So far this season the D-League has been utilized to give 30 different players some game-time action. While this has been great for D-League fans and media members alike we still long for more! If each NBA team had their won D-League affiliate I think there would be even more assignments, but even with the system as it stands there are some players that should be getting some work in the NBA's minor league.
We've compiled a short list of guys who we would love to see get some time in the growing NBADL.
Spencer Dinwiddie - Detroit Pistons
Many believe that Dinwiddie was a steal for the Detroit Pistons as pick No. 38 in the 2014 NBA Draft. If not for a season-ending injury at Colorado he may have been a mid to late first round pick. As it stands, Spencer has appeared in seven games for the struggling Pistons averaging 3.1 points and 2.3 assists in 12.4 minutes per contest. The Pistons do have a single affiliate with the Grand Rapids Drive and while they have utilized it for Tony Mitchell (traded today) Dinwiddie hasn't been on assignment once.
Dinwiddie is an explosive scorer who stands 6'6 and can handle like a point guard. The Drive already have Lorenzo Brown handling the distribution, but Dinwiddie would stand to gain some confidence and game-speed action if given the chance with Grand Rapids. Also, the Drive could use his services as they stand at 6-6 to start the season.
Devyn Marble - Orlando Magic
The Magic acquired Marble from the Denver Nuggets in the Evan Fournier deal. He was drafted 56th overall by the Nuggets out of Iowa. Marble impressed during the Orlando Summer League averaging 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds but the Magic haven't been able to get him any substantial court time this season. He's played a total of five minutes all year so far.
The Erie BayHawks are the single affiliate for the Magic and while they have Seth Curry, they could always use a defensive wizard like Marble for a few games here and there. It looks like this wish could come to fruition sooner rather than later according to news today:
The Magic likely will assign rookie Devyn Marble to the D-League's Erie BayHawks in the coming days to get some game work.— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) December 24, 2014
Johnny O'Bryant III - Milwaukee Bucks
O'Bryant has just recently started to see some time with the Bucks as over the last four games he's averaged four points per game in 8.5 minutes played -- he's also 7-11 from the floor in those contests. O'Bryant was the 36th overall pick made by the Bucks and while some have called him an "undersized" power forward at only 6'9, he contains the athleticism to still make an impact at both ends.
The Bucks do not have a single team affiliate in the D-League and this may be the main reason they have not utilized the assignment system so far this year. If they do choose to assign O'Bryant (or anyone else) then they would be allocated to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, unless they already have four NBA players assigned. Nonetheless, I want to see O'Bryant get some minutes somewhere! If he continues to be in the rotation for the Bucks, then a trip to the D-League most likely won't be in the cards however.
Bruno Caboclo - Toronto Raptors
Bruno was somewhat of a surprise first round pick when the selection was made by the Raptors at 20th overall, but he looked pretty dang good during the Las Vegas Summer League. Caboclo averaged a team high 11.4 points during summer league to go along with three rebounds with splits of 40/31/83 over five games in Vegas.
He's only played a total of 15 minutes for the surging Raptors and given the fact that he needs some major development, I think it's only right (for the fans!) that he get some time in the D-League to hone his skills. Bruno is 6'9 and could be a real impact player for the Raptors in a couple of seasons, but until that time comes he should be getting some action in the NBADL.
Markel Brown - Brooklyn Nets
Brown was selected 44th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Timberwolves and then they shipped him to Brooklyn for "cash" the day after they picked him. Brown has appeared in seven games for the Nets but he's only averaged 5.4 minutes and 1.9 points in those games. Brown was a four-year starter at Oklahoma State and he averaged 17.2 points and 5.3 rebounds his senior year there.
He's known around the league as a high-flying, 3 and D type of player but at 6'3 he is a little undersized for the shooting guard position in the NBA. The Nets do not have a single team affiliate in the D-League, but they would be wise to give him some minutes with Fort Wayne, so that he could develop some point guard skills and give us some jawdropping highlights as well!
I SENT SANTA MULTIPLE LETTERS ABOUT THIS SO I REALLY HOPE I GET MY CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!