D-League Showcase Recap

Unless you suffer from a crippling and compulsive addiction to basketball (in which case…Hi, my name is Mike and I’m a hoopsaholic), you probably had no clue that the NBA’s D-League Showcase was going on this week in Reno, Nevada. The point of the expo is that the D-League rounds up all its teams to play in one place during a condensed period of time, so that NBA scouts can scour the minors for bodies to help round out their rosters, while enjoying the added bonus of avoiding a trip to Sioux Falls or Canton (only in the D-League can Reno be considered a desirable destination).

We’ve been slightly (read: totally) negligent here in covering the showcase because we’ve got, you know, jobs and wives and what not, and I think it’s safe to assume that: a) 70% of the hits on this site come from the Knicks Bricks writers checking to see if anyone has posted anything new and b) the other 30% don’t give a shit about the D-League. Having said that, we figure it’s better late than never. As I wrote earlier this week, the Knicks may want to consider using their newly acquired D-League affiliate, the Erie Bayhawks, to get some of their young pieces some burn, and using the rest of the D-League to round out the roster in the meantime. Assuming the Knicks need two things on the roster as it is presently composed, size and consistent 3-point shooting from the guards, let’s take a look at some of the D-League players who might have drawn the Knicks’ attention this week:

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Down on the Farm: Armor 113 Bayhawks 111

The Bayhawks were clipped by the Springfield Armor last night 113-111 in overtime. As if getting defeated by the D-League team with the least lame nickname wasn’t bad enough, I’m pretty sure I’ve been getting this whole D-League thing wrong.  The only D-League FAQ site I can find is woefully out of date, but it appears that affiliation with a D-League team only matters to the extent that: a) the NBA team has some control over the players selected for the D-League team’s roster and can keep a closer eye on them, b) the NBA team can hire the coaches for the farm team and instill sets and strategies similar to what is used with the big club, and c) stash up to two players who are under NBA contract with the team to get seasoning in the minors. Previously unbeknownst to me, the NBA team does NOT have exclusive control over the players on the D-League roster who are not currently under contract with the NBA team.

So, the bad news is personal-favorite Chris Daniels can be scooped up by any NBA team at any time and is not property of the Knicks in any way, shape, or form. The good news is the entire D-League is now my nerdy oyster, as the Knicks can sign any player who isn’t under contract with one of the other 29 NBA teams. As a result, this is probably the last time I’ll be doing Down on the Farm with this format, and it will likely become a weekly forum where we will discuss who has been playing well in the D-League, who the Knicks should keep their eyes on, and begging them to make good use of their affiliations with the Bayhawks and send Jerome Jordan down for some much needed reps. Anyhow, for the last time ever, here are the lines:

Devin Green: (Hampton – 29 years old – 6’7″ SG): 34 points (13-23 FG, 1-5 3PT), 9 reb., 3 assists —- ohhhhhhh, THIS is why the Knicks invited him to camp. Best game he’s had with Erie by a country mile.

Chris Daniels: (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi – 27 years old – 7’0″ C): 14 points (7-16 FG, 1-3 3PT), 2 reb., 2 assists —- Two boards from a 7-footer in an overtime game where he played 37 minutes is pretty inexcusable. Opposing center Jeff Foote, who you might remember as the slow-footed doofmeister who led Cornell to the Sweet 16 in the 2010 NCAA tournament, put up 24 points on 10-14 from the floor. If that guy is killing you all night, you might not be NBA material.

Kyle Spain: (San Diego State – 24 years old – 6’5″ SG): 20 points (8-12 FG, 4-7 3PT), 6 reb. (all defensive), 4 assists —- Was connecting from deep, but generally hurt the team when he was on the floor (-10 +/- in 34 minutes was the worst on the team).

D.J. Kennedy: (St. John’s -22 years old -6’6″ SG/SF): 12 points (4-10 FG, 1-2 3PT), 9 reb., 5 assists —- Good rebounder for a guy his size (averaging 6.6 on the season).

Down on the Farm: Bayhawks 98 Charge 92

The Bayhawks vanquished the mighty Canton Charge last night 98-92, improving to 6-9 on the season. The win was the result of a dominant fourth quarter in which the Bayhawks outscored the Charge 36-22, turning an eight point deficit into a six point victory. Here are the lines:

Chris Daniels: (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi – 27 years old – 7’0″ C): 13 points (3-8 FG, 1-1 3PT), 4 reb., 1 assist, 5 blocks —- 5 personal fouls led to limited minutes for Knicks Bricks favorite, Chris Daniels. However, he is still showing potential as a big body off the Knicks’ shallow bench. It might be worth looking into having him fill in the Jerome “Foul Machine” Jordan spot on the bench, sending the young big down to Erie and letting the kid get some seasoning.

Devin Green: (Hampton – 29 years old – 6’7″ SG): 14 points (6-13 FG, 0-2 3PT), 6 reb., 1 assist, 4 steals —- Again, I’m not quite sure what the Knicks’ front office sees in this guy. He’s 0-8 from deep since signing with the Bayhawks after being one of the final cuts in the preseason. I can’t imagine what useful role he could possibly play on the big club.

Kyle Spain: (San Diego State – 24 years old – 6’5″ SG: 17 points (4-12 FG, 1-6 3PT), 8 reb. (all defensive), 2 assists —- G-g-g-g-g-gunner. This guy takes a lot of threes and doesn’t make nearly enough.

Down on the Farm: D-Fenders 117 Bayhawks 112

The Bayhawks lost to the D-Fenders (why would they get rid of the extra “e”? I can’t stress enough how silly D-League names are) 117-112 last night. I actually watched a tiny bit of the game, and it’s safe to say that the level of play in the D-League leaves something to be desired. I watched my new mainest man, Chris Daniels, and he looked like a bit of a stiff. He missed a bunny to tie the game with about 15 seconds left, but still had a monster game. I still think he might be worth a look on a 10 day contract at some point this year. For what it’s worth, all D-League games can be streamed for free by clicking the “Futurecast” link on the right side of the D-League’s website. Here are the lines of note:

Chris Daniels: (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi – 27 years old – 7’0″ C): 32 points (11-14 FG, 1-1 3PT), 9 reb., 3 assists, 8 turnovers —- I get the sneaking suspicion that D-League play involves a lot of guys jacking up shots, gunning for a shot to break into the league. That might explain the 8 turnovers. Even then, you can’t argue with the numbers this guy is putting up; 18.3 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 59% FG, 39% 3PT. The most important statistic might be his height.

Devin Green: (Hampton – 29 years old – 6’7″ SG): 10 points (4-11 FG, 0-3 3PT), 3 reb., 4 assists —- shockingly similar line to the previous game. Not sure what this guy was doing on the roster so late in the preseason. He seems to be struggling to get his in the D-League.

Kyle Spain: (San Diego State – 24 years old – 6’5″ SG): 18 points (7-10 FG, 2-4 3PT), 3 reb., 1 assist — seems like this guy might be something of a gunner, as he’s taken 63 shots from behind the arc in 14 games this season. Unfortunately, he only knocks them down at about a 35% clip, and this is his second year in the D-League.

Down on the Farm – Bayhawks 109 Mad Ants 94

With a vigorous hat tip to the good folks over at River Avenue Blues (the best Yankees blog going), this segment will provide an update on the Knicks’ D-League affiliate, the Erie Bayhawks. This is the first year that the Knicks have had their own D-League team to try and develop talent. This segment will probably be less useful for basketball , where draft picks go straight to the NBA, than it is in baseball, where teams’ best prospects have to work their way through several levels of the minor leagues before making the show.

That said, the NBA likes to point out that 15% of the players in the NBA have spent time in the D-League, including Matt Barnes, Lou Williams, Jordan Farmar and other solid rotation players. As such, this segment will be useful because 1) the Knicks’ bench, as we’ve seen already this year, is painfully thin (why Renaldo Balkman — or as they call him over at NY Magazine, Humpty –is getting minutes is beyond me), so the Bayhawks might be able to provide some much needed depth; in fact, several Bayhawks players, such as Mychel Thompson and Corey Higgins, have found their way onto NBA rosters already this year, 2) the names of the teams are silly, and that’s always fun (Sioux Falls Skyforce?!?!?), and 3) we’ll get to check in on some of our favorite NBA and college washouts (Jamal Tinsley was the #1 pick in this year’s D-League draft, Ricky Davis is making his Maine Red Claws debut this evening, Antoine Walker is trying to pay off gambling debts for the Idaho Stampede, and doofy Cornell great Jeff Foote is stomping around for the Springfield Armor…all of those things are true).


The Bayhawks beat the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (what’d I tell you about those team names?) last night. Here are the interesting lines:

D.J. Kennedy: (St. John’s -22 years old -6’6″ SG/SF): 17 points (7-11 FG, 2-5 3PT), 10 reb., 6 assists —- Not sure this kid will ever make it to the show, but he appears to be putting up good numbers.

Devin Green: (Hampton – 29 years old – 6’7″ SG): 8 points (4-10 FG, 0-3 3PT), 4 reb., 2 assists —- one of the last guys cut from this year’s roster in the preseason, it makes sense for the Knicks to keep him around in case there are any more injuries.

Chris Daniels: (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi – 27 years old – 7’0″ C): 15 points (6-8 FG, 1-3 3PT), 7 reb., 5 assists —- I’m fascinated by this guy. He’s averaging 16 points, 10.7 boards, 2.2 blocks and 1.0 3PTM. He seems like he’d be a great fit and couldn’t possibly have less of an idea what to do on the court than Jerome Jordan, who looked lost in limited minutes last night. He got a look with the Lakers in training camp, but is back with the Bayhawks. Full disclosure: I haven’t watched any Bayhawks games this year, so there must be a fatal flaw in Daniels’ game because 7-footers who can play don’t rot away in the D-League. Especially not when the big club needs size so desperately.

Kyle Goldcamp: (Gannon (???) – 26 years old – 6’10” PF): 17 points (8-13 FG, 0-0 3PT), 11 reb., 4 assists —- This is his third year on the Bayhawks and he went to a school I’ve never heard of. I get the sense he’s the basketball equivalent of an “organizational player,” but the big fella had a nice game, so I’ll give him the shout out here.