As 10-Day Contracts Loom, D-Leaguers Wait for NBA Call-Ups
Lo and behold, fast forward to 2011 and the D-League's on a record-breaking pace as far as NBA call-ups are concerned. Unlike the record-breaking 40 call-ups last season, however, the league's now on the other end of the record-breaking spectrum as not one non-NBA assigned player has made the trek from the D-League to the NBA this year.
Today being Jan. 3, this marks the furthest into a season it's ever been for a D-League call-up to happen, going back to the 2001-02 season and the first-ever D-League call-up as Chris Andersen went from the Fayetteville Patriots to the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 20.
One can probably expect the first call-up to happen soon, however, as Wednesday will mark the first day a player can be signed to a 10-day contract. The oft-elusive 10-day contract is typically the reason players come to the D-League because there are plenty of players that have gone onto varying levels of success in the 35-year history of the shortened contract.
During last season's record-breaking haul, Anthony Tolliver, Cartier Martin, Reggie Williams and Alonzo Gee all made it to the NBA on a 10-day contract call-up out of the D-League to being rotation players in the NBA this year. That's quite an accomplishment after having to toil in the D-League just for a chance at a contract to play a measly 10 days in the NBA one year ago.
While D-League players may be getting discouraged due to the lack of NBA looks so far this season, especially after seeing the success of last season, all is not lost.
The previous longest wait for a D-League call-up came in 2007, when current New York Knick Kelenna Azubuike, then playing for the now-defunct Fort Worth Flyers, waited until Jan. 2 before earning a call-up to the Golden State Warriors, the first of a season that saw 21 more players make the jump before season's end.
This season is quite a stark contrast from the 2007-08 season, however, as there were eight NBA call-ups from the D-League before the calendar even turned to 2008. That was a bit of an anomaly, though, as the San Antonio Spurs called up three of their Austin Toros players in order to take advantage of a now-extinct D-League rule that allowed the Toros to acquire more talent by immediately moving to the top of the waiver wire.
In total, there have been 183 call-ups from the NBA to the D-League with 28 of them coming on or before the 10-day contract date. Both of those numbers will more than likely increase by the end of the week, a welcome thought for many of the D-League's call-up candidates just waiting for Wednesday.