This past season was the first year under the latest NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement to allow NBA teams an unlimited number of times to assign a player with three years or less experience. NBA teams took full advantage of it, and logged 184 total assignments including 58 players, some of which were 2012 NBA draft picks.
NBA teams have found the reward in assigning rookies multiple times throughout the season. Both the Tulsa 66ers and Rio Grande Valley Vipers saw heavy assignment action this past season, as their NBA parent clubs opted to assign their young players to the NBADL to assist in their development. Adidas Eurocamp alum, Donatas Motiejunas was one of the players who spent time in the NBADL, after being selected 20th overall in the 2012 NBA draft.
With a number of NBA general managers, scouts, and team personnel attending the Adidas Eurocamp this past weekend in Treviso, Italy, many of the players who excelled during the camp will increase their likelihood of being selected in the upcoming 2013 NBA draft. Judging from the Adidas Eurocamp Hall of Fame, there's a strong chance that we will see some of these international prospects on a NBA D-League roster soon.
Some Adidas Eurocamp alumni who spent time in the NBADL last season include; Tornike Shengelia, Nando De Colo, Patrick Beverley, Jeremy Tyler, Joel Freeland, Victor Claver, and Donatas Motiejunas. Each player listed above had a significant impact on their NBADL team when they were assigned last season.
Looking ahead to the 2013-2014 season, it seems that plenty of players drafted in the late first round or second round, will become familiar with their NBA team's NBADL affiliate. NBA teams saw the value in sending young players on assignments for extra work in the D-League, and with more teams setting up single affiliates to accommodate this need more efficiently, the trend will likely continue.
Prospects such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lucas Nogueira, are projected to be late first-round picks and took part in Adidas Eurocamp. If both Nogueira and Antetokounmpo are selected where they are projected to be taken, or later in the draft, there will be an increased likelihood of seeing either player in the NBADL. Based off previous assignment trends regarding rookies, players selected late in the first-round and second-round, are likely to be assigned at some point in their first year.
The NBA draft prospects who took part in the Adidas Eurocamp festivities ultimately have their sights set on the NBA, and not the NBA D-League. But every path to success in the NBA is different, and the chances of seeing some of these international players receiving an NBA D-League assignment next season, remains high due to last season's heavy assignment activity.