This week I took a trip overseas to Italy and Israel to find some of the key standouts, and all should be familiar names for both D-League and NBA fans alike.
Khalif Wyatt - Hapoel Eilat - Israeli Winner League
Wyatt played 20 games for the Springfield Armor last season averaging 16.2 points and 3.6 assists with blistering shooting at 44.7 from the floor, 41.2 from 3-point territory, and 81.2 percent from the charity stripe.
In July 2014 Wyatt signed a deal with Hapoel Eilat in Israel and he has taken the league by storm so far. They are only five games in but thus far Wyatt leads the entire league in scoring at 19.6 points and tosses in five assists a night as well. His hot shooting has continued as his splits are a ridiculous .478/.462/.846! Small sample size but he's certainly showing that he has the ability to score efficiently as well as make plays for others.
Making plays for others is something that will certainly come in handy as earlier this week another D-League alum Willie Reed signed with Hapoel Eilat to help them out of their 1-4 start. In their last game Wyatt scored 29 points to go along with four assists but it wasn't enough as Eilat fell to Maccabi 86-88.
Other D-League Alums in Israeli Winner League: Jackie Carmichael, Willie Reed, Dominic McGuire, Julian Mavunga and Terrel Harris.
I gotta get better— Khalif Wyatt (@KhalifW05) November 7, 2014
Tony Mitchell - Dolomiti Energia Trento - Italian Lega A
Mitchell helped the Fort Wayne Mad Ants win the D-League Championship last season. When I say "help", I really mean they rode Mitchell to the victory as he averaged 22.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and four assists over the course of the playoffs last year. He's also well known for his high-flying tactics and he is the reigning back-to-back D-League Dunk Contest champion (2013 and 2014).
After the championship last year Mitchell cashed in and signed with Trento of the Italian Lega A and he's still performing to the level fans are accustomed to. Through the first four games Mitchell is averaging 23.3 points and 4.5 rebounds. Shooting is one skill Mitchell needs to improve upon to catch the eyes of NBA scouts. At 6'6 he needs to have that attribute and he still struggles a little bit with it as he's only shooting 33.3 percent from 3-point land and 56.5 from the free throw line. Not being able to hit threes isn't a deal breaker, however if one of your main pros is getting to the rim, then you have to convert free throws at a higher rate that 56 percent.
Even so, Mitchell is third in the league in scoring and in Trento's last game (a 74-85 loss to Brindisi) Mitchell scored his usual 22 points but also went 4-8 from the land of plenty. Again, that's really the only thing missing from Mitchell's extremely athletic arsenal of skills.
Other D-League Alums in Italian Lega A: Dario Hunt, Austin Freeman, Augustus Gilchrist, Abdul Gaddy, Frank Gaines, C.J. Williams, Richard Howell, Sundiata Gaines, and DeQuan Jones.
Darius Johnson-Odom - AV Cantu - Italian Lega A
DJO played last season with the Springfield Armor. He played 27 games and averaged 22 points, 4.4 rebounds and 6.1 assists earning himself a spot on the All D-League Honorable Mention team. During this past summer Odom passed up opportunities for NBA summer league and signed with Cantu in Italy.
Odom is averaging 17.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and five assists through Cantu's first four games. He's shooting well overall at 48.4 percent but his achilles heel continues to be the deep ball. He's only shooting 32 percent from the outside and this isn't a new thing for DJO as he shot a combined 36.9 percent from deep in his two D-League seasons. He has the quickness and smarts to run the point guard position at a high level, however at 6'2 he has to develop at least some remnants of an outside shot, so that opposing guards cannot merely play off of him to create an advantage.
Odom is seventh in Lega A in scoring and continues to be a menace for the opposition on both sides of the ball. His last game was a win against D-League alum Abdul Gaddy and his new team Granarolo. Odom had 10 points and eight assists against Gaddy (Gaddy finished with two points in 25 minutes).