The recent call-ups of J.J. O’Brien by the Jazz and Keith Appling by the Magic could represent a new trend in how NBA teams use the D-League, according to D-League Digest. They are the first call-ups of the season directly from a franchise’s minor league affiliate, and their familiarity with the parent teams’ systems made them an easy fit. With 10-day contracts limiting the amount of instruction time for new players, it helps to have someone who already understands how a team approaches the game.
There’s more news from around the basketball world:
- NBA veteran Henry Sims is one of three D-League centers identified as top prospects by Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor. Undrafted out of Georgetown in 2012, Sims played 121 games with New Orleans, Cleveland and Philadelphia. He is currently averaging 14.1 points and 9.1 rebounds for the Grand Rapids Drive. Also on Reichert’s list are 28-year-old Alex Stepheson of the Iowa Energy and 26-year-old Jordan Bachynski of the Westchester Knicks.
- Dennis Wong, a former college roommate of Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, has bought a small percentage of the team, tweets Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. The sale amounts to less than 4% of the franchise.
- Bradley Beal is slowly easing back into the Wizards‘ rotation and hopes to have his minutes restriction raised soon, writes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Beal, who is headed toward free agency, recently admitted that he may have to deal with restricted playing time for the rest of his career.
- California’s Ivan Rabb, Vanderbilt’s Wade Baldwin and Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield were the biggest risers in the latest mock draft from Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv details. His top five remains the same with Ben Simmons of LSU, Brandon Ingram of Duke, Dragan Bender of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Kris Dunn of Providence and Skal Labissiere of Kentucky.