It's often difficult with so many moving parts in the NBA D-League, from one season to the next, to predict which team will build upon last year's success. Having said that, the Austin Spurs have been heralded as one of the early favorites to go all the way and a minor league title. With an 11-3 record thus far (featuring an impressive 8-1 post on the road), it's been smooth sailing to date.
Much like their NBA counterpart, in true affiliate fashion, Austin overwhelms opponents with a sound defensive effort and a balanced scoring output from a number of contributors night in and night out. But in looking for a more dominant effort from one individual in particular every once and a while, Cady Lalanne has proven to be a reliable soldier to call upon.
This past week was no different, as the big man, whom the NBA Spurs drafted in the second round of this summer's NBA Draft, led Austin to another impressive 2-1 finish. The 6'9, 242 pounder averaged 22.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks. Proving to be ever efficient, Lalanne shot 59% from the field and even 50% from downtown.
At this point, San Antonio is obviously looking to nurture the development of the 23 year old as he makes the steep adjustment to the pro game. While he boasts the physical build of a power forward, he has been playing plenty of center in the always smaller minor league. Talented big men are very difficult to come by, but Lalanne is even all the more versatile because of his respective prowess from long range. He brings opposing defenders outside and away from the hoop, making it difficult to guard him extensively. A handful of D-League and NBA executives alike consider him the best center (or simply, big man) in the D-League. This would make sense, given that a quality organization like San Antonio spotted him first and now holds his draft rights. He's already beginning to come into his own.
And for his latest efforts, t's only fitting that Lalanne earns RidiculousUpside.com's latest "Top Prospect of the Week" award honors from December 13th through the 19th. It's certainly well deserved, given his team's success.