How did the Tulsa 66ers do last season?
The Tulsa 66ers finished the 2013-2014 season with a 23-24 record, placing them fourth in the Central Division behind the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Iowa Energy and Sioux Falls Skyforce. While they boasted one of the stingiest defenses in the D-League, their offense lagged greatly behind. Part of the reason for that was their two leading scorers, Reggie Williams and Mustafa Shakur, only played half the season after receiving call-ups to the NBA.
Per usual, a couple of members of the Oklahoma City Thunder spent time on assignment, this time Andre Roberson and Grant Jerrett. Roberson made a big impact during his short stint, averaging 15.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. Out of the two, Jerrett is likely to find himself back in the D-League this season.
How good can the Blue be?
The Blue enter the season with a fresh roster. The most notable returning player is Mario Little, who averaged 18.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game last season. Joining him will be their six draft picks -- Marquis Teague, George Beamon, Dane Miller, Jonathan Mitchell, Michael Porrini and Amadou Mbodji -- and Josh Huestis, whom the Thunder drafted with the 29th pick in 2014 and controversially convinced to play in the D-League rather than sign a rookie contract.
The Blue have some NBA experience and have brought in some players that fit their rugged mold. In a tough Central Division, though, that might not be enough to make it to the playoffs.
Who is the most likely call-up?
Two years ago, Marquis Teague was a first round pick by the Chicago Bulls. After a disappointing rookie and sophomore campaign, however, he finds himself in the D-League, fighting tooth and nail for another chance in the NBA.
Teague was the ninth pick in the first round of the D-League draft and will be the team's starting point guard on opening night. With the Thunder dealing with a number of injuries to key players and being in need of someone who can create with the ball in their hands, Teague is in a perfect situation.
If he plays his cards right, Teague could certainly follow in Ishmael Smith's footsteps.
Who is the most intriguing potential assignee?
As a result of the injuries Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have suffered in the early goings of the NBA season, the Thunder find themselves in a unique situation. For the likes of Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones III and Andre Roberson, they no longer have the luxury of progressing at their own rate. Instead, they are now expected to produce on the big stage.
That doesn't leave many players for the Thunder to assign to the Blue, other than Mitch McGary, their 21st pick in this year's draft.
McGary suffered a fractured foot at the start of October and is expected to be out until the end of November. There's reason to believe that he could spend some time in the D-League as a rehab assignment and perhaps later on in the season if he gets stuck in the logjam behind Steven Adams and Kendrick Perkins.
Will Marquis Teague find himself back in the NBA this season?
Teague's first stint in the NBA was highly unsuccessful. In two years, he played a total of 88 games and posted averages of 2.3 points, 1.4 assists and 1.0 rebound per contest on 34.9 percent shooting from the field. He was traded from the Chicago Bulls to the Brooklyn Nets and then to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he was waived after only three days. That's why he now finds himself here in the D-League.
This isn't Teague's first stint in the D-League. Last season, he spent eight games with the Iowa Energy and struggled to find his feet. Matters got worse when his backup, Kalin Lucas, outplayed him before he was eventually called back up to the NBA.
Teague will have the green light from day one with the Blue and he's playing for the affiliate of an NBA franchise that puts a lot of value in what goes on in the D-League. He's had some growing pains since he was drafted two years ago, but he's been given a second chance to prove he's an NBA-calibre player.
The pressure is on Teague now. Let's see how he responds.