The 12 teams of the NBAs Developmental League participated in the annual draft, cycling through 10 rounds worth of players. In the first round of the draft, many teams decided to invest in big men, as front court players made up 7 of the first 12 picks of the draft. The teams who didnt take big men seemed to want point guards. 4 point guards were drafted in the first round, including Devin Green and Kevin Burleson, both of whom have NBA experience. In the draft, there were two big steals, a number of good picks, and every team came out with a new outlook for the 2006-2007 NBDL season.
Steals of the Draft
The obvious choice here is Andre Owens, who spent last season with the Utah Jazz. He lasted all the way until the last pick in the second round, where the Anaheim Arsenal selected him. Owens is an excellent defender and slasher who has the potential to be the best pure scorer in the NBDL. He will certainly have some options to look at in terms of playing overseas, but should he decide to stay, the 26 year old Owens is a likely candidate to receive a call up to the NBA. To best improve his chances of being a regular in the NBA, he will need to become more consistent with his shot.
The second big steal of the night was by the Colorado 14ers, who picked Pooh Jeter with the 3rd pick in the 3rd round of the draft. Jeter is unknown to many because he played college basketball at Portland in the WCC. He possesses a wide range of skills on the offensive end, including good shooting touch and a nice feel for the game. Size will always be the main concern for Jeter, though he is pretty quick with the ball, and his point guard skills are a lot better than some of the other shorter players in the NBA. To make it in the NBA, Jeter will need to put his wide range of skills on display, and show that his strengths as a player outweigh his lack of size.
Value picks by round
10th Round: Armein Kirkland was great value in the 10th round for the Fort Worth Flyers. Kirkland is 68 and has a lot of the tools necessary to play shooting guard. He was starting to breakout last season for Cincinnati, but his season was cut short on the 14th of January as a result of a knee injury. The knee issue kept Kirkland out of the Portsmouth invitational tournament, and left him with no shot of being drafted. If his knee is fully healed, Kirkland has a chance to make it to the NBA some day. He will need to be more consistent with his outside shot, but his overall versatility as a player makes him a guy to watch for the future.
9th Round: Frans Steyn, the #8 pick in the 9th round, could end up filling a huge need for the Tulsa 66ers. Steyn played seldom during his three years at Oklahoma State, and transferred to division 2 Southwest Baptist for his last year. He was able to play at the pre-draft camp in Orlando after being listed as an alternate, and displayed some nice athleticism for a 71 guy. He is in need of development on the offensive side of the ball, but his constant hustle will make him a positive contributor on the court this season.
7th Round: A former walk-on at Cal, Ryan Forehan-Kelly is a 66 guard with a very nice shooting stroke from the outside. He is skinny, but plays very aggressively, and is smart with the basketball. Ryan was selected at the #6 slot in the 7th round, and his younger brother Tashaan was drafted in the 9th round.
7th Round: A year ago, Sean Banks started the season on the opening day roster of the New Orleans Hornets, and was assigned to play in the D-League. A year later, he has fallen to the 3rd pick of round 7 in the NBDL draft. Though there are legitimate concerns about Banks game and especially his head, but he still has a load of talent, and is a surefire NBA player if he can ever figure out how to put it to use. Banks averaged 12 points and 3 rebounds per game, and was very streaky in his D-League stint last season.
6th Round: Elton Nesbitt is a small guard known for his prolific scoring ability despite being only 59 and 165lbs. Nesbitt is also a hard-nosed defender, and should prove to be very good value for the Los Angeles D-Fenders, who took him at #6 in the 6th round.
5th Round: Chris Rodgers out of Arizona is an excellent defender, and an explosive scorer. His biggest weakness is that he plays very out of control at times, and has had problems with his coachability. Rodgers is the type of guy who is ideal for the NBDL. He definitely has the potential to be an NBA player, but first he will need development of his point guard skills.
4th Round: Trent Strickland is an athletic wing player from Wake Forest who possesses plenty of upside. To best improve his NBA potential, Strickland will need to improve his shooting stroke, but he has great potential as a lockdown defender type.
3rd Round: Pooh Jeter (see above)
2nd Round: Andre Owens (see above)
1st Round: Devin Green ends up back in Los Angeles with a team that would have liked to keep him anyway. Green possesses point guard skills at 67 and plays hard-nosed defense. His ability to play 3 positions and score the ball in a variety of ways will allow Green to be a very successful player in the NBDL. He reunites with his buddy Chet Mason, and together the two form one of the most athletic backcourts in the league.
Draft Recaps by Team
With the first pick in the draft, the Arsenal decided to go with Corsley Edwards, a big power-forward with a great deal of international experience. Edwards is the type of big man who can be very successful in the NBDL because of his size and knowledge of the game, although conditioning and intensity have always been a concern for him. Anaheim grabbed steals in the 2nd and 5th rounds, by drafting Andre Owens and Carl Edwards respectively. In the later rounds, they drafted a couple players with NBDL experience in Daryl Dorsey and Shawnson Johnson. Mo Charlo, who had a nice showing in the Las Vegas Summer League, should be a nice compliment to Edwards up front with his shot-blocking skills. Anaheim seems to have done their homework and look to be very competitive in their first season of existence.
Sioux Falls Skyforce
With the second overall pick in the draft, Sioux Falls drafted Andre Brown, a 69 power forward who possesses freakish athleticism. Brown spent part of last season in the Adriatic League, and was one of the last cuts from the Atlanta Hawks training camp roster. With a solid point guard next to him, Brown will run the floor and cause plenty of damage in transition. Guard DeSean Hadley, the 2nd round pick of the Skyforce, is a veteran of the CBA. Former NBA point guard Frank Williams was the 3rd round pick of Sioux Falls. At one point, many people thought Williams had a bright future in the NBA, but he struggled with weight and injury problems, and has been out of the NBA for a couple years. It will be interesting to see what type of condition he is in when he shows up to training camp in the NBDL. Jeff Varem, Chris Rodgers, and Antwayne Robinson were all very good mid-round selections who could have a big impact this season. Though the Sioux Falls Skyforce are overloaded with point guards, they did come out of the draft with a good amount of talent.
The Colorado 14ers had a very successful draft night. They started off by picking 66 240 forward Michael Harris. In the NBDL, Harris can play the 4, but will still have a chance to further improve his perimeter skills. In the second round, Colorado was able to get very good value by nabbing athletic swingman Von Wafer, who was a second round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers last season. Wafer will need to improve his basketball IQ and all-around game, but hes very athletic, and can shoot the NBA 3 pointer. Pooh Jeter was a great pick in the third round, and he will provide them with both scoring and playmaking from the point guard position. In the later rounds, Colorado grabbed talented swing man Sean Banks, and Rodney Billups, the younger brother of Chauncy who went to school at Denver. Louis Amundson, already allocated to the 14ers, will provide the team with defense, rebounding and energy. The Colorado 14ers ended draft night with a very talented group of players as well as a balanced lineup.
Fort Worth Flyers
With the 4th pick in the NBDL draft, the Flyers took Kevin Burleson, who was the last player cut by the Charlotte Bobcats. A 63 point guard, Burleson has the tools to have a good season in the NBDL, despite his lack of outside shooting. With their second pick, the Flyers took Jeremy Richardson, a versatile forward from Division 2 Delta State. Richardson will need to add weight to his 67 190 pound frame, as well as improve his shaky ball-handling skills, but he possesses good outside shooting ability to compliment his outstanding athletic ability. Versatile guard Armein Kirkland was a great pick in the last round of the draft, and will help the team immensely if healthy. The Flyers greatest asset is the fact that they bring back Luke Schenscher and Kelenna Azubuike from last years team, which lost in the D-League championship game.
The Wizards started by drafting Justin Williams, an explosive leaper known for his great shot-blocking ability. In addition to shot-blocking, Williams will also provide rebounding, and has a raw but developing game on the offensive end. Few possess the type of work ethic Williams does, so look for him to translate most of his numbers from college over to the D-League. In the second round, Dakota went with Quemont Greer, who was a very good college player at DePaul. Greer has struggled with weight problems since college, as well as tweeneritis, but is skilled on the offensive end. In the third round, the Wizards were able to get an NBA experienced guard in Brandon Armstrong. Armstrong has spent 3 seasons with the Nets, and could spend time at either guard position. He struggled with injuries in Europe and is looking to build up his reputation again. Dakota also drafted George Williams, a 25 year old forward with two years of NBDL experience. The team has good balance in terms of who they drafted, but it will be interesting to see how they develop over the course of the season.
With their first pick, the Rimrockers drafted Stanford big man Matt Haryasz, one of the better big men in the PAC-10 last season. Haryasz has the talent to play in the NBA, but is raw and fairly inconsistent, and really struggled the second half of last season. Alongside Haryasz will be Badou Gaye, a raw but athletic big man with a developed body. Gaye played division 3 college basketball, and has the potential to develop into a very good defensive player, although his numbers from Europe last year dont tell you much. Guards Ricky Shields and Ryan Forehan-Kelly will provide some nice shooting and versatility in the backcourt. Shields can shoot the NBA 3, but he needs to improve his ball handling ability, which will allow him to create better shots for himself off the dribble.
Los Angeles D-Fenders
The D-Fenders are unique in that they are the first D-League team owned and operated by an NBA franchise. They started their first draft by selecting Devin Green, a talented guard who can play multiple positions. The Lakers wanted to keep Green as the final player on their roster, but couldnt find a team to take Aaron McKie off their hands. Green will join his long time friend Chet Mason in the backcourt for the D-Fenders. Green and Mason have known each other for a long time, and they worked out together leading up to the draft last year, as written about by Rodger Bohn of Draft Express. The D-Fenders continued by selecting big man Aloysius Anagonye, a veteran big man with international experience. Akin Akingbala could develop into a good defensive big man for the D-fenders, and Travis Garrison will bring versatility up front. Elton Nesbitt should be fun to watch, and he can provide both scoring and defense. The D-Fenders were definitely one of the big draft night winners, and have assembled a team that should be fun to watch this season.
The 66ers started their draft by grabbing 2006 second round pick Denham Brown, recently released by the Seattle Supersonics. Brown is a well built guard who has a pretty good all-around game, and can really play defense. He will need to improve his shooting stroke to get into the NBA, but he has all of the right tools to play at the next level. Tulsa grabbed one of the bigger sleepers in the second round with forward Nate Williams. A forward who can play on the perimeter thanks to his ball-handling and shooting skills, Williams played in China last season. In the later rounds, Tulsa grabbed Fran Steyn, a big and athletic big man who can provide athleticism and energy from the center position. The draft picks will be joined by guard Will Conroy, who played very well in the D-League last season. Conroy is a pure point guard who can create well for teammates, and is a very good on court leader. Tulsa was very good last season with developing players, and it should carry over to this season.
Idaho drafted Peter Ramos in the first round, a big center out of Puerto Rico. Ramos spent the last two seasons with the Wizards, and spent time in the D-League last year, averaging 14.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He has the raw talent to become a rotation big man in the NBA, but he needs to develop a much better feel for the game. In the second round, they grabbed former Chicago Bull Eddie Robinson, who has been out of basketball for the past couple years. If Robinson comes in and really wants to play, this could be a great pick, because of his numerous scoring abilities. If he comes into camp without caring, this could be the end of Robinsons career. In the 4th round, the Stampede drafted Jeff Graves, a big center out of Kansas who played both in the ABA and CBA last season. The Idaho Stampede have some nice talent on their squad, but head coach Bryan Gates will need to keep his squad motivated.
The Toros selected Darius Washington in the first round of the D-League draft. Washington should be able to score at will in the NBDL, he just needs to be more consistent (particularly defensively) and improve his grasp of how to run an offense. Joining him will be BJ Elder out of Georgia Tech, a guard who can really shoot the ball from the perimeter. Elder lacks athleticism and isnt a great slasher, but he should get a lot of good looks from the perimeter this season. Mid-round pick Walt Waters is a big center who needs to drop weight, but has some potential. Last season the Toros did a very good job with player development. Their system should help with the development of Darius Washington, and they can win some games in the process. They are known amongst players as arguably the most attractive franchise to play for in the league.
The Bakersfield Jam made some risky selections during the draft, including first round selection Brandon Bowman. Bowman has a lot of talent, and is an athletic combo forward at 69. He is still raw, however, and he will need a lot of coaching to reach the NBA. Second round pick Tony Bobbitt has NBA experience with the Lakers, and is known for his shooting, as well as his off-court antics. Yuta Tabuse played with Albuquerque last season, and is a flashy player who will attract a following in Bakersfield. Mid-round selection Anthony Coleman has some range on his shot, but you have to wonder what his real position is. Bakersfield has some work to do on their roster still.
The defending D-League champions took Troy Bell with the last pick in the first round of the draft. This pick could pay off big time, but its totally dependent on what type of shape he is in, and if he is totally injury free. Bell was a top 20 pick in the NBA draft at one point, but was injured, and never really had a chance in the NBA. He then moved on to Spain where he earned the nickname Air Bell for his less than stellar play, particularly as a shooter. The Thunderbirds spent their 2nd round pick on skinny small forward Jamaal Thomas, and drafted center Eddie Fobbs with their 3rd pick. With their mid-round picks, Albuquerque went for a few players with D-League experience, including Brandon Robinson and Chris Shumate. Robinson is an athletic forward stuck in between positions, but he brings constant energy and hustle to the court. The Thunderbirds will attempt to defend their title this season, and their success will depend heavily on how well Troy Bell can play.
2006 D-League Draft Results
1. Anaheim Arsenal
|Corsley Edwards||PF||6-9||275|| Central Connecticut State|
|2. Sioux Falls Skyforce||Andre Brown||PF||6-9||245|| DePaul|
|3. Colorado 14ers||Mike Harris||SF||6-6||240|| Rice|
|4. Fort Worth Flyers||Kevin Burleson||PG||6-3||205|| Minnesota|
|5. Dakota Wizards||Justin Williams||PF||6-10||230|| Wyoming|
|6. Arkansas RimRockers||Matt Haryasz||PF||6-10||235|| Stanford|
|7. Los Angeles D-Fenders||Devin Green||SF||6-7||210|| Hampton|
|8. Tulsa 66ers||Denham Brown||SF||6-5||220|| Connecticut|
|9. Idaho Stampede||Peter John Ramos||C||7-3||290||Puerto Rico|
|10. Austin Toros||Darius Washington||PG||6-1||195||Memphis|
|11. Bakersfield Jam||Brandon Bowman||SF||6-9||223|| Georgetown|
|12. Albuquerque Thunderbirds||Troy Bell||PG||6-1||180||Boston College|
13. Albuquerque Thunderbirds
|Jamaal Thomas||SF||6-8||190||Angelo State|
|14. Bakersfield Jam||Tony Bobbitt||SF||6-4||195|| Cincinnati|
|15. Austin Toros||BJ Elder||SF||6-4||205|| Georgia Tech |
|16. Idaho Stampede||Eddie Robinson||SF||6-9||220|| Central Oklahoma|
|17. Tulsa 66ers||Nate Williams||PF||6-10||230||Georgia State|
|18. Los Angeles D-Fenders||Aloysius Anagonye||PF||6-8||255|| Michigan State|
|19. Arkansas RimRockers||Badou Gay||PF||6-9||245|| Gwynedd-Mercy|
|20. Dakota Wizards||Quemont Greer||SF||6-7||240||DePaul|
|21. Fort Worth Flyers||Jeremy Richardson||SF||6-7||190||Delta State|
|22. Colorado 14ers||Von Wafer||SF||6-5||210|| Florida State|
|23. Sioux Falls Skyforce||DeSean Hadley||PG||6-3||190|| Eastern Michigan|
|24. Anaheim Arsenal||Andre Owens||SF||6-4||190||Houston|
25. Anaheim Arsenal
|Tyler Smith||PF||6-10||265||Penn State|
|26. Sioux Falls Skyforce||Frank Williams||PG||6-3||215||Illinois |
|27. Colorado 14ers||Pooh Jeter||PG||5-11||175|| Portland|
|28. Fort Worth Flyers||David Logan||PG||6-1||175|| Indianapolis|
|29. Dakota Wizards||Brandon Armstrong||SF||6-5||185|| Pepperdine|
|30. Arkansas RimRockers||Jason Smith||SF||6-6||195||Mississippi |
|31. Los Angeles D-Fenders||Akin Akingbala||PF||6-9||220||Clemson|
|32. Tulsa 66ers||Mike Hall||PF||6-8||230|| George Washington|
|33. Idaho Stampede||Dexter Lyons||SF||6-6||225|| Central Florida|
|34. Austin Toros||Brock Gillespie||PG||6-2||190|| Rice|
|35. Bakersfield Jam||Yuta Tabuse||PG||5-9||165|| BYU Hawaii|
|36. Albuquerque Thunderbirds||Eddie Fobbs||C/F||6-11||240||Sam Houston State|
37. Albuquerque Thunderbirds
|Manuel Narvaez||C||6-11||235|| Southern Nazarene|
|38. Bakersfield Jam||Anthony Coleman||SF||6-11||215|| Long Beach State|
|39. Austin Toros||Walt Waters||PF||6-9||265|| Cleveland State |
|40. Idaho Stampede||Jeff Graves||PF||6-9||275|| Kansas|
|41. Tulsa 66ers||Mike Benton||C||6-9||270|| Charleston|
|42. Los Angeles D-Fenders||Travis Garrison||PF||6-8||241|| Maryland|
|43. Arkansas RimRockers||Ricky Shields||SF||6-3||190|| Rutgers|
|44. Dakota Wizards||Renaldo Major||SF||6-7||200|| Fresno State|
|45. Fort Worth Flyers||Trent Strickland||SF||6-5||215|| Wake Forest|
|46. Colorado 14ers||Julian Sensley||SF||6-9||235|| Hawaii|
|47. Sioux Falls Skyforce||Jeff Varem||PF||6-6||240|| Vincennes |
|48. Anaheim Arsenal||Greg Clausen||C||6-10||255||Marquette|
49. Anaheim Arsenal
|Carl Edwards||SF||6-5||210||Charleston (W. Va.)|
|50. Sioux Falls Skyforce||Chris Rodgers||SF||6-4||190|| Arizona|
|51. Colorado 14ers||Bakari Hendrix||PF||6-9||240|| Gonzaga|
|52. Fort Worth Flyers||Anderson Ferriera||SF||6-9||220|| Chipola CC|
|53. Dakota Wizards||Dontell Jefferson||PG||6-4||195|| Arkansas|
|54. Arkansas RimRockers||GJ Macon||SF||6-9||230|| Indiana-Pennsylvania|
|55. Los Angeles D-Fenders||Nate Johnson||PG||6-1||185|| Nebraska|
|56. Tulsa 66ers||JJ Sullinger||SF||6-5||210||Ohio State|
|57. Idaho Stampede||Clifton Lee||SF||6-7||210|| Northwestern State|
|58. Austin Toros||Justin Bowen||SF||6-7||210|| Illinois-Chicago|
|59. Bakersfield Jam||Tim Parham||PF||6-9||240|| Maryland Eastern Shore|
|60. Albuquerque Thunderbirds||Brandon Robinson||SF||6-8||215||Auburn|
61. Albuquerque Thunderbirds
|62. Bakersfield Jam||Brian Collins||PG||6-4||175|| Belmont|
|63. Austin Toros||Rod Benson||PF||6-10||225|| California|
|64. Idaho Stampede||Ronnell Taylor||SF||6-5||200|| UAB|
|65. Tulsa 66ers||Jean Felix||SF||6-6||215|| Alabama|
|66. Los Angeles D-Fenders||Elton Nesbitt||PG||5-9||165|| Georgia Southern|
|67. Arkansas RimRockers||Ali Berdiel||PG||6-5||200|| Valparaiso|
|68. Dakota Wizards||Jameel Pugh||SF||6-5||220|| Sacramento State|
|69. Fort Worth Flyers||Gary Hamilton||C||6-9||260|| Miami|
|70. Colorado 14ers||Terrance Crawford||SF||6-7||225|| Oklahoma State|
|71. Sioux Falls Skyforce||Antwayne Robinson||SF||6-8||220|| Temple|
|72. Anaheim Arsenal||Daryl Dorsey||PG||6-0||175||Brevard CC|
73. Anaheim Arsenal
|Josh Murray||SF||6-7||205|| IUPUI|
|74. Sioux Falls Skyforce||Luke Whitehead||SF||6-6||220|| Louisville|
|75. Colorado 14ers||Sean Banks||SF||6-8||210|| Memphis|
|76. Fort Worth Flyers||Anthony McHenry||SF||6-7||222|| Georgia Tech|
|77. Dakota Wizards||Kevin Lyde||PF||6-9||270|| Temple|
|78. Arkansas RimRockers||Ryan Forehan-Kelly||SF||6-6||195|| California|
|79. Los Angeles D-Fenders||Wayne Arnold||SF||6-4||190|| Tennessee State|
|80. Tulsa 66ers||Keith Triplett||SF||6-3||185|| Toledo|
|81. Idaho Stampede||JT Williams||SF||6-5||200|| McNeese State|
|82. Austin Toros||Tedric Hill||PF||6-10||230|| Gulf Coast CC|
|83. Bakersfield Jam||Mike Dean||SF||6-3||190|| Middle Tennessee|
|84. Albuquerque Thunderbirds||Chris Shumate||SF||6-6||220||Murray State|
85. Albuquerque Thunderbirds
|Ismail Muhammed||SF||6-6||225|| Georgia Tech|
|86. Bakersfield Jam||Carlos Cedeno||SF||6-4||195|| Venezuela|
|87. Austin Toros||Dustin Brown||SF||6-7||225|| Loyola Marymount|
|88. Idaho Stampede||Sam Daghlas||PG||6-6||210|| Midwestern State|
|89. Tulsa 66ers||Chris Ellis||PF||6-9||270|| Wake Forest|
|90. Los Angeles D-Fenders||Julius Lamptey||C||7-0||275|| Garden City CC|
|91. Arkansas RimRockers||Jonathan Moore||SF||6-8||220|| NC Central|
|92. Dakota Wizards||George Williams||SF||6-8||215|| Houston|
|93. Fort Worth Flyers||Jibril Hodges||SF||6-2||189|| Long Beach State|
|94. Colorado 14ers||Sheldon Pace||PG||6-1||190|| Southwest Baptist|
|95. Sioux Falls Skyforce||Joseph Works||SF||6-7||215|| Tarleton State|
|96. Anaheim Arsenal||Milone Clark||SF||6-4||200||Tennessee Tech|
97. Anaheim Arsenal
|Mo Charlo||SF||6-7||210|| Nevada|
|98. Sioux Falls Skyforce||Jitim Young||PG||6-2||195|| Northwestern|
|99. Colorado 14ers||Rodney Billups||PG||5-10||175|| Denver|
|100. Fort Worth Flyers||Eric Walton||PF||6-8||235|| San Jose State|
|101. Dakota Wizards||Tashaan Forehan-Kelly||SF||6-5||205||Pepperdine|
|102. Arkansas RimRockers||Chad Bell||C||6-11||268|| Nevada |
|103. Los Angeles D-Fenders||Jamar McKnight||SF||6-5||210||Clemson|
|104. Tulsa 66ers||Frans Steyn||C||7-1||280||Southwest Baptist|
|105. Idaho Stampede||Duke Freeman-McKamey||PF||6-9||245|| Fordham|
|106. Austin Toros||Ty Thomas||SF||6-5||205|| Concordia-St. Paul|
|107. Bakersfield Jam||Jeff Simpson||PF||6-8||220|| North Texas|
|108. Albuquerque Thunderbirds||Moses Marbury||PG||6-2||190||Rhode Island|
109. Albuquerque Thunderbirds
|Jason McCoy||PF||6-9||210|| Wisconsin-Milwaukee|
|110. Bakersfield Jam||Antonio Griffin||SF||6-5||210|| Cal State-Bakersfield|
|111. Austin Toros||Melvin Scott||PG||6-1||165|| North Carolina|
|112. Idaho Stampede||Mike Efevberha||SF||6-4||195|| Cal State-Northridge|
|113. Tulsa 66ers||Tony Gipson||PG||6-1||190|| LSU|
|114. Los Angeles D-Fenders||Andre Joseph||SF||6-3||190|| Oregon|
|115. Arkansas RimRockers||Zakee Wadood||PF||6-6||225||East Tennessee State|
|116. Dakota Wizards||Jason Fontenet||PG||5-10||165||Oregon State|
|117. Fort Worth Flyers||Armien Kirkland||SF||6-7||195|| Cincinnati|
|118. Colorado 14ers||Eric Osmundson||PG||6-4||200|| Penn|
|119. Sioux Falls Skyforce||Jemeil Rich||PG||5-10||170|| SMU|
|120. Anaheim Arsenal||Shawnson Johnson||PF||6-9||250||North Texas|