The Thunder’s D-League affiliate used the No. 1 overall pick in tonight’s D-League draft on Grant Jerrett, allowing the Thunder to closely monitor a player whose NBA rights also belong to them. Oklahoma City traded for Jerrett shortly after the Blazers took him 40th overall in June’s NBA draft. A report in September indicated Jerrett had signed with the Thunder-owned Tulsa 66ers, but as I pointed out at the time, he’d have to enter the D-League draft rather than sign with Tulsa outright. The 66ers pulled off a trade yesterday to acquire the No. 1 pick in the D-League draft, positioning themselves to secure Jerrett’s D-League rights.
The Pelicans didn’t do the same with the second-rounder they picked up in the Jrue Holiday/Nerlens Noel trade. Pierre Jackson, the 42nd overall pick in the NBA draft, went fourth overall in the D-League draft to the Idaho Stampede, the affiliate of the Blazers.
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the one-to-one affiliate of the Rockets, took four-year NBA vet James Johnson second overall tonight, while Quincy Douby, who has three years of NBA experience, went at No. 3 to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the affiliate of the Heat. The Texas Legends, who are affiliated with the Mavs, rounded out the top five with their selection of C.J. Aiken, who was in an NBA camp with the Kings last month after leaving St. Joseph’s in the spring.
Ricky Davis was perhaps the most well-known figure selected, as the Erie BayHawks, the affiliate of the Knicks, drafted him in the sixth round, signaling that the Knicks liked what they saw when the 34-year-old worked out for them in September. Other notable picks include former Magic and Thunder swingman DeAndre Liggins, who went to the Skyforce at seventh overall. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the brother of Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo, went at No. 9 to the Delaware 87ers. Check out the entire list of draftees right here.
Some D-League clubs were involved in draft day trades. The Santa Cruz Warriors came into the draft already stocked with Stephen Curry‘s brother Seth Curry, whose D-League rights Golden State had protected after cutting him at the end of camp. Santa Cruz swapped a second-round pick for Mychel Thompson, brother of Golden State sharpshooter Klay Thompson, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports writes, giving the Warriors’ affiliate their own version of the big club’s “Splash Brothers” duo.
Players with prior D-League experience who were cut from NBA camps can re-enter the D-League and go back to their old teams without entering the draft. That’s what James Nunnally, fresh off a camp appearance with the Suns, has decided to do, as he’ll return to the Bakersfield Jam, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.com. The Suns are one of five NBA teams affiliated with the Jam, as our list of NBA/D-League affiliations shows.