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Nets Utilizing NBA D-League In Hopes of Capitalizing on Young Talent Despite Lack of Draft Picks

The Nets are utilizing the NBA D-League in a way that helps them develop young prospects and compensate for the lack of draft picks.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

My good friends over at wrote up a pretty cool piece on Tuesday that further breaks down the Nets' use of the NBA D-League affiliated Springfield Armor.

Among those attending training camp with Springfield this month are the returning Willie Reed (who was recently cut by the Grizzlies after earning an NBA call-up last season) and Brooklyn native Gary Forbes, who spent training camp with the Nets this fall.

In addition to both players in that name-worthy pair, the Armor will host a bevy of promising prospects and intriguing players in camp. Such players include the likes of JamesOn Curry, Brian Addison, Tahj Tate, former Net Dennis Horner, and Brooklyn camp participant Adonis Thomas.

Already a frequent user of the D-League with regard to assigning their young guns back and forth between Brooklyn and Springfield, the Nets' strategy is to better prepare such minor league players by getting them acclimated to the team's system in time to be ready to step in as a key role player for the NBA club at any given time. This, in part, is an interesting development strategy that helps compensate for the squad's lack of draft picks. More from

Stockpile D-League draft picks. This isn't a one-year strategy. The Armor added three picks in the 2014 draft over the last few days, including a first rounder from the Delaware 87ers, an expansion franchise whose pick could be the overall #1 next season. The Armor felt comfortable doing this because they brought so many vets back and didn't need picks in this year's draft to fill out the roster. Like last June's NBA draft, the 2013 D-League pool was viewed as weak. Similarly, the 2014 D-League draft is likely to be stronger.

As we've noted before, it's part of the Nets overall development strategy to compensate for their loss of draft picks. Find a diamond in the rough, polish it in Springfield and you might get a player whose talent is as good as a second rounder or maybe, if they got lucky., a low first-rounder.

It's worth noting that also mixed in that article is a confirmation of our earlier report that the Armor have hired NBA veteran Cliff Robinson as coach.