The rich just keep getting richer.
Despite boasting a roster worthy of competing for an NBA title night in and night out, the Oklahoma City Thunder by no means ever turn their head on development.
Last season, the team assigned the likes of Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, and Perry Jones III (among others) to the affiliated Tulsa 66ers on almost what appeared to be a daily basis. They're firm believers, not only in what the minor league can do for such existent prospects, but also the talent level of the aspiring NBAers out there playing in the D-League as well. Being so active in the space confirms that, and with a new basketball season officially here, that trend is only set to continue.
With this in mind, the 66ers announced on Thursday that they have officially acquired the first overall selection in this year's NBA D-League Draft. The draft is set to take place on Friday evening, November 1st. From the 66ers' official press release:
The Tulsa 66ers have acquired the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Development League Draft along with NBA veteran guard Ben Uzoh in a three-team trade with the Iowa Energy and Springfield Armor, the team announced today.
The 66ers exchanged the rights of Oklahoma City Thunder training camp invite guard Diante Garrett along with Tulsa's 11th overall pick in the upcoming draft to Iowa. The Energy sent the No. 1 overall pick to the 66ers and guard Lorenzo Brown and the No. 6 overall pick to Springfield while the Armor sent the No. 3 overall pick to Iowa and Uzoh to Tulsa.
It's worth noting that Tulsa did relinquish Diante Garrett's rights in the deal. The guard spent time with Bakersfield Jam via the Phoenix Suns last season, and showed a fair amount of promise.
That said, in addition to the prime draft selection, the 66ers also acquire legitimate NBA prospect Beno Uzoh, who played well for Springfield last season and has some experience in The Association already under his belt. Earlier this year, our ole' pal Gino Pilato (now with D-League Digest) penned arguably his best piece for RidiculousUpside.com via an interview with Udoh during the D-League Showcase.
Last season, the 66ers employed two quality point guards capable of starting for any team in the minor league. That said, Tony Taylor has since ventured overseas to Poland, and NBA vet Chris Quinn recently accepted a new job as Director of Player Development over at Northwestern.
Needless to say, in this deal, the 66ers have acquired bonafide starters. Uzoh will stand tall as the team's new floor general, and whoever is selected with the number one overall pick is certain to have a boatload of potential in his own right.