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Patrick O'Bryant, Former NBA Lottery Pick, to Play In NBA D-League

Jan 8, 2011 – 7:49 PM
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Scott Schroeder

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Patrick O'Bryant, the ninth overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, has signed an NBA D-League contract after being released in China earlier this season. Due to the D-League's player-acquisition process, O'Bryant won't know which team he will play for until he clears waivers on Tuesday.

O'Bryant, a 7-foot center, starred for two seasons at Bradley before being selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 2006 NBA Draft. O'Bryant played just 40 games over the course of two seasons with the Warriors, however, before Golden State declined its team option for a third season.

This won't be O'Bryant's first go-around in the D-League as the Warriors assigned him to the Bakersfield Jam for a total of 33 games during his first two professional seasons. The potential-laden prospect was able to produce solid averages of 13.2 points and 9.7 rebounds in the D-League but never reached that level in the NBA.

Now 24, O'Bryant has split the last two seasons in the NBA between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors. After totaling just 51 total minutes last year in Toronto, however, O'Bryant was released after failing to live up to the expectations of a top-10 pick. In 90 NBA games, O'Bryant has posted averages of 2.1 points and 1.4 rebounds while averaging less than six minutes per game.

O'Bryant's decision to play in China seemed like it might be a good landing spot as plenty of ex-NBA players have been able to garner generous contracts and get their confidence back against sub-par local talent, but he was released before ever playing a regular-season game. A report from NiuBBall indicates that the former NBA center simply didn't look like he wanted to be there.
Originally signed to bring the team some size and athleticism up front, coaches became fed up with O'Byrant's poor performances in pre-season, as well as with his overall indifference and lack of effort in practice. Several published stories in China have reported that much to the coaching staff's frustration, the seven-footer had become almost completely unwilling to play under the basket against more physical opponents in both intrasquad and pre-season contests, preferring instead to stand out on the perimeter as a catch-and-shoot player.

Said the source, "He just doesn't really want to be there."
Now back in America and without any imminent NBA contracts on the way, plying his trade in the Development League seems like a good idea -- especially if he's able to join his new team at the heavily scouted D-League Showcase.
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