Sometimes a young player needs an opportunity with an NBA franchise to show that he can indeed succeed at the professional level.
The NBA has helped this cause by establishing a close relationship between NBA teams and the NBA Development League, where players can further develop their game and take their time to prove their NBA worth.
One team that is in the process of evaluating young players out of the D-League is the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors are in the middle of a rebuilding process and looking to the draft to find more foundational pieces to add to their roster.
One D-League player that has been receiving opportunities to test out the NBA is point guard Justin Dentmon, currently a member of the Toronto Raptors.
Dentmon is no stranger to the NBA as he spent a stint with the New Orleans Hornets in training camp and with the San Antonio Spurs recently before being sent back to the D-League when his 10-day contract expired.
Dentmon is from Carbondale, Ill. (which also happens to be my hometown), starred at Carbondale Community High School and played four years of college basketball at the University of Washington, where he was a teammate of Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes for one year.
Not getting drafted into the NBA after college, Dentmon found himself with the Texas Legends of the D-League for one season, where he averaged 19.1 points and 4.0 assists per game that season.
He was later obtained by the Austin Toros and put up great numbers, earning the opportunity to sign a 10-day contract with the San Antonio Spurs.
At the end of the day, Dentmon has shown he can be an effective floor leader and needs a chance to prove he can do it on the big stage that is the NBA.