5 NBA D-League Regulars Who Will Get a Chance to Shine in 2012
Like Major League Baseball, the D-League gives basketball hopefuls the opportunity to get a Gatorade call-up to the NBA.
There were 60 call-ups last season from the D-League to the NBA, and the 2012-13 NBA season will likely see just as many call-ups with a longer NBA season.
Here are five D-Leaguers who will have good chances to shine in this upcoming season.
No. 5: Chris Daniels
This stat line for Chris Daniels is NBA-caliber: 32 points, nine boards against the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Dec. 29.
If he keeps putting up numbers like that, New York might be calling Daniels.
Daniels didn't grab all the attention because he had a teammate named Jeremy Lin.
Daniels has the size at 7' even to take over a game down low, and he did just that against the D-Fenders, who were the best until the D-League Finals.
He could fit best as a backup center for an NBA team, but his consistent play down low is a must for that to happen.
No. 4: Mardy Collins
The Los Angeles D-Fenders became a solid team throughout the year, and one of those players who made that happen is guard Mardy Collins.
Collins has made it to the NBA on four separate occasions; multiple leg injuries have held him back in the D-League, but that doesn't mean his play hasn't done the same.
Collins is able to play three different positions with his size—he has been seen playing all positions sans center in the D-League as well.
Collins' postseason scoring this past time around was over 17 points a game; in the regular season, it was barely over 10.
The D-Fenders' direct affiliate is the Lakers, and if a guard behind Kobe falls down, Collins might have a chance to go from the D-Fenders facility near LAX to Staples Center.
No. 3: Juan Pattillo
If Juan Pattillo has the same kind of season he did in 2011-12, he won't spend the entire campaign with the Bakersfield Jam.
In his rookie year with the Jam, Pattillo averaged 14.5 points and 7.2 rebounds in only 25.6 minutes per game as one of the top bench players in the entire league.
Pattillo knows how to crash the boards and finish around the rim, making him a unique power forward, which is always needed down the stretch in the NBA season.
No. 2: Jeremy Wise
Watching Jeremy Wise play is such a treat. He can make plays that most at his level are lucky to make.
Wise, who is as small as they come, plays like a 2-guard with his 6'2" and only 185-pound frame.
The Southern Miss grad is in three years strong in the D-League. In 2011-12, Wise led the league with 6.3 assists per game and didn't give up the ball much as he was sixth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio with 2.63 a game.
Most of Wise's points come from the one-on-one game or in transition, which means he's not a great point guard coming off the ball, but his play on-ball makes up for that.
No. 1: Andre Emmett
Most casual basketball fans haven't heard from Andre Emmett since he played under Bob Knight at Texas Tech in the early 2000s.
Now, Emmett is trying to make his name known in the D-League, and get a call-up before the All-Star break to New Jersey (now Brooklyn).
Emmett plays for the Reno Bighorns and had his best season in 2011-12 with 23.1 points, 5.5 boards and 3.2 assists a game and a 52.1 shooting percentage, all career-highs.
Mind you, he also has the CBA record for most points in a game in 2010 with 71 points.
Emmett could easily make his way onto an NBA bench as a backup point guard for a team that needs one. In a couple years, he may make a starting lineup on a struggling team.
His ceiling is as high as it'll ever be.