As we enter training camp in the NBA, a number of D-League players from a season ago will pin their hopes on making a roster by turning in stellar camp performances and also getting a little help from Lady Luck.
For some players, the odds are greater for them to stick with a team once camp closes, simply by being able to fill a void for their respective team's roster. Others will have to impress the heck out of their coaches, as they will aim to make the best of their situation while being buried at their position i.e. Blake Ahearn.
Compiled below is a short list of players of whom played in the D-League last season, and will most likely be able to land a roster spot coming out training camp.
Hamady Ndiaye - Sacramento Kings
The 7-foot shot block specialist from Senegal has a real nice chance of suiting up for the Kings come opening night.
Even Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski likes Ndiaye's chances. Ndiaye will enter the Kings camp as the only player listed at 7'0''. His height alone gives him a real shot at making this team. The Kings are in need of a physical and defensive presence which Ndiaye can provide them with.
Last season Ndiaye was waived by the Washington Wizards, which ultimately led the big man to the Maine Red Claws. Between his time spent with the Iowa Energy and Maine Red Claws last season, Ndiaye averaged 2.7 blocks per game. At just 25-years-old, the potential is there for Ndiaye to become a dominant and efficient defensive force in the NBA. Perhaps the Kings keeping Ndiaye around after camp will pay dividends for their defense in the paint this upcoming season?
Josh Akognon - Dallas Mavericks
As described here at RidiculousUpside.com just a short time ago, Akognon opted for training camp with the Dallas Mavericks instead of playing in the Chinese Basketball League. Akognon had a brief stint in the D-League last season, but his 33-point performance for the Canton Charge against the Erie BayHawks stood out nicely, and was a glimpse of the shifty guard's scoring abilities. The Mavericks' addition of Darren Collison will likely inhabit Akognon's chances some, but it's hard to deny where his game is at right now, after coming off an impressive NBA Summer League performance with Sacramento.
Trey Gilder - Utah Jazz
A D-League veteran, Gilder enjoyed his best season in the league with Sioux Falls last year. Gilder averaged 19.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, and also scored 30-points or higher in five games. This will be Gilder's second chance at training camp with Utah after being cut last season by the club. His successful season in the D-League, mixed with the fact that Utah's roster isn't exactly stacked with forwards similar to his size and skill set, may actually land Gilder a spot on the team this time around.