Since graduating from Bradley in 2007, Andrews spent four years touring the world's lower leagues, then joined the reformed L.A. D-Fenders in 2011. He spent a full season with the team, averaging 8.4 points and 6.8 rebounds, then left last summer to go to Italy with Montegranaro. However, Andrews disappointed there, and was released after posting 6 points and 6 fouls in 28 minutes. He then returned to the D-Fenders and posted a further 7.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in the final 32 games of the season, Andrews has a good frame (6'9, 230lbs), hustles, and is athletic. But he's not offensively skilled and defends via the foul. At 28, the D-League is the highest standard he has ever played to, save for the time in Italy, in which he looked highly overmatched. He's a D-League role player, not an NBA one.
Butch remains just outside the NBA, and just did his fourth stint in the D-League, hoping to bridge the final gap. In 47 games with the Bakersfield Jam, he averaged 12.7 points and 10.9 rebounds in only 29.7mpg, shooting 44%, 33% and 68%. More importantly, he stayed healthy for the full season. It is true that he can't be a stretch big of all that much effectiveness when scoring so inefficiently, but it's also true that that's one hell of a rebounding rate. He doesn't need athleticism to do it in the D-League and he won't need it to do it in the NBA either.
27 year old Covington started his professional career in, of all places, Ireland. Having started at the absolute bottom of the pro basketball ladder, he slowly made his way up it, going via the ABA, Estonia and Romania to being a seventh round pick in the 2011 D-League draft by Bakersfield. He has since played for Iowa, Sioux Falls and, last year, Erie, for whom he averaged 9.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists, shooting 39% from the field and 40% from three. Covington also earned himself some summer money by playing 12 games in Colombia after his D-League season ended, averaging 19.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game for Bucaros. Not a great creator as a half court point guard, Covington is essentially a shooting specialist, but without the speed or moves to be one at the higher levels.
Turning 27 in two weeks, it's high time that Gladness lost his project status. But has he? Not really. In a full season with Santa Cruz last season, Gladness averaged 6.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game, shooting 50% from the field and 54% from the line. He still retains the athleticism you can't teach, but he also still doesn't have many of the skills that you can.
Having won the D-League's player of the year award in 2011-12, Hannah followed up his career season with a conflicted one in which he again won DPOY, but also shot 34% from the field and 30% from three. 6'1, and fairly quick, Hannah's defensive likely translates to the NBA level. But not a half court point guard, elite ball handler, or good shooter from anywhere on the floor, he would offensively be a liability. The jumpshot is normally better than that, admittedly, but even were it to revert to the norm, it'd still need to be better.
Howard was profiled in the Pacers summer league round-up - however, he was cut before the tournament began.
Jackson hasn't been in the NBA for a few years, but is still trying. He start last year with the Reno Bighorns, went to China for 11 games (18.0 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 3.0 fpg), then finished up the season again with the Bighorns. Now 27 years old, the biggest mark against Jackson's call-up candidacy is that he just doesn't seem to have improved much.
Johnson got a couple of unexpected training camp looks with the Clippers and Magic as a three-and-D candidate, and then got a couple of even more unexpected ten day contracts with the Grizzlies at the turn of the year. The rest of the year was spent with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, where he averaged a comparatively sedate 10.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. Those numbers look far too small for a call-up candidate - nevertheless, Johnson is an off-the-ball role player, no matter what league he is in, so it makes sense logically.
Millsap has now spent three seasons in the D-League, and although his numbers (17.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.6 apg, 2.0 spg) took a slight hit this year, he remains productive. The unspectacular Millsap is consistently effective both defensively and as a slasher, yet is undersized for the small forward position at which he would otherwise be best suited. At this point, too, being such a known commodity may start to count against him.
Millsap's one-time team mate at UAB averaged 11.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 33 minutes per game for the Austin Toros last season, shooting 46% from the floor and 37% from three. He is a perfect D-League role-playing off-guard. However, from the next level standpoint, there's no one thing to hang the hat on. His shot is good but not great, and his defense, while solid, isn't the calibre of the previous two players.
Sutton was covered in the Nets summer league round-up, as he played for them in Orlando. He totalled 5 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals in 25 minutes across two games.
Weaver's NBA candle is burning out. Now 27, he's fresh from a D-League season in which he averaged 13.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game for the Canton Charge. His rare skillset intrigues but he's yet to excel at any level.
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- Mark Deeks
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