Tre' Bussey

Robert Covington Tops D-League Draftees

The NBA D-League Draft was held today and the event was kicked off with Robert Covington being selected first overall by the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons D-League affiliate. Covington’s selection was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The 23-year-old forward was arguably the most talented player in the D-League draft, though he isn’t expected to spend the full season in Grand Rapids, notes Chris Reichert of SB Nation, since he is on the radar of numerous NBA teams.

Covington spent much of last season with Houston’s D-League affiliate despite being on the team’s NBA roster the entire year. He earned himself a trip to the D-League’s All-Star game by averaging 23.2 PPG and 9.2 RPG in 34.1 minutes per game in 42 D-League appearances. He spent the preseason on Houston’s roster, though he was away from the team for weeks mulling offers to play in Europe before being waived. Covington came close to inking a deal with the Sixers, but decided to take the D-League route to begin the season.

Elliot Williams, a former 2010 first round pick of the Blazers, was selected by the Warriors affiliate with the second overall pick. The 6’5″ guard was a rotation player for the Sixers last year, averaging 6.0 PPG in 17.3 MPG, but was waived by Philadelphia when the team needed to pare its preseason roster count down to 15 players.

Other players selected in the opening round who had prior NBA regular season experience were Marquis TeagueBen HansbroughErik MurphyCarrick Felix and Damien Wilkins.

One other player to keep an eye on is Milos Milisavljevic, a 21-year-old Serbian point guard who was selected by the Texas Legends, who serve as the affiliate of the Mavericks. Milisavljevic will be NBA draft-eligible in 2015, and is on the radar of NBA scouts, though he isn’t currently projected to be taken in either round by DraftExpress.

Here is the full list of first round selections:

  1. Grand Rapids Drive (via Delaware) — Robert Covington
  2. Santa Cruz Warriors (via Erie) — Elliot Williams
  3. Austin Spurs — Erik Murphy
  4. Santa Cruz Warriors (via Maine) — Carrick Felix
  5. Grand Rapids Drive — Ben Hansbrough
  6. Texas Legends — Milos Milisavljevic
  7. Idaho Stampede — Tre’ Bussey
  8. Bakersfield Jam — Robert Vaden
  9. Oklahoma City Blue — Marquis Teague
  10. Reno Bighorns (via Westchester) — Joonas Caven
  11. Reno Bighorns — Brady Heslip
  12. Canton Charge — Michael Dunigan
  13. Santa Cruz Warriors — Melvin Johnson III
  14. Rio Grande Valley Vipers — Chane Behanan
  15. Sioux Falls Skyforce — Fuquan Edwin
  16. Iowa Energy — Damien Wilkins
  17. Los Angeles D-Fenders — Eloy Vargas
  18. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (via Fort Wayne) — Justin Jackson

Jazz Signed, Then Waived Tre’ Bussey

MONDAY, 10:39pm: Bussey was indeed signed and then waived by the Jazz after working out with the team in Salt Lake City, reports Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (via Twitter). Genessy adds that the Idaho Stampede, Utah’s D-League affiliate, didn’t retain Bussey’s rights due to a complication, which is why he filed to enter the D-League draft. The Jazz signed him Thursday and waived him Friday, according to the RealGM transactions log.

SUNDAY, 2:15pm: Bussey never actually signed with the Jazz, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM, despite interest from Utah.  However, he has filed to enter the D-League draft.

SATURDAY, 5:52pm: Although no team announcement was made regarding the signing of Tre’ Bussey, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets that the rookie has been waived. Three Eye Sports reported that Bussey was signed yesterday (on Twitter).  It’s likely that Utah inked the Georgia Southern product with the sole intention of releasing him and securing his D-League rights.

In his senior year, Bussey averaged 16.2 PPG with a slash line of .457/.385/.662. The 22-year-old told Gino Pilato of DLeagueDigest.com earlier this month that he is hoping to develop an NBA-caliber game at point guard in the D-League.