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12 Days to B1G Basketball: Six Former B1G Players Picked in the D-League Draft

Today we continue our daily countdown towards the tipoff of the Big Ten basketball season.

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

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.