Derrick Rose to the D-League? Rehab Stint A Possibility As Two NBA Vets Leave NBADL
So far this season, the D-League has welcomed the likes of Amar'e Stoudemire and Kawhi Leonard into its practice facilities as both players aimed to get some extra burn during respective rehab processes.
But that's about as far as each player's NBADL stint went. Neither NBA starter went on to actually hit the hardwood for their team's affiliate during an actual game.
Though Stoudemire and Leonard both represent notable enough names to come anywhere near the D-League, one player may in fact eclipse the pair---both with regard to his star power, and what he may do on the NBADL court.
The Bulls could send whatever medical personnel they chose (short of head trainer Fred Tedeschi) to supervise, and a strict minutes limit could be imposed against the Austin Toros or the Sioux Falls Skyforce the same as if it were Philadelphia or Indiana. Easier, in fact, since Energy fans probably would be thrilled just to have Rose in the building. Folks at United Center will almost instantly begin to weave postseason dreams and bracket possibilities as soon as Rose takes the court, and pulling him out after a prescribed 16 or 22 minutes could mess with those. In Des Moines, every minute would be a hoot.
There’s nothing inherently more risky about playing in the D League – chances are, those opponents might yield a little bubble of safety and respect to Rose that he won’t get against NBA defenders. The idea been brought up on occasion in the past – Elton Brand offered to play for Anaheim in March 2008 while rehabbing from a torn Achilles.
Now the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players allows for such stints for veterans, with their consent. It was suggested in December, for example, that Washington’s John Wall might benefit from testing his knee injury in the D-League.
Look, if the D-League is all about prepping players for the NBA and strengthening rosters, that’s precisely what some brief rehab visits might produce.
Of course, Aschburner alludes to nothing that anyone who follows the D-League closely doesn't already know. The benefits to be had are certainly there. That said, the fact that such a possibility with regard to a player of Rose's notoriety is being talked about is worth noting.
Rose would certainly seem to begin benefiting from any type of competition, be it from some of the D-League's up and coming young guns, or from some of other older NBA vets in the minor league who are currently seeking out some redemption. But should and when Rose finally make what would be a highly publicized trip to Iowa, there are sure to be two NBA veterans who won't be around to face him.
Despite signing an NBADL contract and getting picked up via the waiver wire by the Texas Legends, it appears as though Delonte West will in fact not be suiting up for the Mavericks' minor league affiliate. Though the squad has represented a prime landing spot for veterans in past years, the guard doesn't appear so sure about a potential D-League stint.
The team has reportedly left it up to him, but as he parts ways with agent Dan Fegan, perhaps it could be suggested that playing for the Legends was not a preference of West's. Could Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's recent comments that the team would not consider bringing him back (regardless of any potential success he may have had in Texas) have something to do with it?
Someone who went further than West in his comeback attempt via the D-League happens to be former Timberwolves guard Troy Hudson. The 11 year veteran started the season off strong as starting point guard of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, but suffered a setback when an injury kept him off the court for over a month. Though he was recently able to return and hit the hardwood once again, the guard has decided to call it quits. Hudson has opted to retire, owning NBADL averages of 11.1 points and 3.6 assists through 14 contests this season.
I actually like the idea of players coming back from very serious injuries having brief stints in the D-League as it is a great to test their game out before playing again in the NBA though I highly doubt a player like Rose's calibre will play there. I can definitely see him playing practice games against the D-League affiliate though just like Amare's transition from his injury.