As the NBA offseason slows down, there always seems to be reports of retired athletes looking for one last opportunity in the league. This year is no different, as guard Cuttino Mobley is pursuing a return to the league after taking an extended break.
While the D-League is mainly used to develop the future of the NBA, there have been multiple instances of former NBA players using the NBADL as a bridge to their comeback in the past. The most recent example of that was former Timberwolves guard Troy Hudson, who had a short and unsuccessful stint with Sioux Falls last season. While with the Skyforce, Hudson averaged 11 points per game on 40% shooting before having to retire because of nagging knee injuries.
One prime example of an NBA alumni having a successful stint in the D-League would be Mike James who earned NBA call-ups with the Bulls and Mavericks in 2012 and 2013, respectively, after strutting his stuff in the NBADL Showcase each year. While the scenarios between these two players are extremely different with James playing overseas during his NBA absence while Mobley sat out, James' success story should be a promising tale for Mobley.
Mobley may have the toughest path towards an NBA comeback, due to a five year absence and a heart condition that forced his sudden exit in the 2008 season. However, the veteran is reportedly working out and playing at the Clippers' practice facility alongside NBA players like Blake Griffin, DeMar DeRozan, Darren Collison and Metta World Peace.
Despite what wonderful shape he may be in, Mobley will most likely need to have an extended time to re-adjust to the NBA style. Of course, the perfect opportunity for that would be in the NBADL, where he'd compete against some of the best competition in the world while proving himself once again to NBA executives.
As we move closer to September and October, the empty spots on NBA rosters at the start of the offseason have closed up, which makes the D-League the perfect opportunity for the veteran shooting guard to try and work his way back to the league. While the NBADL isn't the most prestigious league, it could be the best chance for Mobley to grab a spot on an NBA roster for one last time.