The 2016 D-League Draft is Sunday, October 30th with a record 22 teams trying to add talent to their rosters. Over 200 eligible prospects are hoping to be selected in the six-round event, with the league’s 16th season starting November 11th and running through April.
Training camp starts on Monday, and teams trim rosters to 10 players by November 10th. While this draft lacks top-end talent, there are still some high-upside prospects capable of developing into impact players at the NBA level.
So, here are some of the most intriguing draft-eligible prospects for the 2016 D-League draft.
Note: I did not consider D-League veterans who have recently played overseas and are returning for this list.
5. Amjyot Singh 6’9” PF India
Two prospects from India have applied for the draft, as they try to join center Satnam Singh Bhamara, the 52nd overall pick in the 2015 draft, in the D-League with the hopes of becoming the first Indian players in NBA history. Palpreet Singh and Amjyot Singh both have an uphill battle to make it, but Amjyot has the size and scoring ability to give him the edge among the two.
Amjyot already has plenty of experience playing in Japan, which helped him get noticed by American scouts. He’s a classic stretch four in today’s NBA, and his lethal jump shot helps open up the rest of his game. Amjyot has sneaky athleticism and mobility, which makes him a threat for lobs. He still needs to add some weight and improve his ball skills, but there’s some talent for a D-League team to develop (keep in mind Singh is 24 years old).
4. Marcus Posley 6-1 200 PG St. Bonaventures
Posley had a breakout year for the Bonnies last season and could be a solid third string point guard at the NBA level if he’s able to work on his point guard skills and shooting stroke at the D-League level. Posley has good size for a lead guard at 6’1” and 200 pounds, with solid quickness and speed to get into the paint.
Posley struggles with an in-between game (27.0 percent on two-point jumpers per hoop-math.com) and lacks some size for the next level. He’ll have to work on his offensive repertoire and playmaking ability (3.6 assists to 2.4 turnovers per game last year) to catch on with an NBA team. We’ve seen mid-major combo guards make it to the next level a la Langston Galloway, and Posley could be the next in line with some work.
3. Roosevelt Jones 6-4 225 PG/SG Butler
Jones was an incredibly interesting prospect to watch over his career at Butler, a 6’4” bulldozer who could be an NFL middle linebacker with his size and strength. He has a unique game, one predicated on defense and an in-between game where he uses his strength and touch on floaters to get in the paint. Jones has a high basketball IQ that allowed him to play all three perimeter positions and might make him a point guard at the D-League level.
Jones’ biggest downfall is his lack of range; he took just three three-pointers throughout his entire collegiate career and hardly ever looks to shoot unless he’s shooting a floater within 10-12 feet of the basket. This aspect of his game will have to be improved if he hopes to make it to the NBA level, where he has excellent strength and physicality to be a good defender.
Jones is simply a winner in every sense of the word. If he’s able to improve his offensive versatility, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him at the next level.
2. Jonathan Holton 6’8” 220 SF/PF West Virginia
Holton is an interesting D-League prospect for his versatility defensively and NBA-level athleticism. We’ve seen prospects like him use the D-League to develop into 3-and-D wings, evidenced by Andre Roberson and Josh Huestis, and Holton could be the next in line. At 6’8” with a 7’2” wingspan, Holton has the size and length necessary to become a lockdown defender in the D-League.
Holton is an energy combo forward right now, using his length and athleticism to finish around the basket with efficiency (63.2 percent per hoop-math.com). He does need to improve his ability to space the floor, which continued to drop throughout his career at West Virginia (18.6 percent last year). Holton can be an alley-oop threat thanks to his hops but needs to find other ways to impact the game on that end of the floor.
Holton is a solid prospect that D-League teams can develop into a lockdown defender. If he ever figures it out on offense, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him at the next level.
1. Brannen Greene 6-7 215 SG/SF Kansas
Greene has the highest upside of anyone on this list; the former five-star McDonald’s All-American shot 42.2 percent in his three-year Kansas career and has NBA-ready size. Two-way swingmen are a rare commodity in today’s NBA, and Greene has the potential to develop into one with some serious work at the D-League level. Greene has unlimited range at 6’7” with good strength and mobility, all of which make him attractive as a D-League draft pick.
But Greene struggled to get on the floor at Kansas, as coach Bill Self didn’t trust him defensively. Greene needs to show more effort on this end of the floor to have any chance of taking his game to the NBA. He didn’t show much versatility offensively during his time in college and will need to work on his ball skills to diversify on that end of the court.
He has a lot to like when projecting a few years down the line. If he can work out the kinks in his all-around game, someone should give him a shot at the NBA level. I expect him to be a high draft pick on Sunday.