The passing of Thursday's NBA trade deadline puts an end to all speculation and officially sheds light on which teams come out the other side looking like winners or losers. For said "losers," it will be time to acknowledge that they failed to fill any and all existent voids. This would especially impact those squads gearing up for a playoff push in the coming weeks and months ahead.
But coming up short at the deadline doesn't necessarily have to be the end of the road. Instead, the D-League can provide NBA teams with a refreshing light at the end of the tunnel. The minor league's pool of talent is as deep as its ever been, with veterans and promising youngsters alike all hoping for an opportunity to contribute and/or prove themselves even further the way.
Arguably atop of this list is five-year NBA veteran Jimmer Fredette, who rose above and went on to shine as the D-League's All-Star Game MVP in Toronto last week. What's more, he's helped lead the Westchester Knicks to strong positioning with their conference. Clearly a step above, Fredette has dominated most of his competition this season, averaging 22.3 points on 47% from the field and a 40% clip from deep. He's not the most versatile performer in the world, but at the very least, Fredette is consistent. What you see is what you get. Initially heading in (and out, respectively) to training camp, NBA teams came to the conclusion that what he did bring to the table wasn't enough. In deciding this, they assumedly chose to make gambles that other players could give them more, or at the very least, do what Fredette does better than he can.
In the months that follow training camp, NBA teams obviously come to different conclusions on the other players currently on their rosters. Leading up to the trade deadline, they explore different ways to make upgrades. Fredette is still available in the D-League, but until that deadline officially passes, there are better options to explore, ponder, and pursue -- regardless of how likely or unlikely such options may be. As the deadline passes and such aforementioned options fade away, Fredette still stands tall as a promising fall-back option.
With that in mind, Fredette could be the beneficiary of a ten day contract or two (or more) from one or multiple NBA teams looking to fill respective guard and/or bench scoring holes in the weeks to come. This is obviously the case for any number of D-League players, but there's no doubt Fredette represents one of the more familiar (and seemingly prepared) options for NBA teams.