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Is the D-League a Viable Way to Develop Young Players?

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  • JWash
    started a topic Is the D-League a Viable Way to Develop Young Players?

    Is the D-League a Viable Way to Develop Young Players?

    This has been brought up several times so I figured it could make for a good thread. It's being talked about a little bit in the Bucks/Raptors post game thread.

    I'll start with a question. I remember when we got the D-League team everyone was so excited about it, how we'd be able to use it to develop and coach up our young players, similar to how it's done in the other major sports leagues in North America and around the world (except the NFL). But now that we're actually utilizing the D-League to develop some of the guys that wouldn't have any sort of meaningful role (or use) on the first team, people are up in arms about guys not getting significant minutes with the main roster?

    What was the point of getting our own D-League team if not to use it as a youth squad of sorts? Powell is the one guy that was needed due to a lack of depth on the wings b/c of injuries. He was called up and has done ok, not outstanding, but ok. This is generally how it works in soccer, minor league hockey, minor league baseball, etc.

    Players can still develop and gain valuable experience playing in the D-League, and it can even allow them to work on things they may never get a chance to do in an actual game, especially not for a team that has deep playoff run aspirations. I just don't really get this idea of trying to force a bunch of young guys into the rotation that aren't needed at present or don't have world-beater talent.

    I watch a lot of soccer (probably more than basketball) and that basically never happens. The players still develop just fine... I know it's not the same sport but people need to at least be a bit more open-minded about it and consider that it does in fact WORK in other sports. In the NBA it hasn't really been fully tested yet, Masai is innovating here.

  • Apollo
    replied
    Scraptor wrote: View Post
    Bebe and Scola also do not play the same position.
    And I'm not the one who brought Scola into this....

    Leave a comment:


  • 3inthekeon
    replied
    JWash wrote: View Post
    Was reading through the Celtics board on realGM after the game for some giggles, but came across something actually interesting.

    A lot of them were complaining about Stevens not playing their young players enough, especially considering they're technically supposed to be in a rebuild (they don't have 2 stars and 1 emerging one like we do). Can pull some quotes if you guys like.
    Brad gave their 5 young guys 39 minutes last night, so they got their wish.

    Early in the 4th,the Celtics had cut the lead to 5 and had the ball. Consecutive turnovers by R. J. Hunter led to baskets by Kyle and TRoss to put us up by 9 , and they never got closer again.

    Leave a comment:


  • JWash
    replied
    Was reading through the Celtics board on realGM after the game for some giggles, but came across something actually interesting.

    A lot of them were complaining about Stevens not playing their young players enough, especially considering they're technically supposed to be in a rebuild (they don't have 2 stars and 1 emerging one like we do). Can pull some quotes if you guys like.

    Leave a comment:


  • DanH
    replied
    I really liked what I saw from BeBe tonight. Thought he was really good.

    Leave a comment:


  • Apollo
    replied
    Bebe sighting in the first half. He had a couple blocks but looked uncomfortable out there besides the time he called for the ball in the paint and was subsequently ignored.

    Leave a comment:


  • Puffer
    replied
    JWash wrote: View Post
    ...It's like comparing DeRozan to Jordan. Like no, just no.
    What's wrong with that????

    Leave a comment:


  • Axel
    replied
    JWash wrote: View Post
    We currently have five players under the age of 25 in the rotation. It's not like we're running a team of grizzled vets out there. CoJo barely has any experience playing significant minutes in the NBA before this year. Ross and JV are on the last year of their rookie deals. Biyombo is 23. Powell of course was drafted just this year.

    We're already allocating over 100 minutes per game to relatively young, inexperienced players. I mean seriously all those guys still have room to grow. DeRozan and Lowry right now would mop the floor with the 22, 23, 24 year old versions of themselves.
    It's not purely about the age though, it's development of the guys outside the rotation who happen to be young. If those roster spots are filled with older guys (like Fields, Hayes, etc), no one is concerned with them being "ready" for the opportunities or the playoffs. It's about getting the whole team in the best spot moving into April-Offseason-next season- etc.

    You want all players to get better and the guys outside or on the fringe of the rotation have a harder time because of the lack of PT. The fact that the guys are young means we have the added advantage of using the DL to get minutes, but we aren't using it efficiently. If we aren't going get them minutes, might as well as kept a guy like Hayes for those roster spots.

    Leave a comment:


  • ogi
    replied
    Scraptor wrote: View Post
    Bebe and Jason Thompson do not play the same position.



    Bebe and Scola also do not play the same position.

    Power forward and centre are not mutually interchangeable, especially in today's smallball-oriented NBA. You can slot a power forward into the centre position, but you can't slot a centre into the power forward position. The only team that is trying to do this is Phoenix, because they stupidly signed Chandler to a big deal, and now they're stuck trying to get Len development minutes at the power forward position.

    Bebe is stuck behind Bismack. And that would be fine, if we expected Bismack to be here for the long term. But just like many of our short-term stopgaps, these attractive value contracts are a double-edged sword. You get short-term production on the cheap while our long-term assets sit.

    I actually wonder if the reason Masai is able to get guys like Bismack or Hansbrough to sign on for cheap is because he promises a defined role.

    But if that's what is going on, you have to question whether there is a coherent long-term organizational strategy. In October 2014 I argued that getting Bebe minutes was important, and this was the response:



    Almost two full seasons have elapsed since then. We're always going to have playoff aspirations while we have this core. Masai can assemble as many young assets as he wants, but if they aren't getting playing time in the NBA, they are not going to be contributors and their trade value will be significantly diminished.
    Bebe is not exclusively a centre. He has played PF before and has played PF in the d league this year. He himself sees himself as a PF before a C (whatever that is worth)

    Leave a comment:


  • JWash
    replied
    We currently have five players under the age of 25 in the rotation. It's not like we're running a team of grizzled vets out there. CoJo barely has any experience playing significant minutes in the NBA before this year. Ross and JV are on the last year of their rookie deals. Biyombo is 23. Powell of course was drafted just this year.

    We're already allocating over 100 minutes per game to relatively young, inexperienced players. I mean seriously all those guys still have room to grow. DeRozan and Lowry right now would mop the floor with the 22, 23, 24 year old versions of themselves.

    Leave a comment:


  • JWash
    replied
    DanH wrote: View Post
    I'm pretty sure Thompson was thought to be a PF sub considering the declining play of Scola throughout the year and considering he replaced Bennett on the roster. Not an additional third string C when we had two healthy young C's either of which can handle a minutes increase if need be.
    You can be pretty sure, but the reality is that JT has played more than 1/3 of his career minutes at center and is about the same size as JV. He can play 4 or 5 easily.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scraptor
    replied
    ogi wrote: View Post
    Yeah but he's a second round rookie who's beginning to crack the rotation and contribute to the second place team in the east. Then we have Bebe who positionally should be the answer to our big man issues yet he doesn't play and instead we sign Jason Thompson. To me it looks like the organizational view is that he's not quite ready for whatever reason. Maybe they're wrong but I wouldn't solely point the finger at Casey.
    Bebe and Jason Thompson do not play the same position.

    Apollo wrote:
    LOL Axel, come on man. This comes back to my main point. Look what that says about Bebe.

    Scola Cola Zero is leaving him in his dust.
    Bebe and Scola also do not play the same position.

    Power forward and centre are not mutually interchangeable, especially in today's smallball-oriented NBA. You can slot a power forward into the centre position, but you can't slot a centre into the power forward position. The only team that is trying to do this is Phoenix, because they stupidly signed Chandler to a big deal, and now they're stuck trying to get Len development minutes at the power forward position.

    Bebe is stuck behind Bismack. And that would be fine, if we expected Bismack to be here for the long term. But just like many of our short-term stopgaps, these attractive value contracts are a double-edged sword. You get short-term production on the cheap while our long-term assets sit.

    I actually wonder if the reason Masai is able to get guys like Bismack or Hansbrough to sign on for cheap is because he promises a defined role.

    But if that's what is going on, you have to question whether there is a coherent long-term organizational strategy. In October 2014 I argued that getting Bebe minutes was important, and this was the response:

    What gives u any indication dude is ready to take significant minutes as a rim protector on a 48 win team with east finals aspirations? Oh, cause development and stuff?
    Almost two full seasons have elapsed since then. We're always going to have playoff aspirations while we have this core. Masai can assemble as many young assets as he wants, but if they aren't getting playing time in the NBA, they are not going to be contributors and their trade value will be significantly diminished.

    Leave a comment:


  • Axel
    replied
    LJ2 wrote: View Post
    I think some of these guys have gotten all they really can from the D-League. It's just a place to stay in game shape for them at this point. Getting called up to the big club and be present even without playing serves a bit of a purpose thought. They build chemistry with the core, are able to listen in on the plays during time outs etc., learn the tendencies of opposing players etc. Basically absorb what they can from the game.
    I think Delon needs to improve as a perimeter shooter and can work on using his passing to set guys up. He can do those in the DL.

    Bruno needs to work on everything, so he should be full time DL.

    Bebe and Powell could have alternated the first half of the season and now that Powell has gotten a spot in the rotation with Carroll out, Bebe could be done there working on his post skills.

    Leave a comment:


  • Axel
    replied
    ogi wrote: View Post
    I do agree with that. I get that guys need to be on the bench in case of foul trouble or in game injuries, but the trade off is guys are sitting around not getting playing time. I'd rather take the small risk of not having a lot of depth for a game and instead let the young guys get their d league reps
    The injury thing is easy enough to manage since the 905s are so close; one of the big selling points of having it in the GTA.

    JV gets hurt, we finish the game on a short rotation then can have Bebe dressed for the next game no problem.

    Leave a comment:


  • LJ2
    replied
    ogi wrote: View Post
    I think Norman Powell has definitely that he can dominate in the d league, but I'd like delon to have more reps working on his in game defense down there
    Yeah Delon and Bruno I think can still gain a lot from D-League. Norman certainly isn't learning anything from destroying D-Leaguers at this point. For him and Bebe, it's more about staying in game shape.

    Leave a comment:

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