Trio of Call-Up Candidates Land With New D-League Teams
The Texas Legends acquired Joe Alexander, the Maine Red Claws acquired DeShawn Sims (right) and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers added Stanley Robinson Tuesday, according to a league source. All three additions are near-perfect fits as far as giving the players an excellent chance at an NBA call-up as well as helping their new teams.
Alexander, the eighth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, joins a Legends team that -- surprisingly -- he should feel right at home with because Texas employs four other former first round picks along with a headline-grabbing coach in Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman. Along with Alexander, the Legends roster includes Antonio Daniels (fourth overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft), Reece Gaines (15th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft), Sean Williams (17th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft) as well as the rights to Rashad McCants, the 14th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.
"We are thrilled to add Joe Alexander to our team," Lieberman said in an e-mail. "His experience and athleticism will provide us with increased depth in the frontcourt. Antonio Daniels has proven his ability to get everyone involved -- and I am confident that we will get Joe up to speed very quickly. As with all of our players, I hope that Joe uses this opportunity as a springboard back to the NBA."
The Maine Red Claws, whose roster already includes Boston Celtics training camp invites Jamar Smith, Mario West and Tiny Gallon, were able to add Sims to their bevy of Boston targets. Sims, who played for the Celtics in the Orlando Pro Summer League this offseason after going undrafted out of the University of Michigan, was invited to play for the Celtics this preseason but instead opted to begin his pro career in Greece where he'd last just three games before returning stateside.
The addition of Sims is particularly important because another player who played for the Celtics this offseason, preseason star Stephane Lasme, sustained a foot injury earlier this month and could miss the D-League season.
The Vipers, last season's D-League champions, recently were able to bring back Antonio Anderson into the mix and he, along with opening-night star Richard Roby and the newly acquired Robinson, will provide vastly different options should the Houston Rockets feel the need to call-up a player from their D-League affiliate -- something the Rockets did five times last season.
Robinson, the 59th overall pick by the Orlando Magic in this year's NBA Draft, could see time at both forward positions as the athletic forward works to smooth out the edges of his game in hopes of donning an NBA jersey again soon.