His 8 assists per game place him among the top in the D-League. Dropping 19 points and grabbing 4 rebounds rounds out his balanced game. After spending last season in Europe, he is clearly on a mission to wear an NBA jersey this season.

Position on NBADL Prospect List - Not Listed

10. Micah Downs - Maine Red Claws - F

Downs plays very hard on every possession. He moves off the ball very well and his ability to get open has led to some scoring and assist opportunities. He's averaging 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. The forward can play the post and can hit the three-pointer. Downs has a well-rounded game that could fill many open spots.

Position on NBADL Prospect List - Not Listed