NBA Rumors: Evan Turner And The Top 15 Players Who Need a Trip to the D-League

Chris Faig@@ULuminaryCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2011

NBA Rumors: Evan Turner And The Top 15 Players Who Need a Trip to the D-League

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    With the 2010-11' NBA season's midpoint right around the corner, there has already been a bevy of players that have been sent down to the D-league (NBDL), such as rookie PG Jeremy Lin, rookie center Garret Siler, Terrence Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder rookie center Cole Aldrich, and the Lakers' rookie small forward Devin Ebanks.

    Some players have already fought their way back to the NBA, while others still remain in the NBDL developing their talents.  

    Sending rookie's down to the D-league to further develop has now become a very popular move across the NBA, which may make teams like the Philadelphia 76ers contemplate the possibility of sending their top draft pick, Evan Turner, on a short stint in the NBDL.

    The following slides present 16 players that could use a trip to the D-League.


    *Stats are compiled from ESPN and are as of 1/7/11

F Luke Harangody, Boston Celtics

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    Height: 6'7''

    Weight: 251 pounds

    College: Notre Dame

    Season Stats: In 16 games Harangody has averaged 1.4 PPG, 1.2 RPG, and 0.2 APG in 5.6 MPG

    Boston hasn't given Luke Harangody much of a chance, which is understandable with all of the talented and experienced big men they have.  But, if the Celtics are only going to play him 5 minutes a game, they might as well send him to the D-league where he can receive some extended time of real game experience.  After about a month in the NBDL, Harangody could blossom into quite the offensive weapon in the NBA.

C DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Height: 6'11''

    Weight: 265 pounds

    College: Texas A&M

    Season Stats: 6.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.63 BPG, and 0.5 APG in 24.3 MPG

    DeAndre Jordan has been solid rebounding, but he should be a more feared offensive threat.  He shoots a very impressive 68.8% from the field, but he needs to be aggressive more often.  With some time in the NBDL, his low-post game can improve.

F Dante Cunningham, Portland Trail Blazers

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    Height: 6'8''

    Weight: 230 pounds

    College: Villanova

    Season Stats: 4.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 0.7 APG in 18.8 MPG

    With some talented depth at the forward positions, the Blazers would do nothing but benefit from sending Dante Cunningham to the D-League for awhile.  

SF Julian Wright, Toronto Raptors

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    Height: 6'8''

    Weight: 225 pounds

    College: Kansas Jayhawks

    Season Stats: 3.7 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.2 APG, and 0.57 SPG in 13.0 MPG

    Julian Wright is now in his fourth year in the NBA and is averaging some of the worst numbers in his career.  Wright hasn't started in any of the 23 games he's played in, so a trip to the D-League may be right around the corner.  

SF James Johnson, Chicago Bulls

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    Height: 6'9''

    Weight: 245 pounds

    College: Wake Forest

    Season Stats: 3.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.2 APG, and 0.75 BPG in 10.2 MPG

    James Johnson is a very physical and athletic forward that has the potential of having a more important role for the Chicago Bulls, but needs to develop certain parts of his game before this can happen.  Johnson doesn't see a lot of time so the Bulls wouldn't lose much from sending him to the NBDL to gain some confidence and become a better scorer.

SF Chase Budinger, Houston Rockets

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    Height: 6'7''

    Weight: 218 pounds

    College: Arizona Wildcats

    Season Stats: 8.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 1.6 APG in 19.2 MPG

    Chase Budinger has done a pretty solid job this season considering the time he's given to play.  In only his second season, Budinger shows a ton of potential and fits in with Houston wonderfully.  But, for some reason the Rockets only give him an average of 19 minutes per game.  If they don't want to give the kid a chance at more time in a real game, than send him to the NBDL for a few games and see how he can contribute while playing the majority of the contest and let him earn a chance at a larger role with the organization

SF Chris Douglas-Roberts, Milwaukee Bucks

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    Height: 6'7''

    Weight: 210 pounds

    College: Memphis Tigers

    Season Stats: 7.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.1 APG, and .72 SPG in 23.3 MPG

    In only his third season as a pro, Chris Douglas-Roberts has received a lot of playing time from Milwaukee but hasn't been measuring up to the expectations.  Barely shooting 40% from the field, some time in the NBDL could improve his shot, or at least his shot selection.

PF Josh McRoberts, Indiana Pacers

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    Height: 6'10''

    Weight: 240 pounds

    College: Duke Blue Devils

    Season Stats: 6.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.1 APG and .90 BPG in 21.9 MPG

    Josh McRoberts hasn't been contributing the numbers expected for the amount of the he's been receiving.  McRoberts has scored less than ten points in 12 of his last 16 games and has been averaging over 20 minutes per game.  McRoberts' playing time should be reduced or he should be sent to the D-league to work out the current kinks in his game.

SG Xavier Henry, Memphis Grizzlies

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    Height: 6'6''

    Weight: 220 pounds

    College: Kansas Jayhawks

    Season Stats: 5.6 PPG, 1.3 RPG, and 0.6 APG in 17.4 MPG

    Xavier Henry has been sidelined the last five games, with a sore right knee, but was rather ineffective and inconsistent before suffering the injury.  Throughout 28 games this season, Henry has scored over 10 points five times and has not yet recorded over 3 assists or rebounds.

G Wayne Ellington, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Height: 6'4''

    Weight: 200 pounds

    College: UNC Tar Heels

    Season Stats: 5.2 PPG, 1.5 RPG, and 0.7 APG in 15.5 MPG

SF Bill Walker, New York Knicks

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    Height: 6'6''

    Weight: 220 pounds

    College: Kansas State Wildcats

    Season Stats: 3.3 PPG, 1.3 RPG, and 0.6 APG in 11.6 MPG

    Since arriving in New York last season, Bill Walker has shown some flashes of potential but has yet to solidify himself as a successful role player.  While the Knicks continue to thrive, Walker could use some time in the NBDL to further develop his skill set.  If Walker could become more productive for the Knicks, it will make them a deeper team and make them much more effective against the top teams in the league, such as the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.

C Hasheem Thabeet, Memphis Grizzlies

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    Height: 7'3''

    Weight: 267

    College: Connecticut Huskies

    Season Stats: 1.3 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 8.8 MPG

    Since entering the league last season, Hasheem Thabeet has been terribly disappointing. Throughout 68 games last year, Thabeet averaged 3.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 1.30 BPG in 13.0 MPG.  This season he is doing worse in every category which is sickening because he has the potential to be a pretty good big man in this league.  Thabeet should be sent to the D-League for awhile to see if he's worth the wait, because after a season and a half he hasn't shown much hope for a successful NBA career.

G Gerald Henderson, Charlotte Bobcats

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    Height: 6'4''

    Weight: 215 pounds

    College: Duke Blue Devils

    Season Stats: 3.4 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 0.7 APG in 14.5 MPG

    With a lot of depth at guard, it wouldn't hurt the Bobcats if they sent Henderson to the D-League for some time to improve his game.  Henderson has been shooting quite poorly this season with a 40.0 FG% and 56.3 FT%.

PG Eric Maynor, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Height: 6'3''

    Weight: 175 pounds

    College: VCU

    Season Stats: 4.8 PPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.6 RPG in 14.8 MPG

    Eric Maynor had an outstanding collegiate career while at VCU, and has unbelievable talent, but since entering the NBA he hasn't lived up to the hype.  Maynor could eventually be the perfect back-up point guard to compliment Russel Westbrook, but he will have to improve his all-around game first.  A small stint in the NBDL could be all Maynor needs to gain the confidence necessary to flourish in the NBA.

SG Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers

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    Height: 6'7''

    Weight: 205 pounds

    College: Ohio State Buckeyes

    Season Stats: 6.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, and .67 SPG

    Evan Turner was selected second overall in the 2010 NBA Draft with high expectations, but not meshed well with Andre Iguodala.  The 76ers drafted Turner because they thought that he would be the perfect compliment to Iguodala.  That has not been the case and, in fact, Turner has been playing better basketball when Iguodala is out of the lineup.  Turner is expected to be one of the elite players in the NBA some day, but is currently struggling in performing his current role.  Out of all of the players on this list, Turner probably needs a trip to the D-league more than anybody else.  Sending him to some NBDL team to play a starter's role may be exactly what he needs to jump-start his professional game.