As end of the year award winners were announced this past spring, some opted to question the decision to name Robert Covington the NBA D-League's Rookie of the Year.
By filling up the stat-sheet with averages of 23.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.4 steals, 1.7 assists, and 1.4 blocks through 42 contests, there's no doubt that such numbers warranted this very award. But as an assignee of the Houston Rockets, the forward was technically not considered a D-Leaguer. He was an NBA player.
But now, following his release from Houston, it appears as though the young gun is prepared to take the D-League by storm once again, this time as a minor leaguer. RealGM.com reports that it's "likely" Covington signs an NBADL contract on Thursday.
If he so chooses to sign his name on the dotted line, the 23 year old will become draft eligible, available to be selected by any of the league's eighteen teams, RidiculousUpside.com has confirmed.
Despite dominating the D-League all of last season, as an NBA assignee, Covington never actually had to sign a minor league contract. As such, when he does, the forward will simply be thrust into the player pool of potential draftees. Houston does not own his rights.
The Rockets have an eye for up and coming talent, and know how to evaluate and develop such skilled players by utilizing their D-League affiliate to the fullest. There's no doubt about that. With that in mind, given his evident potential and proven success on the minor league level, Covington is sure to rank as a high draft selection on Saturday afternoon.
Will he be first overall? That remains to be seen, but if one thing is for sure, it's that he'll certainly garner such consideration.