In 2012, Andrew Goudelock was drafted second overall in the 2012 NBA D-League Draft, following his rookie campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers. He took the minor league by storm, going on a scoring rampage all season long. He averaged 21.1 points (on an impressive 48% from the field and 37% from deep), 5.2 assists, and 1.2 steals.
Goudelock led the way for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, obviously playing a big role in their run to The Finals. Unfortunately for them, the young gun wasn't a part of the championship victory. Instead, when Kobe Bryant went down with an injury, the Lakers called upon the familiar Goudelock to be thrust into a starting role during the NBA playoffs.
He was named the NBADL M.V.P. for that campaign, and followed up such success by winning another M.V.P. award in Eurocup competition just last season as well.
While Goudelock was doing his thing overseas, Pierre Jackson had, coincidentally enough, subsequently filled the role of D-League scoring sensation. Drafted fourth overall in the 2013 draft, the Baylor product surprised many with his offensive prowess. Jackson averaged 29.1 points, 6.2 assists, and 1.9 steals through 31 contests before cashing in on a deal in Turkey midseason.
Signed by the 76ers in the offseason, there's a good chance Jackson would have remained in Philadelphia, had a devastating injury not derailed his hopes first.
Needless to say, Goudelock and Jackson have set the precedent for combo-guards in the D-League, while also proving that the ability to take over a game and score in bunches still gets prospects noticed in the minor league.
Perhaps hoping to follow in their footsteps, Ta'Quan Zimmerman has his eyes set on the D-League this coming season as well.
As reported by DLeagueDigest.com, Zimmerman has been tendered a contract and subsequently entered the minor league's November 1st draft.
For most players on the outside looking in, simply being selected is enough of an honor in itself. Having said that, Zimmerman may be able to handle higher expectations.
"He has great basketball acuity, and with an almost 45% three-point accuracy level, Ta'Quan could easily take the lead in scoring in the D-League this year," his agent, Debroah Crain told RidiculousUpside.com recently.
Finishing his collegiate career in Canada, Zimmerman averaged 19.6 points and led his team, Thompson Rivers University, to its first ever postseason birth last season.
Of course, there are sure to be a handful of NBA veterans who turn up in the D-League Draft next month. Most of them will probably be able to score the basketball pretty well. Still, Zimmerman carries himself with plenty of confidence. He attacks the basket, knows when to fade away off defenders, and is very evasive around the hoop.
It's safe to say that having high hopes for a player like Zimmerman isn't out of the question, but for now, the cousin of NBA veteran Ryan Gomes is simply looking forward to getting started, just like everyone else.
"Ta'Quan also has tremendous character on and off the court. He looks forward to honing his skills under the coaching of [a] D-League staff, and wants to make a contribution in whatever way he is asked," Crain added.