Despite being the first overall pick of the NBA D-League Draft last fall, Robert Covington never had a chance to suit up for the Grand Rapids Drive. He was called up by the Philadelphia 76ers before the minor league season began.
Elliot Williams was selected number two overall by the Santa Cruz Warriors. Though he's spent more time in the minor league, the guard has not only emerged as D-League All-Star, but also spent three separate ten-day contracts with the Jazz and Hornets, respectively.
Needless to say, the draft's top prospects have set the bar quite high. With that in mind, many would likely expect Erik Murphy of the Austin Spurs (selected number three overall) to be following suit at a time like this.
Unfortunately, that hasn't exactly happened. Murphy has failed to assert himself quite like a talented big man, able to dominate the D-League, should. Posting mediocre numbers at best, Murphy has logged 11 points (on 49% from the field and 39% from deep), and 5.6 rebounds this season.
Murphy appeared in 23 games for the Chicago Bulls just last season. He's a bonafide NBA prospect, but has so far been unable to live up to expectations, all the while getting overshadowed by Bryce Cotton (since called up) and Orlando Johnson.
But this past week, Murphy appeared to break out of his shell a bit more. He looked like a man among boys, all the while leading the Spurs to a 2-1 record on the week. He averaged a much more imposing 20.3 points to go along with 11.7 rebounds and 1 block per contest. What's more, in addition to using his body and being more physical down on the low block, the young gun maintained his soft touch from downtown as well. He shot 51% from the field, and an almost equal 50% from deep.
For his most recent efforts, Murphy has named RidiculousUpside.com's Top Prospect for the week of February 22rd through February 28th.
With Cotton now strutting his stuff for the Utah Jazz, Austin will depend on Murphy's offensive prowess that much more in the weeks that follow.