NBA D-League All-Star Game: Potential NBA Landing Spot for Each Player

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterFebruary 16, 2013

NBA D-League All-Star Game: Potential NBA Landing Spot for Each Player

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    The D-League offers a pool of talent that NBA teams can dip into for a cheap source of production.

    The D-League All-Star Game hosts the best of the rest—players who have been sent down to the minors and have excelled against inferior competition.

    Each player's goal in the D-League is to turn heads of NBA scouts and give them a reason to call him up.

    Let's go through each participant and predict his potential landing spot in the NBA.

Micah Downs, Maine Red Claws

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    Potential Landing Spot: Boston Celtics

    Micah Downs spent last season overseas playing in the Spanish ACB league, but found a spot with the Maine Red Claws and has run with the opportunity.

    Downs was invited to Boston's training camp before being waived after preseason.

    He played his college ball at Gonzaga and possesses NBA-caliber athleticism at the wing position.

    The Celtics need athletes, and they could get one for cheap by calling up Downs from the D-League.

Courtney Fortson, Los Angeles Defenders

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    Potential Landing Spot: Los Angeles Lakers

    Courtney Fortson spent time with the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets, and now he finds himself averaging over 18 points per game for the L.A. Defenders.

    At 5'11'', Fortson has had troubling sticking in the NBA. But he's got the quickness the Lakers don't currently get from their crop of elderly point guards.

    If the Lakers were looking for some added life off the bench, Fortson could be an option.

Ron Howard, Fort Wayne Mad Ants

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    Potential Landing Spot: Charlotte Bobcats

    This is Ron Howard's second trip to the D-League All-Star Game and his sixth year playing with the Mad Ants.

    He's spent time in prior camps with the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks, but will be looking to land a spot with one of Fort Wayne's other affiliate NBA teams: the Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons.

    Charlotte should be looking under every possible stone. Howard averages over 18 points per game for the Mad Ants and would immediately become one of the older players on Charlotte's roster.

Jerome Jordan, Reno Bighorns

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    Potential Landing Spot: Memphis Grizzlies

    Jerome Jordan spent time with the New York Knicks after they acquired him on draft day in a second-round deal.

    Jordan can play, and he has legit 7'0" size to fit into an NBA lineup.

    The Grizzlies had been scouring the D-League for prospects after trading a good portion of their team away over the past few weeks. Because of Jordan's size and skill set, he's one of the more likely D-League players capable of making an impact with an NBA team.

    The Reno Bighorns are affiliated with the Grizzlies.

Marcus Landry, Reno Bighorns

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    Potential Landing Spot: Utah Jazz

    Marcus Landry has gotten his fair share of NBA reps, so it shouldn't be a surprise to see him in the 2013 D-League All-Star Game.

    Landry will be competing in the three-point shootout after getting his average up to 43.6 percent from behind the arc. If he can persuade NBA scouts that he's a legitimate threat from downtown, there might be use for him in one of Reno's affiliate rotations.

    If the Jazz end up moving some of their frontcourt personnel, Landry might not be a bad option to fill their roster spots.

Shelvin Mack, Maine Red Claws

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    Potential Landing Spot: Boston Celtics

    With Rajon Rondo and Leandro Barbosa going down with ACL tears, Shelvin Mack has positioned himself to land another NBA gig.

    He's averaging 19.6 points and 7.6 assists for Boston's affiliate team.

    Mack was a star for Butler when he led the first mid-major school to a Final Four since UNLV in 1991. He was drafted by the Washington Wizards, but it just never worked out.

    There's a good chance that Mack gets a call-up to Boston in the near future.

James Mays, Springfield Armor

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    Potential Landing Spot: Brooklyn Nets

    James Mays is averaging a double-double for the Springfield Armor with 16.9 points and 10 boards a game.

    He has good size at 6'9'' and a motor that allows him to be a constant force on the glass.

    The Armor's affiliate, the Brooklyn Nets, could potentially use some frontcourt depth, especially if they are serious about sending Kris Humphries elsewhere.

Tony Mitchell, Fort Wayne Mad Ants

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    Potential Landing Spot: Milwaukee Bucks

    Tony Mitchell is one of the most explosive athletes in the D-League, occupying the wing as a slasher and spot-up shooter.

    The Bucks lack athleticism in the middle of the lineup with Ersan Ilyasova and Mike Dunleavy. Mitchell is an NBA-caliber athlete who can make plays off the ball that Milwaukee's current group of wings is incapable of making.

    Mitchell is likely to get a crack at NBA roster eventually. Milwaukee, Fort Wayne's affiliate, is a candidate to be the first. 

DaJuan Summers, Maine Red Claws

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    Potential Landing Spot: Los Angeles Clippers

    Former Georgetown standout DaJuan Summers is averaging almost 20 points per game for the Red Claws. You wonder if the Celtics would consider calling him up so they can include him in a deal.

    With the Clippers deciding whether they want to trade young assets for Kevin Garnett, the inclusion of Summers could help ease some of those concerns.

    Summers was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 2009.

Chris Wright, Maine Red Claws

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    Potential Landing Spot: Boston Celtics

    The Boston Celtics should be in scouting mode after losing three rotation players to season-ending injuries.

    Chris "Top Flight" Wright has been renowned for his off-the-charts athleticism. He's averaging over 19 points a game, with his skill set starting to catch up to his physical abilities.

    Wright has been an NBA prospect for years, but he lacked a refined offensive arsenal to get him there. That may not be the case anymore.

Justin Dentmon, Texas Legends

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    Potential Landing Spot: Dallas Mavericks

    The former D-League MVP could be an option for the Texas Lengends affiliate Dallas Mavericks.

    At 5'11'', Denton could play the J.J. Barea role that has yet to be filled. He's a guy who can put up points in bunches and provide a spark off an NBA bench.

    Though not a true point guard, Denton's ability to score could be effective in a limited, simplified role.

Damion James, Bakersfield Jam

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    Potential Landing Spot: Phoenix Suns

    Damion James once had a regular role for the Brooklyn Nets and was a standout player at Texas in college.

    He recently signed a 10-day contract with the Nets, but they never extended a followup invitation.

    James is a slashing wing with NBA size and athleticism. None of Phoenix's wings have been very impressive. Depending on Phoenix's patience and willingness to think out of the box, James could be an option from its D-League affiliate.

D.J. Kennedy, Erie Bayhawks

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    Potential Landing Spot: New York Knicks

    D.J. Kennedy was always a potential draft target for the Knicks after playing close by in his days at St. Johns.

    The Knicks watch the Bayhawks intently, and Kennedy happens to have a skill set that could fill a gap in New York's rotation. He's a fluid athlete from the wing who slashes off the ball and can get to the rim from the perimeter.

    He's averaging 18 points and eight rebounds for the Bayhawks, and he spent some time with the Memphis Grizzlies last year.

Travis Leslie, Santa Cruz Warriors

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    Potential Landing Spot: Golden State Warriors

    Travis Leslie is one of the most explosively athletic guards in the D-League. It's one of the reasons he was drafted, despite lacking the typical skill set of a scoring guard.

    Golden State is Santa Cruz's NBA affiliate, and it could ultimately be the team that ends up with Leslie's tools. He's a different type of athlete compared to Golden State's current crop of guards. Sometimes, just raw athleticism can be an effective injection.

    Leslie is averaging 16 points and seven boards for the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Jerel McNeal, Bakersfield Jam

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    Potential Landing Spot: Atlanta Hawks

    Jerel McNeal is a two-way guard who can score, defend and handle the ball. He's averaging close to 17 points and five assists, and he has become more potent offensively since his days at Marquette.

    With Lou Williams out for the year and zero point guard depth, McNeil could be an option for Bakersfield's NBA affiliate, the Hawks.

Tim Ohlbrecht, Rio Grande Valley Vipers

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    Potential Landing Spot: Houston Rockets

    Tim Ohlbrecht is one of the rare prospects to hit the D-League straight from Europe.

    He's got 6'11'' size and has improved his interior play after being labeled as a stretch-big earlier in his career.

    The Rockets are the Vipers' D-League affiliates, and they lack size at the 4 position.

    Ohlbrecht has good experience playing with the German national teams and has been on the NBA radar for the last several years.

Demetris Nichols, Sioux Falls

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    Potential Landing Spot: Minnesota Timberwolves

    Demetris Nichols has spent time with the Knicks, Bulls and Cavaliers, but hasn't stuck because his specialty hasn't been all that special.

    Nichols is a perimeter scorer in the mold of a stretch forward. Most of his scoring opportunities come as a spot-up shooter.

    This year, he's averaging 18 points on nearly 39 percent from downtown for Sioux Falls. Nichols could help spread the floor for Minnesota and provide a target for Ricky Rubio on the drive-and-dish game.

Arinze Onuaku, Canton Charge

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    Potential Landing Spot: Cleveland Cavaliers

    The Charge are affiliates of the Cavaliers, who could use size and bulk at the 5 position. Onuaku is a beast with a wide, thick frame meant for eating space, dishing out contact and absorbing it.

    With Anderson Varejao out for the year and Tyler Zeller more of a finesse big man, Onuaku's physicality could be used in Cleveland's lineup.

    Onuaku played four years at Syracuse as the man in the middle, and he rarely leaves his post as a fixture in the paint.

Henry Sims, Erie Bayhawks

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    Potential Landing Spot: New York Knicks

    Henry Sims got some preseason burn with the Knicks, but with a slew of veteran big men, Sims' services weren't needed.

    That may not be the case anymore, as Marcus Camby has been out a month and Rasheed Wallace has missed the last two.

    Sims isn't the most talented scorer, but he's a solid rebounder, shot-blocker and excellent passer from the post. His presence could be used by the Knicks' deteriorating front line.

Chris Wright, Iowa Energy

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    Potential Landing Spot: New Orleans Hornets

    Chris Wright is one of the better point guard options in the D-League, with a true pass-first approach and the ability to manage a game.

    He was the orchestrator for a successful Georgetown program in college. The Hornets are an affiliate of Iowa, and though Greivis Vasquez has excelled as a starter, Wright is more natural in a half-court set.

    He's averaging 14 points and seven assists in Iowa.