The D-League held it's draft yesterday and the Big Ten was one of the numerous conferences represented. All in all the conference produced six picks, with former Illinois guard Joseph Bertrand being selected the highest in the second round. The full list of guys selected can be seen below:
|Round||Pick||Team||Player||Former B1G School|
|2||10||Westchester Knicks||Joseph Bertrand||Illinois|
|3||1||Grand Rapids Drive||Shaun Pruitt||Illinois|
|3||2||Erie BayHawks||Lenzelle Smith Jr.||Ohio State|
|3||9||Oklahoma City Blue||Dane Miller||Rutgers|
|4||9||Oklahoma City Blue||Jonathan Mitchell||Rutgers|
|6||16||Iowa Energy||Malik Smith||Minnesota|
The D-League is an interesting league of sorts. While it is a developmental league, the ultimate reality is that a lot of the guys that end up in the league have little to no chance of making a NBA roster. That being said, NBA teams have also been using the league more heavily as a way to rehab injured players and to give benchwarmers minutes instead of having them sit on the bench every night on the active roster.
While a number of D-Leaguers will likely end up on the 76ers roster eventually this season (because...tanking), the road to the Association from here is a difficult road that few will successfully navigate. At the same time, though, the D-League can provide some entertaining basketball and the availability of their games has increased dramatically as of late. Basketball is basketball and I'm sure a number of fanatics would love nothing more than to watch their favorite college players continue playing at any level, so there's that.
Personally any league that allows former Purdue point guard Lewis Jackson to average almost nine assists per game can't be thaaaaat bad. Even more so that my NBA team (Golden State) has one of the better D-League affiliates in Santa Cruz.