DeMarre Carroll Assigned to D-League's Dakota Wizards by Grizzlies
Carroll, the 27th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, has appeared in just four games for the Grizzlies this season -- and only one since Nov. 2 -- after playing in 71 games as a rookie last season. With so few opportunities in the NBA, along with the fact that he's no longer in the Grizzlies' future plans, the D-League is probably the best place for Carroll to showcase his skillset and get his NBA career back on track.
In the D-League, players like Carroll are able to stand out, especially if he's added more of a perimeter game a la last year's D-League MVP Mike Harris. A 6-foot-8, mostly-power forward coming out of the University of Missouri, he's strong enough to work inside but can now provide a wing presence as well, though he'll have to work on his small forward skills to really prove he's an NBA player.
With the Grizzlies in this year's NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Carroll averaged a solid 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and a steal, hustling in transition for a bevy of easy baskets at the rim. His game isn't particularly suited for the halfcourt, however, which could end up being a problem in Dakota as the Wizards run one of the slowest-paced offenses in the D-League.
With the Wizards, Carroll will join a 1-9 team that currently ranks last in the D-League's official power rankings. Unfortunately, for both Dakota and Carroll, the combo-forward role that Carroll can play is actually where the Wizards have their best players. Renaldo Major, the 2007 D-League Defensive Player of the Year and one-time call-up with the Golden State Warriors, has started every game at small forward while the power forward position is held down by Walter Sharpe, a former Detroit Pistons draft pick who's currently averaging 14.9 points and 8.0 rebounds for the struggling Wizards.
Still, it never hurts to add a player that plays with the heart and tenacity that Carroll brings to the table, so this move should help both Carroll, in that he'll be provided ample court time to audition for the rest of the league on his way to proving that he's an NBA player, as well as the Wizards, who need as much talent as they can get before the season is lost for good.