It’s the NBA’s league.
So the NBA can dictate action that takes place in the D-League. The Erie BayHawks experienced that in their relationship with combo guard Quincy Douby.
Unlike the other players Erie coach John Treloar has brought in during the season like Mike Cook, Darian Townes and Tony Bethel, he didn’t set out to get Douby.
But when the Douby entered the D-League player pool after being released by the Sacramento Kings last month, there was seemingly some pressure for a D-League team to pick him up.
“When you have the opportunity to get a player of an NBA-talent level, the league doesn’t demand that you do it, but they encourage it very strongly,” Treloar said. “When Quincy Douby signs that contract with the D-League? I didn’t recruit Quincy Douby to sign a contract with the D-League. The D-League recruited him.”
So when the BayHawks got him on March 11, it threw off the rotation of the team. Not blaming Douby for that, but the reality is his presence took away minutes from other players and altered team chemistry.
I remember asking Erie combo guard Maureece Rice about it when Douby arrived in Erie. The first thing Rice said was, “It’s late the season.”
He didn’t look down upon the decision and welcomed Douby in, but you could tell he knew this was going to affect the team in some form.
Fair or unfair, that’s the nature of the D-League.
OK. It’s unfair.
Douby played five games for the BayHawks, averaged 18 points and made his way back into the NBA when the Toronto Raptors called him up for a 10-day contract Tuesday.
Erie lost four games during Douby’s time in Erie, but team chemistry isn’t as important as developing talent in the D-League.
“They want those guys in this league,” Treloar said. “But it doesn’t make the integration easy. Certainly it’s not an easy integration and you get him for two weeks and he’s gone again. So obviously it’s part of the minor league process. It certainly creates a challenge to integrate new players in.”
Then again, Treloar didn’t have to bring Douby in. At least we think he didn’t.
During this time, Treloar decided to bring back injured shooting guard Oliver Lafayette, who had been out since Feb. 11 with a broken left hand.
Before going any further, it’s good to see Lafayette back in Erie. He’s worked his way back into a position to play again and is deserving of another chance.
Now back to my original point.
Since Douby was on the team, Treloar had to release someone to reacquire Lafayette. Cliff Clinkscales became that someone.
Now here’s a guy that’s been with the team all season. Played his butt off. Improved as a player, but he wouldn’t have even been a position to get cut had the team not added Douby in the first place.
Again, it’s not Douby’s fault. Treloar said he didn’t know Douby was being called up to the Raptors when making the decision to add Lafayette and to release Clinkscales, but because the D-League does things on last-minute basis, at least that’s how it seems, things like this are inevitable.
It’s just at the expense of a rookie who decided to pursue this dream the D-League offers to make it to the NBA.