Category: Fringe Players
We had the chance recently to exchange e-mails with Gino Pilato, purveyor of veteran TrueHoop Network blog D-League Digest. Right now, the Bucks have no available roster spots and a roster that’s already crowded with players clamoring for more minutes. But a 2-for-1 trade or some other sort of trade that could open up a roster spot or two in February certainly isn’t out of the question. Very little is out of the question with this season’s Bucks team.
So we chatted with Gino about some of the D-League’s most interesting players and some old faces that have resurfaced.
Q: The Bucks are in need of help everywhere, but have a glut of big men, so theoretically would be more interested in point guard, shooting guard, small forward types. Who has stood out to you at each of those positions this season?
A: Point guards: Pierre Jackson
is at the top of my list. (Editor’s note: This was BEFORE Jackson dropped 58 points on Tuesday night.
) His style of play and game have transitioned nicely to the NBA D-League level. Now, would it translate to the NBA? Not sure, but I’d be willing to see if I were an NBA GM. He could be a great off the bench lightning rod, but not your starting pg night in and night out. Obviously, his player rights with New Orleans are what’s holding him up. The Bucks would have to trade for his rights, which is probably unlikely. Other names would be Scott Machado
(Santa Cruz Warriors), Seth Curry
(Santa Cruz Warriors), Kalin Lucas
Shooting Guards: This one is tough, but I would look at Terrence Williams, Reggie Williams and DeQuan Jones. These guys are wing players that have proven to have the ability to score the ball too. Also, you’ll notice these are guys with familiar names to NBA fans. Experience helps, and perhaps the humbling which can occur at the NBADL level would be a good thing for each player if they were to return to the NBA level.
Small Forwards: I’ve been a big fan of what Devin Ebanks has done this year. He’s really worked on all aspects of his game, not just defensively. He can knock down the open perimeter shot, and would still provide an athletic ability for NBA team defenses to concentrate on. He’s a little bit more wise in his decision making and once again has some NBA experience already. Other names to consider here would be Chris Wright (Maine Red Claws), Dominic McGuire (Santa Cruz Warriors), and James Southerland (L.A. D-Fenders)
Q: The Delaware 87ers could be downright fascinating to a Bucks fan with too much time on his or her hands. Probably his. How did Tiny Gallon become a moderately relevant basketball player again (15.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, 56% FG)?
A: From what I’ve heard Gallon has put in the work again. It’s amazing what dedication will do for a player, and I think what we’re seeing from Gallon is the result of added focus and determination off the court and in the practice facility.
Q: What are your thoughts on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s brother, Thanasis?
A: A very interesting NBA prospect that could certainly draw some interest this upcoming June. He has a lot of physical tools that NBA scouts like, and offensively he could turn into a dangerous slasher-type. There’s still a lot of work to be done in smoothing out the edges to his game, but if he lands in a system that’s willing to help develop the young man, he could turn into a nice player in just a few years.
Q: A few Bucks summer leaguers and training camp invitees are kicking around the D-League and actually playing fairly well. Who’s had the bets season of Scott Suggs, Trey McKinney-Jones and Ron Howard? Any of them seem ripe for a call-up?
A: Really, all three have had a nice season so far. I’d say the most likely to receive a Call-Up from this group would be Ron Howard. It’s hard to look past his experience and how his game seems to be still at a very high level. Suggs and McKinney-Jones are certainly on the right track though, I really like what I’ve seen from both players.
Q: Speaking of call-ups, who do you see getting the next one? Any guys who haven’t been in the league yet? The non-Kendall Marshall path.
A: With regard to players that haven’t been in the NBA yet, that’s hard to say. I don’t see a lot of guys who are ready for a Call-Up that fit that description. However, if I had to give you one I’d say Kalin Lucas of the Iowa Energy. He’s an underrated point guard for sure.
Q: I read your article about Terrance Williams. He’s always interested me, as a bigger wing with a great feel for the game and passing skills of a much smaller guard. What do you think needs to be the thing that puts him over the edge and keeps him in the league? A better outside game? Or just a more mature disposition?
A: I think the latter part of your question here, and he’s mentioned that specifically to me. Also, players with NBA experience like him will tell you that they need to be more consistent. NBA execs aren’t looking for a guy who can drop 50 points, then 15 the next night in the NBADL. They would like to see a guy of Williams’ caliber score a steady amount, while contributing in other parts of the game. He’s right there in my opinion, won’t be surprised if we see him get Call-Up real soon.