Jeff Adrien, Joe Alexander Highlight NBA D-League Showcase
While there are plenty of worthy candidates, there were five players with legitimate shots at earning an NBA call-up. They played well enough in front of the NBA scouts throughout the week that they've improved their stock enough to possibly be in the next batch of call-up candidates.
As a sort of All-Showcase team, listed below are five players who earned themselves extra attention over the past four days.
Justin Dentmon, PG, Texas Legends -- Dentmon came into the Showcase needing to prove that he could play more of a point guard role after having the dreaded "undersized shooting guard" stigma attached to him since coming out of Washington, where he led the Huskies to the Sweet 16 as a point in his freshman season.
With Antonio Daniels out due to injury and Dominique Jones recalled to the Dallas Mavericks, Dentmon averaged 30.0 points, 10.5 assists and 2.5 steals in South Padre.
Othyus Jeffers, SG/SF, Iowa Energy -- Jeffers has been on the cusp of a call-up for the past two years and even finished last season with the Utah Jazz, yet he found himself in the D-League to begin this year yet again. If NBA scouts took stock in his performance over the past week, though, the physical wing might soon be headed back to the big leagues.
On Monday, the 6-foot-5 Jeffers scored 27 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a hard-fought 95-93 victory over the Utah Flash. Though the Energy weren't able to win again Thursday, Jeffers' performance wasn't the problem as he had 25 points, six rebounds, five steals and three assists.
Marcus Landry, SF, Reno Bighorns -- Landry, a member of the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks last season, was having a solid but unspectacular season with the Bighorns surrounded by fellow former NBAers Nick Fazekas, Patrick Ewing Jr., D.J. Strawberry and Aaron Miles. At the Showcase, though, Landry broke out by averaging 21.0 points and making 8-of-14 from beyond the arc while displaying solid defense.
Joe Alexander, PF, Texas Legends -- Alexander came into the Showcase needing to prove he was a better player than the one that flamed out in the NBA in just two seasons after being selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. In two games at the Showcase, with scouts and executives from many NBA teams in attendance, Alexander was able to put together two solid performances.
In his first game, against the New Mexico Thunderbirds, the 24-year-old scored 21 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked six shots while playing 45 minutes. In Thursday's contest against the Iowa Energy, Alexander scored 18 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished eight assists and added two blocks in a 119-114 victory.
Jeff Adrien, PF, Rio Grande Valley Vipers -- Adrien's performance Monday night wasn't replicated for the rest of the Showcase. A 6-foot-7 power forward who played earlier this season with the Iowa Energy, Adrien erupted for 30 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in a two-point victory over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
In his next game, a blowout victory over the Erie BayHawks on Versus TV, Adrien scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds while blocking four shots despite his shorter-than-average stature. As one scout mentioned, he's a man among boys in the D-League.
The D-League also named its All-Showcase team on Friday. The first team included Adrien, Alexander, Jeffers, Landry and Golden State Warriors assignee Jeremy Lin.