This coming Monday, approximately forty of the NBA D-League's most intriguing, talented, and promising players will head to Chicago to strut their stuff in front of an abundance of NBA and international scouts alike during the minor league's annual Elite Mini-Camp, led by longtime D-League coach Bob MacKinnon.
But as history has shown, as talented as such a group tends to be, the players included aren't necessarily the absolute cream of the crop. Last season's group alone only included two all-star players.
Alas, whereas such a group may boast the most upside and a potential higher ceiling for success than most, proven results may not always be there. Of course, this could very well be the beauty of giving such players a further opportunity to put their own respective talents on display. Then again, it's worth pondering why more "proven" players don't attend.
There is undoubtedly a wide range of talent in the D-League, but the fact of the matter is, each prospect is in the minor league for a reason. There is room to improve, and every bit of positive exposure (like the kind the Elite Mini-Camp provides), would seemingly prove to be in the best interests of such youngsters as a huge asset.
But as fate would have it, a handful of players happen to turn down invitations to the camp, according to multiple sources speaking to RidiculousUpside.com.
Of course, plenty of prospects could have things standing in the way of such an opportunity. They could instead be already playing overseas for the offseason. They could be involved in their own workout regiments with individual trainers. They simply may have other things going on.
But for those who remain stateside and happen to be available during the spring and summer months (let alone, simply next week, over the camp's duration), it would appear as though each and every prospect invited should attend. But that won't be the case.
This is a great opportunity --- one that any and all of the D-League's prospects should be grabbing by the horns. The result of such a camp is to provide them all with a further platform to state their cases for respective Summer League gigs. While some players may have already come up with a plan for the Orlando and/or Las Vegas sessions, it would still appear to be a positive development to receive the utmost exposure possible, as NBA teams could be more intrigued about bringing such prospects in for training camp, etc. (i.e. not just Summer League) if they're provided with a greater sample size to see what such athletes can do against similar competition.
On the flip side, perhaps NBA teams who have already invited certain players to NBA Summer League encourage them to sit out the Elite Mini-Camp, as a precaution that they don't entice other teams (and/or suffer any injuries) and potentially risk losing the gig they've already seemingly obtained.
In any event, it would still appear that in most cases, the more exposure, the better.