Each and every year, the NBA D-League Draft presents aspiring young guns with an opportunity to jump start their professional careers, if a team chooses to select them. From there, their respective quests to break into the NBA and become household names begin.
But while many of the minor league's players are up and coming, some well known players turn up in the D-League every once and a while as well, hoping for a second chance at a previously missed out opportunity.
One of the familiar names basketball fans could see come November 1st is Renaldo Balkman, the twentieth overall selection of the New York Knicks back in 2006.
A man who has attempted to weather various storms while experiencing his fair share of respective ups and downs, Balkman appeared in 221 NBA games from 2006-12. Having since spent most of his time playing overseas, the forward most recently played for the Puerto Rican national team this past summer.
Now 30 years old, Balkman is hoping to have one more shot at playing in The Association. As fate would have it, he's reportedly looking towards hitting the D-League hardwood in order to get it.
According to a spanish report out of Puerto Rico, Balkman is aiming to play in the NBADL this season. The report loosely translates to this:
Forward Renaldo Balkman has the sight in the NBA and, apparently, looks inclined to play in the development League of the NBA (NBDL) hoping to receive a call to the League in any time of the season.
A close friend the national team CANASTERO told El Nuevo Día that Balkman is training in the United States without intentions of signing overseas.
Several days ago, the NBA teams started workouts and Balkman, unlike last year, did not receive any invitation.
The past year, Balkman was active with the Dallas Mavericks, but was cut from the campus before the start of the campaign.
So now, Balkman will opt to get a contract in the NBDL, whose season begins in November. And it will do so with the hope of getting another opportunity to return to the NBA if he is claimed by any organization enebeista. Balkman accumulated six seasons in the NBA, militant with the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets. His last appearance was with the Knicks in the 2011-12 campaign.
Balkman, belonging to the Arecibo captains in the BSN, received several approaches from European clubs after his participation with the national team in the past world of Spain.
Despite his struggles to stick in the NBA over the years, Balkman is yet to have appeared in an NBADL game. Because of this, there are two subsequent ways to get in from here.
The easiest way, of course, is signing a contract and becoming eligible for selection in the D-League Draft. If Balkman is prepared to hit the ground running and begin his comeback on day one, he'll provide all eighteen teams with an opportunity to give him another chance.
It's likely that this turns out to be the case.
That said, if Balkman chooses to wait and/or forgo the draft, he'll sign his minor league contract and be thrust into the available player pool as the season begins, where the teams at the top of the waiver wire will have first dibs on him instead.