When Vander Blue declared for the NBA Draft out of Marquette back in 2013, some felt as though the move was made too soon. He had been there for three years, but after only one year as a starter he felt ready for the next level. Unfortunately he went undrafted but since then he has spent a short time with both the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics but the majority of his time has been with the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Since joining the D-Fenders, Blue has become a two-time NBADL All Star and one of the most consistent and dynamic scorers in the Development League, setting the record for most 20+ point games in a row with 23 straight games after last night's career outburst against the Bakersfield Jam where he went for 51 points.
Blue is one of, if not the most, aggressive scorer every time he steps foot on the court and this game was no different. He shot 17/29 overall and an incredible 14/14 from the free-throw line. He was able to adapt to just about anything Bakersfield threw at him, they were constantly playing catchup with Blue, who was always a step ahead of them. No one had an answer for him as he hit just about every wild shot possible.
Watching Blue play, it's easy to see why he is so dominant at this level. Everything he does just oozes with confidence and swagger — he carries himself like an NBA player. On the offensive end there is not an aspect of his game that is not developed. He has a reliable outside shot hitting almost 34 percent of what he takes and takes smart shots overall, shooting 45 percent. He is currently averaging career highs in minutes (38.6), scoring (27), steals (1.9), and a career low in turnovers-per-game (2.2).
The most impressive and mature part of Blue's game is how he moves without the ball and creating his own shots. Taking a deeper look at game footage shows that most of the time before the ball even gets into his hands he has already created the necessary space to take a good shot. In addition to moving off the ball he is great at creating his own shot one-on-one due to his wonderful handles and craftiness with the ball.
Blue was not ready for the NBA coming out of college, but he is more than ready now. When he declared for the draft he was two or three years away from having the tools required to succeed at the next level. He has earned the title of most dynamic scorer in the D-League because he proves it night in and night out. He is not as passive as he was in college or during his time with the Lakers — he looks for his shot and uses his creativity to create opportunities for others. NBA teams should be lining up for a chance to nail him down for the end of the season and a postseason run. There is no question that he will be very valuable to a team, hopefully sooner than later.