This past week's NBA D-League Showcase provided promising prospects and veterans hungry for another shot alike a shot at proving themselves to the bevy of NBA executives who came out to see what they were all made of.
While some of these very players caved under the pressure and/or failed to make the most out of their opportunity (take NBA vet Antoine Wright for example, who was ejected during the Bighorns' second game of the Showcase against the BayHawks after allegedly cursing out an official. The guard furthermore only shot a total of 5 for 14 during the Showcase itself), others still managed to shine and make the good impressions necessary to garner consideration for that oh so coveted call-up to The Association.
Without further adieu, read on as we reveal RidiculousUpside.com's 2013 All-NBA D-League Showcase Team from Reno. In the interest of focusing in on the players still working towards NBA gigs, no assignees were considered for this squad.
PG-- Courtney Fortson, Los Angeles D-Fenders
Though he plays the position of a floor general, Fortson still serves as his team's go-to scorer. The offense runs through him, and while he may not be the most efficient of shooters, Fortson still knows how to embrace being a leader and can fill it up offensively. He averaged 25.5 points during the Showcase, but also almost single-handedly led the D-Fenders to their 87-82 victory over the Energy on day two.
His ability to emerge as one of the more clutch players in Reno (he sank all 13 of his free-throws, averaged 3 steals, 7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists) also catipulated him to number one of the D-League's official prospect list as well.
SG-- Jerel McNeal, Bakersfield Jam
A combo guard of sorts, no matter what position he is, McNeal was undeniably one of the top two backcourt players in all of Reno this week. As explosive of a scorer as they come, McNeal's has an aggressive first step to the basket that proves to be deadly for any opposing defender.
Shooting an efficient 18 of 35 in Reno, McNeal not only averaged 22.5 points during the Showcase, but also dished out 6 assists and grabbed 3.5 steals per contest as well. His efforts on day one helped the Jam over the Skyforce, and on day three he still put forth a valiant effort, helping his team narrow the gap and stay close throughout before falling to the Red Claws.
SF-- D.J. Kennedy, Erie BayHawks
Plenty of dominating scorers emerged to lead their teams to victory during the Showcase, but the fact of the matter is that NBA executives were seeking out more versatile efforts in Reno. A true stat-sheet stuffer, Kennedy filled it up during his pair of games, averaging 19 points, but also adding 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1 steal per contest.
The swingman shot 11 of 19 from the field, and got to the charity stripe a total of twenty times this week. Recognized as a tweener, Kennedy's downfall as an NBA prospect may truly be his lack of a concrete position. But regardless of whether he serves as a one, two, or three, the St. John's alum is a talented player who will make positive contributions for his squad on a nightly basis.
PF-- Luke Harangody, Fort Wayne Mad Ants
One of the only players to lead his team to two victories over the course of the Showcase, Harangody did so in dominating fashion. Already managing to average a double-double on the season, the forward tallied 22.5 points and 14 rebounds per contest in Reno.
Also shooting 46% from the field, Harangody looked like anything but a player who has failed to stick around in the NBA in most recent seasons. Simply toying with D-League competition this week, the 25 year old looked as though he'd be able to hold his own in The Association quite well, though he's failed to do so up until this point. Perhaps the time is right for him to get another shot.
C-- Jerome Jordan, Reno Bighorns
One year removed from the NBA, Jordan is another player who looks anything but the fringe bench warmer he proved to be for the Knicks last season. The big man fittingly led the Showcase host to two victories this week, averaging 20 points, all the while shooting 54% from the field and 78% from the free-throw line.
The lengthy 7-footer threw himself around and asserted himself inside to get his way against other imposing defenders. Needless to say, he's learning how to use his body quite well. With everything seeming so right for Jordan, what may be holding him back from a return to the NBA? That would be his rebounding ability, or lack there of. Only pulling down 7 rebounds per contest during the Showcase (and 8.6 on the season), the former Knick will need to start pulling down the boards at a more efficient rate if he wants more consideration.