Each and every year, the NBA D-League hosts its annual elite mini-camp, featuring forty of the most intriguing prospects the minor league has to offer. Set to take place just days before the NBA Draft combine in Chicago, the timing of such a presentation of sorts ensures that big league executives from across the league are already in town and have an opportunity to see such youngsters strut their stuff.
This year, the camp will run from May 8th through the 10th, RidiculousUpside.com has learned.
May 8th happens to be Mother's Day in the United States. While this obviously isn't considered a national holiday, the D-League has a habit of running their offseason events (the mini-camp and/or national tryout) on Mother's Day and/or Father's Day. It's not a big deal, and such timing could turn out to be somewhat of a coincidence because it just happens to work out. That said, a handful of minor league executives believe that the dates are strategically placed, to see if any prospects make an issue of it and/or back out. If they are truly dedicated and want this coveted opportunity to be seen, they have to be there.
Regardless of the date, some of the more talented minor leaguers have been known to turn down the invitation to the camp in past years. Unfortunately, some believe they are above this type of grind and are deserving of a shot in the NBA regardless. Others are no longer stateside by the time this camp comes, as they've taken the opportunity to cash in on deals overseas. Players are also sometimes skeptical of risking injury and/or damaging their NBA Summer League stock if they have a poor showing. That said, confidence in their game is key. The fact of the matter is that more than a good number of Orlando and Las Vegas Summer League invites stem from this camp.
Ridiculous Upside has also learned that a current D-League head coach will be running the camp this year.
Kadeem Jack of the Reno Bighorns, still coming off a rather hot postseason, will be among those participating next month, his agent announced.