Tag: D-League


Report: Allen Iverson willing to start comeback in D-League


John Ireland, the Lakers radio play-by-play person and long-time Los Angeles sports radio and television personality, told an interesting story on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles today:

The Lakers had interest in giving Allen Iverson a shot before the season started and offered him a contract — but he had to start with the D-Fenders, the Lakers D-League team. He would get a call up to the Lakers when he proved ready.

That killed the deal, Ireland reported.

But beggars can’t be choosers and apparently Iverson’s attitude has changed, reports Chris Broussard at ESPN.

Iverson is willing to play in the Caribbean, in South America or even in the D-League if it gives him a chance to return to the NBA, the source said.

“Allen only wants to play if there’s a possibility that it leads to the NBA,” the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “That’s the only way he would go to one of these lower leagues. He wants to get back to the NBA and leave the game on his terms.”

While there was talk of Iverson playing in Puerto Rico, there is nothing imminent, according to the report.

It’s hard not to wonder if this is tied to Iverson’s reported financial troubles. If he really would accept a D-League assignment it seems like that could be the path he wants to get back to the NBA. But there will be no guarantees from teams of an NBA spot — after Iverson’s last year in Memphis and Philly teams are leery. They think the off-the-court distraction and media circus would not be worth what they get on the court from him at this point.

Lakers send Devin Ebanks down to D-League


From the Lakers’ official Twitter feed:

BREAKING: The Los Angeles Lakers have assigned forward Devin Ebanks to their @nbadleagueaffiliate, the Los Angeles @DFenders.

This could mean nothing, but it could mean something significant for the Lakers as well: Gilbert Arenas-to-LA rumors have been swirling for about a week now, although the team has said it doesn’t have “serious interest” in the former Wizards standout. More recently, and perhaps more realistically, the Lakers have been in talks with J.R. Smith, who has been in China all season after spending last season with the Denver Nuggets.

The 22-year old Ebanks has appeared in 12 games for the Lakers this season, and has averaged 2.7 points in 12.6 minutes per game.

Greg Ostertag will not be returning to the NBA

Greg Ostertag

From ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:

After knee troubles limited him to less than 30 minutes in the Texas Legends’ last three games, Greg Ostertag informed the team Thursday that he is ending his comeback in the D-League.

Ostertag had his best game for the Frisco-based Legends last week at the D-League Showcase in Reno in front of scouts from numerous NBA teams, but the 38-year-old told ESPN.com on Thursday that the pain in his knees since then had become unbearable.

“They’ve been bugging me since I came back (in late December), but I could barely move (after Reno),” Ostertag said. “I felt good there and I played good. I get out there and sometimes I do get loose, but usually the ‘don’ts’ are longer than the ‘dos.’ It sucks, but I knew going into this what could happen.”

Ostertag, who was a solid if unspectacular NBA center for 11 seasons, said that he regrets retiring at the age of 33, and that he wants people to know that his time in the D-league was not “a publicity stunt.” It’s a shame that Ostertag’s body couldn’t hold up when he re-found his passion for the game — we wish him all the best in his post-NBA ventures.

Draft age limit, other “B-list” issues still to be resolved

NBA And Players Representatives Meet To Discuss Possible Settlement

There are still some big issues sitting out there unresolved in the NBA labor talks.

At what age can players declare for the NBA draft? Keep it at 19 (the one-and-dones) or move it to 20? Or 18? Then there are the specifics of the NBA drug testing policies. And the rules in the unlikely event of the league contracts a team. Plus the owners still have to finalize their revenue sharing plan.

That’s just the tip of iceberg of the B-list issues the lawyers for the NBA owners and players still have to hammer out. They may be secondary issues to how to divide up the money, but they impact the lives of players and future generations of NBA players.

These issues are not going to derail the framework of the NBA labor deal hammered out by NBA owners and players in the wee hours of Saturday morning in New York.

Neither side can afford to let that happen. The five-month NBA lockout that cost 480 games of this season has already tested the faith of NBA fans and risked alienating the fan base in the middle of the worst recession the nation has seen in more than 50 years. To go back on the handshake deal now, to offer a season then pull it back, would simply devastate the game in a way neither side can afford to do. What’s the point of arguing over how to divide the revenue pie if the pie gets much smaller?

But there are still plenty of issues on the table. And the sides don’t agree on them.

The NBA draft age limit will be the biggest. In early proposals the owners wanted to move it to age 20 — essentially two-and-dones. The players have said this is something they want to see moved back to age 18. Expect this to move to 20 or stay the same — this is a more important issue for owners. They do not want to go back to scouting high school players again, both for the expense of it and the unpredictability of the picks. The owners like the idea of more college ball during which time players can be evaluated, plus the NCAA hype machine can already start turning them into stars fans want to follow. Both good things for the owners. Which is why they want this more than the players want the issue moved back to age 18.

This will be one of the next issues on the table and could be decided before the weekend is over, according to a source near the talks.

Other issues include can the league start testing for human growth hormone with a blood test as Major League Baseball just agreed to? That will be a hard sell with players but would be welcomed by many fans.

Another key issue for fans will be the rules on assigning players to the D-League. In the old deal players could be sent down only for the first two years of their contracts and at full NBA salary. Owners want to be able to send players down for more years — up to five — and reduce their salary while down in the “minors.” More years is one thing but the salary reductions would be a very tough sell to the union.

Almost tied to that, should the NBA draft be expanded to a third round? The idea from owners — aside creating a little more draft buzz — is to find guys that they can send to the D-League and develop into NBA players over a few years. Already much of the second round is that way, do we need more?

The other big issue out there is not in the labor deal itself but will be key — the owners still need to finalize the revenue sharing plan amongst themselves. Proposals were put forward but the owners didn’t feel they could talk about revenue sharing until they saw how much they were getting back from the players. Now they know. But getting big markets to fork over more to small markets is always going to be contentious.

There are a host of other interesting little issues we will get to discuss just like those over the coming weeks.

Point is, while the NBA is on the verge of a labor deal there are a lot of issues still on the table. Negotiations will continue. And for guys like high school seniors with dreams of the NBA, those talks matter a lot.

D-League changes (plus age limit) not part of owners’ proposal


UPDATE 4:36 pm: We now have confirmation on this.

The changes to the D-League are among things the owners want, but it is all part of what union chief Billy Hunter described as the “B-List” issues, along with draft age limit changes (there are reports the owners want to raise it from 19 to 20) and the like.

Those are still up for negotiation, they are not part of the take it or leave it offer.

Stern’s offer had to do with the handful of A-list issues, such as the mid-level exception for tax-paying teams, the sign-and-trade for tax paying teams and the like.

Once the A-list is agreed to there will still be negotiations on the B-list (which is pages long). There will be some interesting horse trading on those that will impact future NBA players, but these issues are not considered deal breakers in the least.

UPDATE 4:01 pm: While this proposal by the owners was on the table at one point, there are now some reports that it may not have been part of the formal proposal the owners made Thursday. Here is what Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated tweeted:

Hearing d league rule may no longer be part of league’s official proposal. Def was at some recent point.

We’re trying to find out where it stands.

3:44 pm: The players are not going to like this. Well, they don’t like a lot of things about the latest ultimatium from David Stern and the owners, but you can add this to the list.

The owners want to expand use of the D-League by teams and cut players salaries who go down, according to a tweet from Ric Bucher of ESPN.

New proposal would allow teams to send players to NBDL first 5 years of career and reduce pay to pro-rated 75K. Talk about non-starters.

Bucher is right, the players are going to balk at that.

Right now, players can be sent down to the D-League during the first two years of their NBA career, but when they go they still get the full money from their NBA contracts.

If the NBA wants the D-League to be a true minor league, then expanding the time frame in which players can be sent down makes some sense. (I like the idea of a rehab assignment, too, but let’s not go there today.) Expanding it to three or four years has some merit, it does take time for some guys to develop and getting to play in the D-League rather than riding the NBA pine can speed that process up.

But if you think the players are going to sign off on giving up salary, you ate the special brownies.

This sounds like the kind of thing that would make for future negotiations, which is what the players want to do next. But if the offer really is take-it-or-leave-it from the owners (it wasn’t last time) then this is another sticking point.