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D-League Star Phil Pressey Working For Another NBA Chance

Phil Pressey showed he could be an NBA point guard with the Boston Celtics. Now, he's trying to turn a solid season with the Idaho Stampede into another NBA opportunity.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

During the 2013-2014 season, Phil Pressey was in a great situation. After going undrafted in the 2013 NBA draft, the 5' 11'' point guard was signed by the Boston Celtics, and playing regularly behind Rajon Rondo. Pressey was serviceable in the 75 games he played as Rondo's backup, dishing out more than three assists per night, on average. The guard returned to the Celtics for the 2014-2015 season, earned a roster spot, and played in 50 games. After averaging only 12 minutes and 2.3 assists per game, Pressey was waived by Boston on July 15th, finding himself in a decidedly worse situation.

Since being cut by Boston, Pressey hasn't found a place to stick. Brief stints in Portland, Utah, Philadelphia, and Phoenix have brought him to the D-League's Idaho Stampede. In Idaho, Pressey is flashing the playmaking ability that led to success in Boston, and stardom at the University of Missouri. In 29 games, the point guard is averaging almost 7 assists and 14 points, to go along with 2 steals and 4.5 rebounds per game. These numbers aren't blowing anyone away, but are indicative of the scope of Pressey's impact. More impressive is where he's been able to thrive. Idaho is tied for the second-worst record in the D-League and doesn't have any great scoring threats. A point guard's game is directly dependent on the scoring ability of those around him, and in Idaho, there isn't a great supporting cast. However, Pressey's impact shines through. The Stampede, despite being one of the worst offensive teams in the D-League, still rank in the top ten in assists per game.

Ultimately, Pressey isn't a game breaker and needs the perfect situation to succeed in the NBA. It's unlikely he'll find a starting spot in a league that's fallen in love with tall, scoring point guards, a la John Wall and Kyrie Irving. But the young gun is a small, pass-first point guard with a nose for the ball and excellent court vision. NBA superstars would be wise to take notice, Pressey has proven he doesn't need to shoot to have an impact and can find anyone if they can score. For Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and others, that sounds like the makings of a great situation.