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Ronald Roberts Making Early Impact for Santa Cruz Warriors

The Santa Cruz acquired Ronald Roberts earlier this week and in his first two games, he's proving that the transaction was worth the cost.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

For the first half of the NBA D-League season, forward Ronald Roberts was quickly making a name for himself. He earned a Call-Up to the Delaware 87ers' parent club in the Philadelphia 76ers and was considered one of the top prospects in the Development League. This season with Delaware, Roberts averaged 15.8 points and 11.6 rebounds. It's rare to see prospects as highly valued as Roberts traded in season, but then again, nothing is shocking in the D-League when it comes to player transactions.

The Delaware Sevens pulled the trigger with the Warriors to send Ronald Roberts and the rights to Darington Hobson to Santa Cruz. In return, the Sevens would receive highly-touted guard Sean Kilpatrick and a 2015 first-round pick in the NBA D-League Draft. It's possible that Tiny Gallon finally becoming active for the Sevens made Roberts expendable. Remember, Sean Kilpatrick played for the Philadelphia Sixers in the Las Vegas Summer League. There was obvious some interest for Delaware to acquire Kilpatrick and the haul they received (including a first-round pick) isn't bad return for the services of Ronald Roberts.

If the Sixers wanted to call-up Roberts, they still can, even though he's now a member of the Santa Cruz Warriors. Possibly the Sevens/Sixers knew what they had in Roberts and wanted to acquire Kilpatrick to see what he's made of. It's a weird circumstance where a player can be traded from a club he had received a Call-Up with to another one, but still be available to any NBA team.

The trade to Santa Cruz most likely caught Ron Rob by surprise. He played four years at St. Joe's and is originally from New Jersey. It instantly sent Roberts from a place he felt comfortable in the tri-state area to being moved to the other side of the country, literally.

Still, Roberts was quickly relocated to Santa Cruz and dressed for the Warriors game against the Los Angeles D'Fenders on the 21st. The time zone change had no affect on Roberts' game as he shot 7-of-8 from the field (6-of-8 from FT line) for 20 points, while also grabbing eight rebounds and tossing three assists. However, the 6'8" forwards inaugural performance with SCW had nothing on his next game.

Considering that the former St. Joe's product came a single point and rebound away from a 40-20 game and that's all that needs to be said. Playing against the Reno Bighorns offense that runs 100 miles a minute set up the perfect venue for the athletic freak. He finished with 39 points and 19 rebounds on 75% shooting. The 39 points were a franchise-record for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the regular season.

In just two short games in Surf City, Ronald Roberts is already leaving his mark on the club. He's showing that it doesn't matter what system he's playing in, get him the ball and he'll take care of the rest. The young man will keep grinding, hoping for that second Call-Up of the NBA D-League season. One thing is for sure, if he keeps accelerating his game and dropping monster stat lines, some team will have to put his name on a 10-day contract.