Each and every year, more than a handful of big league teams appear to successfully snag a potential diamond in the rough or two during the second round of the NBA Draft.
Selected by the Magic 51st overall in 2013 Draft, Romero Osby appeared to have many of the tools to make him a steal. At 6'8" and 240 pounds, he's a very strong forward, able to defend both threes and fours. What's more, he can, on the flip side, use his body to post up against smaller defenders, and also hit shots from downtown on occasion as well.
Despite all of these existent talents, some nagging injuries and a stint overseas put Osby's NBA hopes on hold. And while many casual fans may believe that the D-League Select Team is filled with journeymen, the 25 year old may be closer than one would think to breaking in to The Association.
Osby is one of the more versatile talents on the minor league's Summer League roster. That much was evident in the D-League's twenty-point 94-74 victory over the Wizards on Sunday afternoon. En route to his team's romping, Osby logged 18 points and 6 rebounds off the bench, all the while knocking down four daggers from deep. What's more, he boasted an ever impressive plus/minus of +20.
The forward's opportunity with the D-League Select is an unique one that he might not have had on another team. He's now one of the staring attractions. But his decision to play for the squad comes down to more than just an individual desire to shine.
"Well, I played in the D-League last year. I have a great deal of respect for it. There are plenty of great players who are in the D-League that just haven't made the NBA for whatever reason. They're trying to scratch the surface. I'm one of those guys. I'm just trying to enjoy the process," Osby told RidiculousUpside.com. "It helps that the entire coaching staff here is my coaching staff from Maine. I knew the system and understood how they wanted to play. I just wanted to come in, play my game, fit in, and not take anything away from anyone else."
As Osby alluded to, the comfort level he has with Coach Scott Morrison and Co. is obviously paying early dividends for him.
"It helps that they're always in my ear. I've been around them the last five months or so," he added. "It's kind of fun to be around and try to show what I can do with people who believe in me."
As far as how he could potentially make an impact for an NBA team, Osby said, "I'm going to defend multiple positions, whether guys are around the perimeter or in the post. I can shoot the three when called upon. I can be a leader and bring energy and hustle. Sometimes when things are going badly, guys need someone else to pick them up and be energetic. Enthusiasm is something I can bring."
Versatility aside, Osby's most unique asset may come in the form of his higher maturity level. In NBA Summer League, he's obviously competing against a slew of younger rookie and sophomore players, still attempting to adjust to playing professional basketball.
On the other hand, Osby is already well on his way to making such a transition, if he hasn't fully done so already. At this stage in his career, Osby may arguably be more physicality able and better prepared mentality to make contributions for an NBA team looking for spot-minutes from a quality player off the bench.
The forward agreed with such a suggestion, asserting, "Yeah, definitely. It helps because you need to know where to be and what to do in certain situations. You want to be comfortable, and perhaps I wasn't as comfortable in my rookie year. I think [the added maturity] helps."
He hopes to continue proving as much as Summer League continues.