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Are NBA Teams Feeling The Pressure To Call Up Their Own D-League Affiliate Players?

With some of the top youngsters in the D-League drawing interest from opposing NBA teams, affiliated big league squads are beginning to feel the pressure to scoop them up first.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

NBA executives and scouts can be found all over the gym in Santa Cruz, California this weekend. With the 2015 NBA D-League Showcase going on, there's plenty of talent on display, all in one general convenient location. This would, assumedly, allow such staffers to finally have an up close and personal look at some of the intriguing players from across the D-League hemisphere.

But ironically enough, the three most recent NBA call-ups --- Quincy Miller (from the Reno Bighorns to Sacramento Kings), JaMychal Green (from the Austin Spurs to San Antonio Spurs), and now reportedly James Michael McAdoo (from the Santa Cruz Warriors to the Golden State Warriors), have all been earned by minor leaguers who are subsequently signing with NBA teams affiliated with their D-League ones.

What's the catch? With such athletes playing much closer to home base in most cases with direct affiliates, don't executives already know the talent present in their own backyard, so to speak? Why has it taken this long for these signings to occur?

Of course, the flexibility of offering ten-day contracts only came about less than two weeks ago. Still, make no mistake; it hasn't just suddenly dawned on these executives that their respective minor league affiliates are employing some talented youngsters with intriguing potential.

Alas, NBA teams are beginning to feel the pressure to sign such players with other squads beginning to catch on. Discussions at the Showcase with coaches, scouts, and others reveal this to be the case.

The fact of the matter is everyone is all in one place. This not only allows "opposing" teams to explore other talents, but also discuss and ponder the opportunity to sign them, too. When word gets back to the affiliated NBA team(s), they know their window to keep such a player in the fold is limited, and choose to scoop them up instead.

By signing a hot commodity affiliated player to a ten-day contract or two, NBA teams derail the respective hopes' of their opponents, while also potentially deferring the present interest as well. By the time a certain young gun plays out his contract(s), perhaps opposing clubs will have already explored other options.

When signing an affiliate player to an NBA contract to fend off opponents, two things happen: the athlete gets paid, and the big league affiliate successfully keeps him in the fold. It's a win-win for both sides, and without a doubt, quite the strategy.