Gearing up for their inaugural minor league season, the Delaware 87ers selected sixteen players through the 2013 NBA D-League Expansion Draft on Thursday. The results are as follows:
Ht Wt College
5-11 185 Cal State Fullerton
6-10 245 Old Dominion
6-3 180 Connecticut
6-8 235 Old Dominion
Darrington Hobson 6-7 210 New Mexico
6-3 188 Arizona
6-4 195 Stanford
6-9 235 Missouri
Ramone Moore 6-4 190 Temple
Hamady N’Diaye 7-0 240 Rutgers
6-8 235 UCLA
5-9 170 California
6-0 175 Wake Forest
6-4 200 Oklahoma
6-8 240 Marshall
6-10 235 Boston College
Of course, training camp still has to commence and the 2013 NBADL (Rookie) Draft still has to take place before the 87ers ultimately know which players will hit the hardwood for them this coming season. That said, the 76ers' D-League affiliate still made some very savvy and/or smart selections on Thursday to kick things off.
First off, fans may recognize a very familar name that made his way into the headlines another way on Thursday. The 87ers drafted Ish Smith, and although the fiery point guard was in fact included in a trade to the Pheonix Suns earlier in the day (and thus, has an NBA contract), Delaware will, nevertheless, still acquire his minor league rights. The same goes for Josh Akognon (the guard is currently a member of the Memphis Grizzlies) and his rights.
As for players who stand to make an immediate impact, should they go on to suit up for the 87ers this coming season, Darrington Hobson, Kyle Fogg, and Sean Williams appear to be very intriguing selections.
Prior to the 2004-05 season, Gerald Wallace was donning a Sacramento Kings uniform and was only otherwise known as a raw, but high-flying young gun. Upon getting drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats in the NBA's Expansion Draft that year, however, the forward went on to make the most of a new opportunity filled with more minutes and brighter spotlight. Fast-forward nine years later, and the NBA veteran is not only a consistent starter in the league, but also a past all-star and one-time NBA "All-Defensive" First Team member.
Though the circumstances are a little different players like Hobson, Fogg, and Williams all now opportunities similar to Wallace's to shine. Both Hobson and Fogg have past NBA training camp experience and were continuously observed and looked at by various executives last season. That said, each neophyte found opportunities to strut their stuff hard to come by while playing behind other talented players on their respective teams.
In the case of Williams, his story is rather simple (and increasingly common nowadays) as well. The talent has always been there for the 26 year old forward. Instead, it's been various off-the-court occurrences that have, to this point, clouded his path to sticking around in The Association. Still, based on past gigs with quality organizations like the Nets, Mavericks, and Celtics, perhaps the 2011 NBADL All-Star is worth at least one extra look.
From players like Leo Lyons, to guys like Willie Warren and Reeves Nelson, the 87ers came away with plenty of talented players through this year's Expansion Draft. Many of them have participated in NBA training camp/games, and/or have ventured overseas to play ball in the past, so it'll be interesting to see how many of them ultimately go on to help Delaware kick off the team's first season in the D-League.