The D-League had its expansion draft for Springfield and Maine today.
Springfield used the first pick to tab 7-footer Marcus Campbell while Maine took athletic swing man James White, who finished the 2008-09 season in the NBA with the Houston Rockets.
Unlike a year ago when Erie and Reno picked unprotected players from the remaining D-League teams, Springfield and Maine picked guys from 2009 D-League champion Colorado and Anaheim, two teams that are now defunct.
With the 14ers being D-League champions, you know they had some talent, but they also had some savvy veterans. And although Anaheim had a losing record, the first two players taken in the draft – Campbell and White – played for the Arsenal last year.
And 7-footers are hard to come by in this league. Those who have them in the D-League typically succeed.
Although several of these guys will go overseas and a few like James White and Trey Gilder of Colorado have a legit chance of making an NBA roster, if Springfield and Maine can keep say three guys from the players they picked, that is a strong start for an expansion team building a roster.
Gilder has already signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Memphis Grizzlies. This guy can play. Lean. Long. Athletic. 6-9. Got hops.
Erie and Reno didn’t have that luxury of picking from this type of talent pool last year. They got guys the other teams didn’t want and knew were going overseas. It’s really not fair to change the rules like that and more importantly, Erie will likely be in the same division as Springfield and Maine.
So Erie may very well have its hands full trying to make the playoffs this season.