How did the Energy do last season?
The Energy finished tied with two other teams (Sioux Falls Skyforce and Los Angeles D-Fenders) for the second best record in the D-League at 31-19. They got a bit unlucky when it came to the playoffs and even given their great record, they battled it out with the RGV Vipers (who were 30-20) and lost in the opening round. Iowa only returns one of their top-6 scorers from last season so it will be interesting to see how they fare with a revamped roster.
How good can they be this year?
I see no reason why the Energy can't win 30 games again this season. Though they did lose a lot of their top players from the 2013-14 season to international teams, they still have Kalin Lucas, Patrick Christopher, Chris Wright and Diante Garrett. Lucas has already spent time in the NBA this season with the Grizzlies (though he did not play in a game) and when paired with Garrett they combine to be one of the more formidable back courts in the entire league.
Most likely call-up?
The easy answer would be Kalin Lucas since he already received a call-up, but I'll go with Diante Garrett. He's 26-years-old and proved to be a capable backup point guard last season for the Utah Jazz. He played 71 games with them and didn't make one appearance in the D-League, so it's only a matter of time for an NBA team to come callin' for Garrett.
Most intriguing potential assignee?
For me it's Jarnell Stokes. The D-League is a guard-heavy league so the thought of Stokes with the Energy for any extended period of time just gets my blood pumping. Stokes was assigned to the Energy last week for an exhibition game and produced 13 points and 13 rebounds and he struggled with his inside shot during that game. So, he struggled and still put up 13/13, so imagine when he plays well what he could do. I could honestly see some 20/20 games from him down in Iowa this year. In limited minutes for the Grizzlies during preseason Stokes put up 4.6 points and 3.1 rebounds.
Will Kalin Lucas find a home with an NBA club?
Over the last month Lucas has been signed and subsequently waived by the Memphis Grizzlies twice. The most recent time he only lasted five days on the team and didn't even play a single minute with the club before they decided to go another direction. Lucas has the basketball IQ and leadership intangibles that NBA clubs should be drueling over when looking for a backup point guard.
During summer league, Ridiculous Upside sat down and talked with Lucas about the D-League and his NBA prospects and it's clear that he feels like he's ready. It would seem that Lucas just needs the right opportunity to come along and when it does, he will be ready.