Tag: Iowa Energy

Steve Novak

Steve Novak and Mike Taylor head back to the D-League

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Former D-Leaguers-turned-NBAers Steve Novak and Mike Taylor aren’t quite ready to give up playing pro ball here in the States, and are looking to start again from square one. Scott Schroeder of NBA FanHouse has reported that both Novak and Taylor have signed contracts to return to the D-League in an effort to showcase their talents for NBA clubs. According to Schroeder, Novak will join the Reno Bighorns, and Taylor will be a member of the Iowa Energy.

Novak can shoot like an NBA player, but doesn’t really look, move, or defend like one. He’s a specialist, and in the right defensive system, his teammates might be able to cover his back in a pinch. Novak spent most of this season as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, albeit one who wasn’t able to crack the rotation, even for clean-up minutes. A club desperate for range might be willing to pick him up, but Novak hurts his chances with his lack of versatility. He isn’t a hustle player, or even a glue guy, really. He doesn’t fill in the gaps. He just shoots, and does so almost exclusively from long range. Nothing wrong with that for a team in the market, but NBA teams so rarely peruse the D-League marketplace for standstill shooters.

Taylor isn’t quite as limited, but he’s a 6-2 athlete with more utility as a scorer than as a playmaker. During his year with the Clippers in 2009, Taylor was at his best either driving or slashing to the rim, though his drive-and-kick potential is rather limited. In Taylor, teams may find a decent bench scorer who can handle the ball a bit, but it’s probably better for everyone involved if he’s not initiating offensive sets.

Earl Barron is likely a Knick no more, but waiting for NBA chance

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earl_barron.JPGEarl Barron, the seven-foot center originally out of the University of Memphis, was called up to the New York Knicks from the D-League’s Iowa Energy late last season.

Barron only played in seven games for the Knicks, but he made them memorable; Barron scored in double-digits five times, grabbed 10+ rebounds four times, and put up a monster 17-point, 18-rebound game against the Boston Celtics.

Barron made a quick impression on the members of the otherwise manically depressed Knicks fan base, who at the time were counting down the days on their Official LeBron James Commemorative Calendars.

The summer didn’t quite turn out the way Knicks’ fans hoped it would, and apparently it’s not quite turning out the way Barron hoped it would, either. Despite averaging 11.7 points per game and 11.0 rebounds during his stint in New York, it seems unlikely that Barron will be a Knick next season. From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

The Knicks’ roster now has 14 players and they could fit center Earl Barron, who had a strong finish with the team. The Knicks had interest in Barron, but Knicks president Donnie Walsh, according to a source, has not heard recently from the Barron camp and isn’t sure what his future is. “I think we’re done,” a team source said.

It’s understandable. Though the Knicks do have the roster space to re-sign Barron (as Berman noted), they already have three centers under contract. Amar’e Stoudemire will eat up the bulk of the playing time in the middle and behind him, Timofey Mozgov and Ronny Turiaf will divvy up the remaining minutes. There really isn’t much room for Barron to make an impact, and at 29 years-old, he doesn’t make much sense as a “project,” either.

Barron is not giving up on his NBA dream so easily, however. Offered a contract by Israeli power Maccabi Tel Aviv, he turned it down saying he expects an NBA offer soon, according to the New York Post. He keeps believing, which is noble. However, though he has a decent enough face-up game and is active on the boards, other NBA teams have never seemed all that interested in Barron. He may eventually need to take the overseas payday.