Draft & D-League: Top Five, Smart, 66ers, Czyz

With David Stern putting all his weight behind the positive evolution of the D-League, it’s only natural for that avenue of player development to be contrasted with the more traditional one. Let’s take a look at Thursday night’s news and notes from the draft and the D-League here:

  • The kickoff of the NBA season isn’t complete without our first wave of NBA mock drafts. Chad Ford provides ESPN insiders a look at what the first round might look like in June 2014. In what some pundits are dubbing the best draft since 2003, Ford predicts a top five of Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, Joel Embiid and Dante Exum.
  • Speaking of Oklahoma State’s Smart, the sophomore point guard is still unsure that he made the right decision to return to school last April, writes ESPN’s Myron Medcalf. Considering the shocking results of last June’s draft, it probably isn’t far fetched to say that Smart would have been the best player on the board when the Cavs went on the clock.
  • The Tulsa 66ers, the Thunder‘s D-League affiliate, have acquired the number one pick in tomorrow night’s D-League draft along with Ben Uzoh in a three team deal with the Iowa Energy and Springfield Armor, writes Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside. Along with other picks tomorrow night, Diante Garrett and Lorenzo Brown were also involved in the deal.
  • Polish forward Olek Czyz has signed a deal to join the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, Sportando reports on Twitter. The Bucks, who use Fort Wayne as their D-League affiliate, cut Czyz on Saturday after he spent training camp with the team, indicating that they protected his D-League rights. Czyz played at Duke and Nevada before going undrafted in 2012. He played last season for Virtus Roma of the Italian League.
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