Connect with us

NBA

2014-2015 D-League Draft Eligiblity List

The 2014-2015 NBA Development League Draft will open on Saturday November 1, with 18 teams conducting their draft of players. Here is a list of some of the draft eligible players.

Basketball Insiders

Published

on

The 2014-2015 NBA Development League Draft will open on Saturday November 1, with 18 teams conducting their draft of players. Here is a list of some of the draft eligible players:

Player  Birthdate  Height  Weight  School/Country
Amoke, Omondi  06/03/89  6’7  225  Cal State Fullerton
Anderson, Kevin  12/21/88  6’0  175  Richmond
Atkins, Manny  01/27/91  6’6  205  Georgia St.
Augustus, Kodi  11/02/87  6’8  220  Mississippi State
Barbosa, Ricardo  04/19/94  6’3  202  Brazil
Barbour, Nick  12/05/89  6’3  175  High Point
Barkers, Joel  01/02/87  6’6  225  Central Missouri
Barlow, Kelsey  02/14/91  6’5  200  UIC
Beamon, George  04/26/91  6’4  175  Manhattan
Behanan, Chane  09/24/92  6’6  250  Louisville
Bell, Cameron  08/10/90  6’3  185  FIU
Bell, Marcus  12/09/90  6’9  225  Cal State Stanislaus
Bertrand, Joseph  03/23/91  6’6  200  Illinois
Betran, Travis  02/25/91  6’3  185  Austin Peay
Bohannon, John  10/29/91  6’11  210  UTEP
Bonneau, Stefan  03/13/87  5’10  170  C.W. Post
Brown, D’Aundray  10/21/88  6’4  195  Cleveland State
Brown, Joshua  11/02/88  6’2  170  Towson
Burris, Jordan  03/01/92  6’7  220  Cal St. San Bernardino
Bussey, Tre  11/13/91  6’3  185  Georgia Southern
Capers, Marcus  12/21/89  6’4  –  Washington St.
Carey, Tristan  07/28/91  6’4  185  Longwood
Carter, Sterling  07/23/90  6’0  195  Purdue
Caven, Joonas  01/09/93  6’11  200  Finland
Chamberlain, Keith  12/02/87  6’9  240  Grinnell
Clark, Bill  04/15/88  6’5  220  Duquesne
Clyburn, R.B.  02/16/89  6’5  225  Georgia Tech
Cooksey, Vance  12/10/87  6’0  175  Pikeville
Coursey, Daniel  05/11/92  6’10  220  Mercer
Covington, Nick  08/23/85  6’2  200  Oklahoma City
Covington, Robert  12/14/90  6’9  209  Tennessee State
Cowels, Raymond  11/18/90  6’4  –  Santa Clara
Davis, Keenan  01/09/87  6’5  220  College of Lake County
Dixon, Cory  03/08/90  6’7  205  New Orleans
Dixon-Tatum, Asauhn  02/01/91  7’0  225  Auburn
Doggett, Quinton  02/24/90  6’8  220  Southern
Dunigan, Michael  07/02/89  6’10  245  Oregon
Dunnings, Jeremiah  10/30/91  6’0  171  William Carey
Dyer, Ramon  06/18/84  6’7  224  Houston
Eackles, Ledrick  01/05/89  6’3  200  McNeese St.
Edwin, Fuquan  09/17/91  6’6  215  Seton Hall
Emmett, Andre  08/27/82  6’5  224  Texas Tech
Felix, Carrick  08/17/90  6’6  203  Arizona State
Fortenberry, Brandon  05/18/90  6’3  185  Southeastern Louisiana
Foster, Kevin  06/17/90  6’2  211  Santa Clara
Freelove, Joshua  09/18/90  6’2  180  Buffalo
Fuller, Aaron  12/03/89  6’6  235  USC
Gibbs, Ashton  01/19/90  6’2  190  Pittsburgh
Gibson, Shane  01/05/90  6’2  180  Sacred Heart
Glenn, Michael  06/01/91  6’4  205  Alabama A&M
Goins, Melvin  12/14/87  5’11  180  Tennessee
Goode, Brandon  04/09/92  7’0  235  Norfolk St.
Goode, Marcus  02/20/88  6’10  295  Marshall
Gray, Jimmy  07/03/91  6’0  175  Binghampton
Hall, Kenny  04/10/90  6’9  230  Tennessee
Hall, Marcus  08/06/85  6’1  190  Colorado
Ham, Darvin  03/04/92  6’4  215  Northwood
Hansbrough, Ben  12/23/87  6’3  203  Notre Dame
Hardin, Sean  12/04/89  6’5  190  Lees-McRae
Harrison, Lloyd  06/30/89  6’1  200  Clarion
Haynes, Michael  03/15/81  6’8  220  Fordham
Head, Luther  11/26/82  6’3  185  Illinois
Henderson, Esian  06/14/85  6’9  210  Central Missouri St
Heslip, Brady  06/19/90  6’2  180  Baylor
Hezekiah, Matt  08/08/92  6’9  235  South Carolina St.
Hill, Chris  04/22/90  6’8  –  SW Mississippi CC
Hines, Curtis  05/30/89  6’4  195  Shaw
Hinkle, Charles  03/11/88  6’5  205  American
Holsey, Kammeon  09/04/90  6’8  230  Georgia Tech
Howard, Greg  08/02/89  6’4  220  Walsh
Howard, Pe’Shon  12/10/90  6’3  185  USC
Jackson, Justin  10/13/90  6’8  225  Cincinnatti
Jackson, Tamir  12/29/90  6’3  195  Rice
Jacobo, Luis  01/07/91  6’5  215  IPFW
Johnson III, Melvin  05/20/90  6’6  170  Arkansas State
Johnson, Omari  11/26/89  6’9  220  Oregon State
Johnson, Ravern  07/21/88  6’7  180  Mississippi State
Jones, Jamal  02/17/93  6’8  196  Texas A&M
King, Keala  06/20/91  6’6  210  Pikeville
Koch, Sebastian  01/24/91  6’8  200  Elon
Lemmons, Malcolm  05/21/92  6’4  200  CSU San Marcos
Loucks, Luke  04/01/14  6’5  200  Florida State
Lufile, Chadrack  09/11/90  6’9  265  Wichita State
Madison, Stephen  06/10/91  6’5  205  Idaho
May, Daryl  01/01/79  6’5  195  Pasadena
Mayo, Todd  03/26/91  6’3  194  Marquette
Mays, De’Andre  07/15/87  6’2  190  Youngstown State
Mbodji, Amadou  05/01/86  6’10  230  Jacksonville State
McCall, Mike  06/16/91  6’0  180  St. Louis
McClure, DeShone  6’3  175  Central Arkansas
McLaughlin, Mark  04/22/90  6’6  212  Central Washington
McNealy, Chris  04/30/92  6’4  195  Cal-Irvine
Melvin, Marcus  04/27/82  6’9  242  North Carolina St.
Miles, LaQuentin  03/12/91  6’5  190  Central Arkansas
Milisavljevic, Milos  09/07/93  6’4  202  Serbia
Miller, Dane  05/10/90  6’7  225  Rutgers
Millsap, Abraham  09/06/89  6’4  200  Tennessee State
Mitchell, Dwayne  08/24/82  6’6  210  Louisiana-Lafayette
Mitchell, Joe  11/07/91  6’1  200  Friends
Mitchell, Jonathan  08/11/87  6’7  245  Rutgers
Mollet, Arron  05/14/89  6’3  190  Notre Dame Namur
Mondy, Duke  12/02/90  6’4  205  Oakland
Moore, Cheyenne  12/19/84  6’6  210  Georgetown KY
Moore, Devon  08/29/89  6’4  180  JMU
Moore, Reggie  11/28/89  6’1  178  Washington State
Munford, Xavier  06/01/92  6’2  180  Rhode Island
Murphy, Erik  10/26/90  6’10  240  Florida
Murphy, Tymell  12/30/90  6’5  210  Florida International
Nobles, Julysses  07/12/90  6’1  200  Jackson St.
Olekaibe, Kevin  07/28/92  6’2  180  UNLV
Oliver, Brian  09/05/90  6’7  225  Seton Hall
Parker, Patrick  01/29/91  6’2  180  Queens
Penn, Ray  12/06/90  5’9  160  Texas Southern
Petrucelli, John  10/27/92  6’4  190  Molloy
Poole, Donte  09/16/89  6’3  185  Murray State
Porrini, Michael  03/02/89  6’2  190  Kent St.
Pressey, Matt  11/08/88  6’2  195  Missouri
Provost, Brandon  05/28/90  6’3  190  UTPA
Pruitt, Shaun  11/22/85  6’10  245  Illinois
Raji, Corey  11/07/88  6’6  220  Boston College
Rambo, Dominique  04/25/91  6’0  175  SAGU
Randall, Kyle  09/10/91  6’1  175  Central Michigan
Rosemond, Steve  12/19/90  6’2  193  Castleton State
Rubles, Titus  08/04/91  6’8  220  Cincinnati
Sanders, Jerrell  6’6  210  Ferris St.
Scott, Jereal  07/12/89  6’8  240  Stephen F. Austin
Seeley, D.J.  11/28/89  6’4  195  Cal St. Fullerton
Simmons, Justin  08/17/90  6’3  190  Nebraska-Omaha
Simmons, Marcus  01/28/88  6’6  215  USC
Smith Jr., Lenzelle  6’4  210  Ohio St.
Smith, Chris  10/13/87  6’2  195  Louisville
Smith, Malik  03/16/90  6’2  170  Minnesota
Snow, Tyc  03/07/85  5’7  165  Mississippi Valley State
Snyder, Troy  04/14/91  6’6  215  Maryland Eastern Shore
Spearman, Brandon  06/18/91  6’3  200  Hawaii
Spurlock, Tristan  02/03/91  6’8  230  Central Florida
Stockton, David  06/01/91  5’11  165  Gonzaga
Stokes, Ronald  12/21/82  6’10  240  Empire State
Stover, Anthony  06/01/90  6’10  245  UCLA
Sundufu, Moses  6’2  –  St. Mary’s
Sutton, Kyrie  08/06/90  6’11  248  Binghampton
Sypkens, Ryan  6’4  195  UC Davis
Tangara, Mohamed  08/11/84  6’10  245  Arizona
Tate, Tyrrel  02/12/92  6’5  217  Fayetteville State
Tatum, Cam  06/20/88  6’7  195  Tennessee
Teague, Marquis  04/28/93  6’2  180  Kentucky
Tharpe, Naadir  07/23/91  5’11  170  Kansas
Thomas, Lamonte  06/26/90  6’2  180  Johnson and Wales
Thompson, Kevin  05/06/89  6’9  250  Morgan St.
Threatt, Jarvis  04/03/93  6’2  165  Delaware
Tiggs, Kevin  04/17/84  6’5  220  East Tennessee St.
Togashi, Yuki  07/30/93  5’7  143  N/A
Towns, Marcel  05/11/92  6’2  185  Great Falls
Turner, Ray  01/24/90  6’9  232  Texas A&M
Udofia, Mfon  08/01/90  6’2  194  Georgia Tech
Ussery, AJ  07/07/91  6’10  230  Point Loma
Vaden, Robert  03/03/85  6’5  224  UAB
Vargas, Eloy  12/30/88  6’11  250  Kentucky
Vereen, Anthony  01/21/86  6’6  245  Texas-Arlington
Waters, Dominic  09/28/86  6’1  180  Portland State
White, Tyrone  08/24/90  6’7  185  CSU Bakersfield
Wilkins, Damien  01/11/80  6’6  225  Georgia
Williams, Elliot  06/20/89  6’5  183  Memphis
Williams, Michael  10/27/91  6’2  185  Cal State Fullerton
Witter, Austin  05/23/91  6’8  195  North Carolina A&T
Woodall, Travon  04/14/89  6’0  190  Pittsburgh
Woolridge, Renaldo  03/22/14  6’9  225  USC
Wright, Joel  01/14/90  6’7  225  North Texas
Wright, Keith  07/22/89  6’8  240  Harvard
Wright, Sherrod  08/04/91  6’4  202  George Mason
Wright, Trayvonn  12/26/91  6’7  180  North Dakota St.
Wyatt, William  02/21/87  6’11  190  Columbus State
Yeager, Sammy  02/04/89  6’4  190  Cal State-Fullerton
Yearby, Deilvez  01/11/87  6’7  215  IPFW
Zimmerman, Ta’Quan  12/02/91  6’2  200  Thompson Rivers

Teams that draft a player will hold their Development League right, if those players opt to play in the D-League. Players are under no obligation to play in the D-League if drafted.

The entire Draft will be streamed live on www.nba.com/dleague.

Advertisement




Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NBA

2017-18 NBA Report Card: Third-Year Players

Among the third-year players a few budding superstars have emerged, along with some role players who are helping their teams in the 2017-18 NBA Playoffs.

Mike Yaffe

Published

on

The 2015 NBA Draft has provided the league with a limited quantity of talent so far. After Terry Rozier (at 16th), it’s unlikely that anyone remaining has All-Star potential. Despite the lack of depth, the highest draft slot traded was at number 15, when the Atlanta Hawks moved down to enable the Washington Wizards to select Kelly Oubre Jr.

But placing a definitive “boom” or “bust” label on these athletes might be premature as the rookie contract is standardized at four seasons with an option for a fifth. If their employers are given a fourth year to decide whether a draftee is worth keeping, it seems reasonable to earmark the NBA Juniors’ progress for now and see how they’ve fared after next season’s campaign before making their letter grades official.

The Top Dogs

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves: Given the dearth of premier choices and their glaring need up front, it’s hard to envision the T-Wolves drafting anyone but KAT if they had to do it again. Although his scoring average is down from last season (21.3 vs. 25.1 PPG), that trend could be explained by the addition of Jimmy Butler and the team’s deliberate pace (24th out of 30 teams).

To his credit, Towns had career highs in three-point percentage (42.1 percent) and free throws (85.8 percent), while finishing second overall in offensive rating (126.7). His continued improvement in these areas could explain why the Timberwolves ended their 14-year playoff drought.

Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets: Although he was a 2014 draft pick, Jokić’s NBA debut was delayed due to his last year of commitment to the Adriatic League. His productivity as a rookie was limited by both foul trouble and a logjam at the center position, but he still managed 10.0 PPG.

With Joffrey Lauvergne and Jusuf Nurkic off the depth chart, Jokić became the clear-cut starter this season and rewarded Denver’s confidence by averaging 18.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. And by chipping in 6.1 APG, he provides rare value as a center with triple-double potential.

Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks: Although he has never played a full season since joining the league, Porzingis has provided enough evidence that he can be a force when healthy. Before his junior campaign was derailed, the Latvian was enjoying career highs of 22.7 PPG and 39.5 percent shooting from behind the arc.

Unfortunately, the Knicks haven’t provided much support at point guard to help with Porzingis’ development. Trey Burke looked impressive down the stretch in Zinger’s absence, but that was in a score-first capacity. Meanwhile, both Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay have underwhelmed. On the plus side, Porzingis’ outside ability paired nicely in the frontcourt with Enes Kanter, who prefers to bully his way underneath.

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns: Like Porzingis, Booker’s third year in the NBA was cut short by injuries, but that didn’t stop him from achieving career highs in points (24.9 per game), assists (4.7) and three-pointers (38.3 percent) on an otherwise moribund Suns team. Indeed, cracking the 40-point barrier three times in 54 contests was an achievement in and of itself.

While his short-term prospects would’ve been far better on a team like the Philadelphia Sixers (who might have taken him instead of Jahlil Okafor in a re-draft), Booker can still become a franchise cornerstone for the Suns if they are able to build around a young core that also includes T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson.

Solid Potential

Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers: Despite an inconsistent freshman season at Texas, Turner has become a stabilizing influence at center for the Pacers, whose blueprint consists of surrounding a go-to scorer with role players. While he hasn’t shown drastic improvement in any particular area, he has produced double-digit PPG averages all three years as a pro.

Although Turner’s shot-blocking ability fuels his reputation as a defensive maven, the reality is his 104.8 defensive rating (which is just OK) was skewed by his 110.9 d-rating in losses (it was 100.8 in wins). In order to merit consideration for the NBA’s all-defensive team, he will need to bridge the gap in this discrepancy and impact his team’s ability to win more games in the process.

D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets: Following their respective trades, Russell has fared better in the Big Apple than his 2015 lottery counterpart Emmanuel Mudiay, as the Los Angeles Lakers were forced to cut bait to draft Lonzo Ball. While Ball has shown promise as a rookie, the Lakers’ perception of Russell may have been premature, as the former Buckeye has stabilized a Nets backcourt that had been characterized more by athleticism than consistency.

Despite missing a significant stretch of mid-season games, Russell provided similar numbers for Brooklyn to that of his sophomore season; but without a pick until number 29 in the upcoming NBA Draft, the Nets will have to bank on improved production from DLo and his raw teammates to contend for the eight-seed in the East.

Terry Rozier, Boston Celtics: Injuries have paved the way for Rozier to showcase his talent, most recently with a 23-point, 8-assist effort in game two against the Milwaukee Bucks. But Rozier was already making headlines as a fill-in for Kyrie Irving whenever he was injured. Now that the starting point guard reins have been handed to the former mid-round pick, he has become one of the more pleasant surprises of the 2017-18 NBA season.

The biggest impediment to Rozier’s success might be the regression to limited playing time once Irving returns. While the Celtics could “sell high” and trade Rozier on the basis of his recent performances, they may opt to retain him as insurance while he is still cap-friendly.

Best of the Rest

Larry Nance Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers: Following the trade deadline, Nance has provided a spark for a Cavs frontcourt that has been bereft of viable options aside from Kevin Love.

Josh Richardson, Miami HEAT: A jack-of-all-trades at the small forward position, Richardson has evolved into a three-and-D player that has meshed well with the HEAT’s shut-down focus.

Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento Kings: Thrust into the starting center role after the trade of DeMarcus Cousins, WCS has provided serviceable (albeit unspectacular) play as the next man up.

Delon Wright, Toronto Raptors: A key contributor for the East’s top seed, Wright was instrumental in the Raptors’ game one victory over the Washington Wizards with 18 points off the bench.

Bobby Portis, Chicago Bulls: The former Razorback has flashed double-double potential, but playing time at his true position (power forward) has been limited by the emergence of rookie Lauri Markkanen.

Continue Reading

NBA

NBA Daily: Looking At The 2018 Draft Class By Tiers

The NBA Draft is a hard thing to predict, especially when it comes to draft order and individual team needs, Basketball Insiders publisher Steve Kyler takes a look at how this draft looks in tiers.

Steve Kyler

Published

on

Looking At The 2018 Draft In Tiers

While Mock Drafts are an easy way to look at how the NBA Draft might play out, what they do no do is give a sense of what a specific player might be as a player at the next level. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at how some of the notable NBA draft prospects project.

It’s important to point out that situation and circumstance often impact how a player develops, even more so than almost any other variable.

So while the goal here is to give a sense of how some NBA teams and insiders see a draft prospect’s likely potential, it is by no means meant to suggest that a player can’t break out of his projection and become more or sometimes less than his he was thought to be.

Every draft class has examples of players projected to be one thing that turns out to be something else entirely, so these projections are not meant to be some kind of final empirical judgment or to imply a specific draft position, as each team may value prospects differently.

So, with that in mind, let’s look at the 2018 NBA Draft in Tiers.

The Potential Future All-Stars

DeAndre Ayton – Arizona – C – 7’0″ – 245 lbs – 20 yrs
Luka Doncic – Real Madrid – SG – 6’7″ – 218 lbs – 19 yrs
Michael Porter Jr – Missouri – SF/PF – 6’10” – 216 lbs – 20 yrs

Maybe Stars, But Likely High-Level Starters

Jaren Jackson Jr. – Michigan State – PF – 6’10” – 225 lbs – 19 yrs
Marvin Bagley III – Duke – PF – 6’11” – 220 lbs – 19 yrs
Wendell Carter – Duke – PF – 6’10” – 257 lbs – 19 yrs
Mohamed Bamba – Texas – C – 7’0″ – 216 lbs – 20 yrs
Collin Sexton – Alabama – PG – 6’2″ – 184 lbs – 19 yrs
Mikal Bridges – Villanova – SG/SF – 6’7″ – 210 lbs – 22 yrs
Robert Williams – Texas A&M – C – 6’9″ – 235 lbs – 21 yrs
Miles Bridges – Michigan State – SF/PF – 6’7″ – 230 lbs – 20 yrs
Dzanan Musa – Cedevita – SF – 6′ 9″ – 195 lbs – 19 yrs
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Kentucky – SG – 6′ 6″ – 181 lbs – 20 yrs
Trae Young – Oklahoma – PG – 6’2″ – 180 lbs – 20 yrs

Maybe Starters, But Surely Rotation Players

Kevin Knox – Kentucky – SF – 6’9″ – 206 lbs – 19 yrs
Troy Brown – Oregon – SG – 6’6″ – 210 lbs – 19 yrs
Khyri Thomas – Creighton – SG – 6′ 3″ – 210 lbs – 22 yrs
Zhaire Smith – Texas Tech – SG – 6′ 5″ – 195 lbs – 19 yrs
Rodions Kurucs – FC Barcelona B – SF – 6′ 9″ – 220 lbs – 20 yrs
Aaron Holiday – UCLA – PG – 6′ 1″ – 185 lbs – 22 yrs
Jacob Evans – Cincinnati – SF – 6′ 6″ – 210 lbs – 21 yrs
De’Anthony Melton – USC – PG – 6’4″ – 190 lbs – 20 yrs

The Swing For The Fence Prospects – AKA Boom-Or-Bust

Lonnie Walker – Miami – SG – 6’4″ – 206 lbs – 20 yrs
Mitchell Robinson – Chalmette HS – C – 7′ 0″ – 223 lbs – 20 yrs
Anfernee Simons – IMG Academy – SG – 6′ 5″ – 177 lbs – 19 yrs
Jontay Porter – Missouri – C – 6′ 11″ – 240 lbs – 19 yrs
Lindell Wigginton – Iowa State – PG – 6′ 2″ – 185 lbs – 20 yrs
Bruce Brown – Miami – SG – 6’5″ – 191 lbs – 22 yrs
Isaac Bonga – Skyliners (Germany) – SF/SG – 6’9″ – 203 lbs – 19 yrs
Hamidou Diallo – Kentucky – SG – 6’5″ – 197 lbs – 20 yrs

Players not listed are simply draft prospects that could be drafted, but don’t project clearly into any of these tiers.

If you are looking for a specific player, check out the Basketball Insiders Top 100 Prospects list, this listing is updated weekly.

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau.

Continue Reading

NBA

NBA Daily: Darius Adams, Around The World In Seven Years

CBA superstar Darius Adams talks to Basketball Insiders about dominating in China, playing with Andray Blatche and trying to prove himself.

Ben Nadeau

Published

on

Darius Adams is just like every other professional basketball player.

Every year, he works hard, tries to improve and be the best teammate possible. One day, Adams would like to earn his first-ever NBA contract, but after seven long years, he’s always fallen just short. Adams is just like you and me too — forever chasing his dreams even when the outlook is at its bleakest. But Adams’ worldwide journey has taken him from Indianapolis to China and nearly everywhere in between.

Now with a chunk of money saved up, Adams is ready to bet on himself and finally make this at-home ambition come true. Ahead lies a summer of grueling workouts and undetermined futures, but eventually, you learn to stop betting against Adams. From Los Prados to Laboral Kutxa Baskonia, Adams has made a habit of proving the naysayers wrong. As if dropping 38 points per game in China wasn’t difficult enough — Adams still must undergo his toughest challenge yet: Changing the mind of an NBA front office.

But before you can know where Adams is going, it’s just as important to understand where he’s been.

*****

Darius Adams got a late start to basketball. He never played AAU, the so-called holy grail for teenage prospects, and told me that he learned the game by watching streetball in Decatur, Illinois. So by the time he fell in love with basketball, Adams was forced to take alternate routes to the top. He spent two years in the NJCAA with Lincoln College, a small, private liberal arts school approximately 33 miles away from home. During that second season, Adams averaged 18.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game on 44 percent shooting from the floor — but it wasn’t enough to make the jump to a Division-I school.

After transferring to the University of Indianapolis, Adams continued to improve in each successive campaign. As a senior, he topped out with a 41-point effort against Illinois at Springfield and tallied 23.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Nevertheless, Adams still went undrafted in 2011, officially setting off a globe-spanning adventure that would make Phileas Fogg blush.

From China to Ukraine, Adams has played in seven different countries in as many years, also adding stops in Venezuela, Dominican Republic, France, Germany and Spain along the way. Adams may have turned 29 years-old this week, but he’s never considered giving up his dreams of playing in the NBA.

“That’s the goal, that’s always been my motivation,” Adams told Basketball Insiders. “I just played my hardest and kept progressing, that was my thing — I didn’t want to be content with: ‘OK, you’re playing pro.’ I want to play at the highest level, I feel like I have the talent to play at the highest level.

“At the end of the day, I just need that opportunity.”

Opportunity is a word that has come to define Adams in many ways.

Beyond that, it’s something that has constantly eluded him, even as he began winning in bigger and better leagues. Despite all his international successes, including a EuroLeague Final Four appearance and a CBA championship, Adams has been unable to turn that into an NBA contract. As far as he can tell, it’s a matter of both perception and timing.

The perception of overseas athletes, particularly those that compete in China, has always been a hot-button issue. For as long as Americans have played in the CBA, there’s an unspoken expectation that they should dominate. Generalizations abound, if you’re from the United States and not dominating in China, there’s a low chance of earning an NBA deal. But sometimes, even topping the CBA charts still isn’t enough. This season, Adams averaged a league-leading 38.7 points and added 8.4 assists (2nd-best), 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals (3rd-best) per contest for good measure. On one hand, there’s the stat-padding, empty type of scoring and then there’s this: Absolute annihilation.

But those misconceptions about Chinese basketball often remain an unforgiving roadblock for many. Heck, even Adams had them before he signed with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers two years ago.

“It’s different, my perception was that there would be a lot of short guys that couldn’t play,” Adams said. “Actually, I was probably one of the shortest guys out there, as far as basketball players, and they got skills. They don’t get tired and they’re going to guard you tough, maybe they’re not as skilled as [Americans] are — but they got heart.

“I thought it was going to be easy, but they impressed me.”

And although Adams experienced his fallacies in real-time, he’s still waiting for the rest of the NBA to catch up.

Of course, Adams wasn’t the only American to tear up the CBA this season. Three other Americans, Brandon Jennings, Jonathan Gibson and MarShon Brooks, earned NBA deals this month. That trio of players all put up gaudy statistical lines as well, but none nearly as high as Adams’. Then there’s the case of Stephon Marbury, a former NBA All-Star that moved to China back in 2010, transforming his fringe-status career into a rejuvenated international icon. Marbury’s off-the-court philanthropy and three CBA championships speak for themselves, but Adams is often left wondering why it can’t work the other way around.

“You start questioning yourself, like: ‘What’s the reason why you’re not getting this opportunity?’” Adams told Basketball Insiders. “Some of the teams [I’ve worked out for] come back and say, ‘Well, he hasn’t had NBA experience.’ But when am I going to get my NBA experience if I never get my chance?”

*****

The other frustrating factor for players like Adams to navigate is timing — and as he put it, timing is everything.

To his credit, Adams has never shied away from a challenge or attempted to outmaneuver anybody on this long-winding journey. When he goes to workouts, Adams tells franchises that he’d be more than happy to go against their top guys — however, whenever, or whatever it takes. He’s impressed during private workouts before, but his most recent chance came just as Adams was getting ready to fly back to China for another season. Timing, again, had failed him.

Between workouts too late in the offseason or contracts that needed to be honored, the timing just hasn’t quite worked out for Adams. And it’s not for a lack of trying either — Adams has played two years of summer league (one with the Nets, one with the Mavericks), initially tried his hand at the D-League in 2011 and spends every offseason carefully deciding where to go next.

But when he made the all-important choice to jump from Spain to China in 2016, it wasn’t without a plan.

“Honestly, when I left Spain, I was nervous to go to China because the fans were like, ‘You’re gonna hurt your career, basketball is not as good [there] as it is in Europe,’” Adams said. “So I had that in the back in my mind. Me and my agent had a plan that I’d go to China — the CBA season is way shorter than the European leagues — and then I’d come back in six, seven months and hopefully get on a roster before the end of the season.”

It’s difficult to measure the merits of a big-time scorer overseas, particularly so in China, but Adams has now undoubtedly smashed through his ceiling. For a kid that once started out at a tiny college in Illinois, Adams followed up his Finals MVP-winning campaign in 2016-17 by nearly averaging a 40-point double-double this year. And although he challenged himself to diversify his game between those back-to-back Chinese seasons, he never once thought he would do… well, that.

“I didn’t go into the season wanting to be the leading scorer, I just wanted to win games and another championship,” Adams said. “We had a lot of adversity this season because my teammate, Andray Blatche, got injured early and the offensive role changed to me. Going against double-teams, triple-teams, that was the challenging part, because I knew my team needed me. Dealing with the adversity, it was challenging — but if you put me up to the test, I’m always going to prove myself.”

Although Andray Blatche isn’t a name heard often these days, he’s certainly well-remembered for his time in the NBA. Over his nine-year career, Blatche played for the Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets before heading overseas to China in 2014. While he, too, was part of the winning squad that brought the Flying Tigers their first-ever championship in 2017, Adams has also used the 6-foot-11 power forward like a soundboard. Frequently peppering him with questions about life in the NBA, Adams has nothing but adoration for Blatche, whom he now considers a close friend.

“I asked him what it was like to play with DWill, KG, how were the locker rooms, what were the practices like — but he also helped me see different things on the court,” Adams told Basketball Insiders. “Or, like, OK, I might be frustrated and in a bad place, he’d be like, ‘OK, D, you gotta let it go, you’re the leader of the team’ and things like that. Whenever I was down, he was there — he helped me out with being in China, adjusting to the food, where to go, he treated me like a little brother, actually.”

In order to make that second season in China count, Adams decided to focus on his untapped playmaking side, increasing his assist tally from 5.9 to that aforementioned 8.4 per game. For a while, he even thought that might’ve been why he hadn’t earned a 10-day contract yet, so into the grinder it went. Additionally, Adams dared himself to become a locker room leader, the kind of vocal, lead-by-example veteran that any franchise would value.

If the jaw-dropping statistics weren’t going to pave his path to the NBA, Adams was convinced he could find another way to grab front office attention.

“Right now, I’m already developed and can help [teams] win,” Adams said. “I haven’t reached my peak, I can still learn new things and keep progressing the same way. I’m already starting higher in the learning curve [than most young players] — but I’m also a good leader. I can be a scorer, I can be a defensive guy, I got all those qualities — I’m not just a one-dimensional player, I can help.”

*****

But as his season drew to a close in March (the sixth-seeded Flying Tigers were knocked out in the quarterfinals) Adams was, once again, without an NBA contract. In what Adams is now deeming one of the most important summers of his life, he’s going all-in on himself. Previously, Adams couldn’t ignore those lucrative million-dollar-plus deals, he had a family to look out for, after all. To him, it was a risk that he couldn’t take until this very moment. Sure, he could hit the G-League again — although he tried out for two teams, the Iowa Energy and Canton Charge, after going undrafted and was not selected — but there’s little money in that method.

Granted, Adams has always been motivated and hungry, but he’s got an extra push this time around.

“I’m going to all these different countries, I’m playing in their country — so why can’t play in my country?” Adams told Basketball Insiders. “If I’m one of the top players, how come I can’t get an opportunity in my country? Staying home, so my family can see me. My family has never seen me play overseas, only videos. You see all these other stories, like the guy that just played for the Lakers [Andre Ingram] — it took him ten years! It shows you to just never give up — all you need is an opportunity.

“I always tell my mom, my family, my kids that this year is gonna be the year. I’m gonna get my opportunity and I’mma be playing at home — daddy’s gonna be playing at home.”

Adams has always been a late bloomer — he’s forever the product of a once-raw teenager with no AAU experience. He’ll always be the barely 6-foot point guard that jumped into the NCJAA, quickly validated himself and then excelled in Division-II as well. But if you’re looking for a reason to disparage Adams’ hopes and dreams, you need not look further than this. How could somebody with those glaring blemishes ever play at the NBA level and against the best the sport has to offer?

Lest you forget, however, Adams is also the guy that will never stop fighting or believing in himself. Adams is the one that averaged 18 points in Ukraine and Germany and didn’t settle. The higher he climbed, the better he got. When he aced the test in France, he went to Spain and then got all of this. When Adams needed to adapt and change his game depending on the surrounding roster or culture — he did that too. But most importantly, Adams is tired of playing from behind and tired of missing his young family’s most key moments.

And now, with a whole offseason ahead of him, Adams is ready to do something about it once and for all.

“I’m staying prepared for whenever they have an opportunity, I’m betting on myself this whole summer and really taking a chance,” Adams said. “This year, I have enough saved up to really bet on myself. So, the goal is to just go to these workouts, get in front of these guys and show ‘em what I can do.

“That’s all I’ve ever needed, I don’t want anybody to just hand over a contract — I want to prove myself. I feel like I can make an impact — if you don’t think so, put me up against your guys and I’ll prove it.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

The Strictly Speaking Podcast

Advertisement

Trending Now