One of the biggest stories from this season in the NBA D-League has yet to materialize. When the news broke over a month ago that two-time All-Star guard Baron Davis had signed a contract in the D-League, fans and analysts alike went wild. Widely regarded as one of the more popular players throughout his prime, Davis' intentions to join the D-League were an incredibly exciting thought.
After clearing waivers two days after it was reported that he had signed his deal, it has remained just that: a thought. Over the past month, numerous players have been signed and activated by teams throughout the league, but Davis is still waiting for his chance to get his comeback to basketball rolling.
Last seen in 2012 after replacing Jeremy Lin as the New York Knicks starting point guard after Lin went down with a knee injury, Davis saw his season come to an end in the first round of the team's first round playoff series against the Miami Heat. As he was on a fast-break following a rebound, Davis planted his right foot and his leg collapsed out from under him. He eventually had to be stretchered off of the court and it was later discovered that he had torn his ACL, MCL and patellar tendon.
Many thought it would be career-ending, which made the news of his comeback an even better story. He hasn't managed to find a place in the NBA D-League yet, but there are a few teams that could immediately benefit from his presence.
The backcourt for Austin has been a fluid situation all year long, as players like Tim Hardaway Jr., Bryce Cotton and Ray McCallum have all seen playing time and most recently, Orlando Johnson was carrying the bulk of the load until he was called-up to the Phoenix Suns. With his departure, the team was left with only Keifer Sykes, Nick Johnson and Demetri McCamey to hold down the fort.
Both Sykes and McCamey have had steady seasons to this point, but the team is going to need some added depth if they want to make some noise in the D-League playoffs. We're still unsure as to what form Baron Davis will be in given his extended layoff from the game, but if he were able to play 5-10 minutes per game right off of the bat it would be tremendously beneficial. From a mentorship standpoint, a player like McCamey would be greatly impacted due to their similar builds and playing styles.
Grand Rapids Drive
With Spencer Dinwiddie set to return from an ankle injury that occurred prior to the All-Star break, the Drive seem to be set at the point guard spot. With Lorenzo Brown having the potential to get called up to the NBA at any given time, Grand Rapids may be wise to look towards adding a player that can fill the void that Brown would inevitably leave. Gary Talton would likely fill the minutes that would be available, but he's very much a pass-first point guard.
If Brown were to be called up, the team would be in need of a scorer that could create his own offense. While his effectiveness may be diminished due to his injuries and time away, if Davis can generate any of the ability that made him such a force offensively, it could patch up a potentially large problem that may be looming.
Maine Red Claws
Currently standing atop the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division, the Red Claws, much like the Spurs, have dealt with an ever-changing backcourt all season long. Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter are currently with the Celtics, which has left Maine with the trio of Andre Stringer, Corey Walden and Coron Williams to share the point guard duties. Each of these players brings their own strengths to the table, but Stringer is the only one that is truly a bonafide point guard on the offensive end.
Should Rozier and Hunter stick with Boston for the remainder of the season, the Red Claws could look to add a point guard that could help them offensively. It would go against the grain of their current roster makeup (Omari Johnson is the oldest player on the team at 26-years old), but Davis' veteran presence could help the team out both on and off of the court.