HANG TIME WEST COAST BUREAU – An NBA D-League Showcase unlike any other begins today with NBA scouts and executives descending on Reno, Nev., to watch prospects from the 16 National Basketball Development League teams in one building, including several minor leaguers stretching the definition of “prospect.”
The eighth annual Showcase has suddenly become the place to rediscover talent. Ex-NBA veteran big men Greg Ostertag and Mikki Moore are scheduled to be there, hoping to show the NBA they still belong, as will former NBA frontcourt players Ricky Davis, Mike James, Willie Warren, Mardy Collins and others.
Yi Jianlian, the former No. 6 pick of the 2006 Draft and a recent addition to the Texas Legends’ roster, is also expected to play. He’s trying to get in shape to — as Yi and the Mavericks hope — make a contribution to Dallas’ title defense.
(Not up on your D-League know-how? You’re not the only one. Thankfully, our friends over at the D-League website have everything you need to know, from a cheat sheet to a list of the 15 best NBA prospects to the 10 things to know about Reno. Thanks, fellas.)
Not all players are free agents auditioning for the NBA — 2011 first-round pick Marcus Morris, for example, is very much Rockets property after being sent down to the Rio Grande Valley affiliate. But for most, this is one of the best chances of the season to impress, with NBA front offices a captive audience rather than have to go to some remote basketball outposts to scout the D-League.
Each of the 16 teams plays twice in the next four days as part of quadruple headers at the Reno Events Center, with the first tip at 10 a.m. and continuing through the last at 7 p.m.
The first two games each day will be shown live by NBA TV: Idaho against Erie (1 p.m. ET) and Springfield against Los Angeles (3:45 ET) today, Maine against Sioux Falls (1 p.m.) and Erie against Austin (3:45) on Tuesday, Los Angeles against Maine (1 p.m.) and Bakersfield against Idaho (3:45) on Wednesday), and Austin against Dakota (1 p.m.) and Tulsa against Ft. Wayne (3:45) on Thursday.
The D-League regular-season schedule, unaffected by the NBA lockout, began Nov. 25 and concludes April 7.