10 D-League players worthy of 10-day contracts

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(Photo by: David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

I’ve said this in the past and I’ll keep saying it, the NBA D-League is going to be a very popular in the next couple of seasons. On January 14, NBA teams are allowed to sign players from the minors on 10-day contracts. If they like what they see, they can easily sign them for the rest of the year of they can drop them back down again and try their luck with someone else. I’ve come up with a list of 10 players I think will have a decent shot of signing a deal with an NBA team this season and eventually contributing with the team.

Players that are eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft or assigned past draftees to their NBA D-League affiliates (Dakari Johnson & Daniel Hamilton with the Thunder, Abdel Nadar with the Celtics and Tyrone Wallace of the Jazz to name a few examples) are not considered “Call-Up”eligible, so they won’t be on this list.

Honorable mention: Pierre Jackson

  • Drafted: 42nd overall in 2013
  • NBA experience: Rookie
  • 2016-2017 D-League team: Texas Legends
  • 2016-2017 D-League stats: 29.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists & 1.9 steals
  • Current NBA team: Dallas Mavericks*
  • Stats with Mavericks: 3.0 points, 0.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists & 0.3 steals in four games.
(Photo by: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

If he didn’t get a shot with the Mavericks and was still playing in the D-League he would be somewhere in the Top 3, maybe even at 1. I’ve bee a fan of Jackson’s game since his college days at Baylor and it was great to see him finally get signed by an NBA team three years after getting drafted and bouncing around between the minors, overseas and summer league teams. The Mavericks did however waive Pierre Jackson, but the plan is for him to be re-signed January 14th to a cheaper contract.

It’s finally nice to see a guy like Pierre Jackson get his shot in the NBA. Congrats to you and hopefully we see you making yourself a nice role player for many years in Dallas.

10. Yogi Ferrell

  • Drafted: Undrafted in 2016
  • NBA experience: Rookie (short stint w/ Brooklyn this season)
  • 2016-2017 D-League team: Long Island Nets
  • 2016-2017 D-League stats: 19.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists & 1.9 steals
(Photo by: Getty Images / Sean M. Haffey)

After a successful collegiate career at Indiana, Yogi Ferrell went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. He signed with the Brooklyn Nets earlier this year and played in 10 games and averaged 5.4 points. Ferrell was waived and is back with Brooklyn’s D-League affiliate, the Long Island Nets. Ferrell is an excellent passer who should get a serious look at by some NBA teams in need of point guard help.

9. Quincy Acy

  • Drafted: 37th overall in 2012
  • NBA experience: Five seasons with four teams (Toronto, Sacramento, New York & Dallas)
  • 2016-2017 D-League team: Texas Legends
  • 2016-2017 D-League stats: 17.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.6 steals & 2.1 blocks
  • UPDATE: Acy will sign with the Brooklyn Nets
(Photo by: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)

Acy is one of the more NBA experienced guys on this list. The former 2012 second round pick was recently let go by the Dallas Mavericks and was signed by their D-League affiliate the Texas Legends. Mark Stein reports that he will join the Brooklyn Nets. This is a good ideal spot for the former Baylor Bear. Acy does a little bit of everything on the floor and should look to get some decent playing time under Kenny Atkinson in Brooklyn.

8. Keith Benson

  • Drafted: 48th overall in 2011
  • NBA experience: One season with Golden State
  • 2016-2017 D-League team: Sioux Falls Skyforce
  • 2016-2017 D-League stats: 19.4 points, 11.3 rebounds & 3.3 blocks
(Photo by: Dave Eggen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Keith Benson has been a real journeyman since he came to the pros. With the decline in true centers left in the league, Benson is putting up great numbers that should attract some teams that are looking for someone down low on the defensive side.

7. Jordan Crawford

  • Drafted: 27th overall in 2010
  • NBA experience: Four seasons with four teams (Atlanta, Washington, Boston & Golden State)
  • 2016-2017 D-League team: Grand Rapids Drive
  • 2016-2017 D-League stats: 22.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists & 1.3 steals
(Photo by: Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jordan Crawford is another former veteran in the NBA. The former first rounder has great scoring ability, whether it’s creating his own shot or moving without the ball. Teams should definitely consider adding Jordan Crawford if they are looking to add scoring off the bench.

6. Vander Blue

  • Drafted: Undrafted in 2013
  • NBA experience: Two seasons with two teams (Boston and Los Angeles Lakers)
  • 2016-2017 D-League team: Los Angeles D-Fenders
  • 2016-2017 D-League stats: 24.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists & 1.4 steals
(Photo by: Jack Arent/Getty Images)

Vander Blue has never had a long tenure with a team. He only played a few games with Boston and joined a Lakers squad with two games left in the 2014-2015 season. Blue actually started the final game of that season and played a full 48 minutes. Blue can score, but is also a solid all-around player. When given an opportunity, he’ll make the most of it, even if it is for a short tenure.

5. Anthony Brown

  • Drafted: 34th overall in 2015
  • NBA experience: Two season with two teams (Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans)
  • 2016-2017 D-League team: Erie BayHawks
  • 2016-2017 D-League stats: 22.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists & 0.9 steals
(Photo by: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

The former 2015 second-round pick was waived to start the 2016-2017 season with LA. He entered the 2016 NBA D-League draft and was selected first overall. Brown was then signed to the New Orleans Pelicans, where he averaged 3.8 points in nine games.

4. Ray McCallum Jr.

  • Drafted: 36th overall in 2013
  • NBA experience: Three season with three teams (Sacramento, San Antonio & Memphis)
  • 2016-2017 D-League team: Grand Rapids Drive
  • 2016-2017 D-League stats: 19.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.4 assists & 2.5 steals
(Photo by: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

MacCaullum had a solid run while with the Kings. He has bounced around ever since but I think with his scoring ability, he should get a shot with a team real soon and actually have a solid role with them.

3. Briante Weber

  • Drafted: Undrafted in 2015
  • NBA experience: One season with two teams (Memphis & Miami)
  • 2016-2017 D-League team: Sioux Falls Skyforce
  • 2016-2017 D-League stats: 14.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.1 assists & 3.1 steals
(Photo by: NBA Photos/NBAE/Getty Images)

Weber was close to breaking the NCAA all-time steals record. In the D-League he looks to be doing the same, averaging a little over three steals a game. On top of his defensive abilities, he can also score and dish-out a few assists. He can even rebound well for a guard. Weber can do all the little things for your team, so I believe he will get his shot sooner rather than later.

2. Quinn Cook

  • Drafted: Undrafted in 2015
  • NBA experience: None
  • 2016-2017 D-League team: Canton Charge
  • 2016-2017 D-League stats: 26.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists & 1.2 steals
(Photo by: David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

I’ve been banking on this guy getting a shot since he went undrafted last year. Cook is a solid shooter and can really help put any team he goes too. He might not have the size, but he has the toughness and leadership qualities that can land him a spot in a second unit rotation in the NBA.

1. Manny Harris

  • Drafted: Undrafted in 2010
  • NBA experience: Three seasons with two teams (Cleveland & Los Angeles Lakers)
  • 2016-2017 D-League team: Texas Legends
  • 2016-2017 D-League stats: 27.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists & 2.7 steals
(Photo by: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport)

Talk about a journeyman. Manny Harris has played across the globe last played in the NBA in 2014 with the LA Lakers. He has spent more time in the D-League than in the NBA and I think his time is coming up. Harris is a straight up scorer  (5th leading scorer in D-League history) and has the size to match up with other guards night in and night out in the NBA. Any team can use a tall scoring guard, so we might a few teams calling his name in the near future.

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