Latavious Williams Drafted, Jeremy Wise Headed to Summer League
FanHouse's Sam Amick reported that Williams was then acquired in a trade by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the NBA-affiliate of the Tulsa 66ers, with which Williams played all of last season, for a future second-round pick.
Williams became the first player to make the jump to the D-League from high school when the 66ers selected him with the 16th overall pick in last November's D-League Draft. A native of Starkville, Miss., Williams attended high school at Christian Life Academy in Humble, Texas.
The 21-year-old Williams averaged 7.7 points and 7.7 boards during the regular season, though he finished on a strong note and looked much better at the end of the season than the beginning.
During the D-League playoffs, Williams appeared in seven games as the 66ers advanced to the NBA D-League Championship round. He averaged 11.3 points and 8.0 rebounds in his seven postseason games, upping his numbers to 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in the championship series.
The upside to Williams is that he represents a player that has already spent a season learning an NBA offense, playing with NBA-caliber players and under coaches that understand what it takes to make an NBA player.
With Oklahoma City acquiring his rights, Williams will more than likely spend another season in Tulsa, but now with an NBA salary and as exclusive property of the Thunder. He is also expected to be a part of Oklahoma City's Orlando Pro Summer League in July.
Though Williams is the first player to go from high school to the D-League to being drafted in the NBA, he did have a trailblazer in former Los Angeles Clipper Mike Taylor.
Taylor was the first-ever player drafted into the NBA from the D-League when the Portland Trail Blazers selected him with the 56th overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, before trading him to the Los Angeles Clippers. Taylor joined the D-League after playing a season at Iowa State.
The other NBA Draft-eligible player from the D-League, the Bakersfield Jam's Jeremy Wise, went undrafted.
Wise averaged 16.6 points and 5.1 assists after leaving Southern Miss following his junior season to pursue his professional career but did not hear his name in what ended up being a second-round that seemed to focus on developing big men. Wise plans to play for the Jam's NBA-affiliate Golden State Warriors in July's NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.