The partnership between the Nets and Springfield Armor doesn't begin til next season. The Nets had to tried to get it done this season, but couldn't meet the deadline. Still, the Armor are the Nets' D-League affiliate and word is that the Armor is working with the Nets already to make next year's transition work as smoothly as possible. Now comes word that Terrence Williams is being assigned to the Armor.
So, we'll be taking an occasional look 150 miles up the road.
The Armor are 1-1. After being blown out by 38 on opening night, the Dee Brown-coached Armor came back the very next night against the same team, the Erie BayHawks, and won by four. Beyond Williams, the Armor have three possible NBA prospects, former Clipper shooting guard JamesOn Curry, former Villanova All-American point guard Scottie Reynolds and Vernon Goodridge, a Brooklyn-born power forward who played for LaSalle and who the Knicks have been monitoring.
Reynolds, 23, is the most intriguing. He is the first first team All-American to go undrafted in more than 30 years. After a good summer league with the Suns, he decided to head to Italy where he had a guaranteed deal. After four games, he decided to return and after the D-League draft, he wound up in Springfield, where he's making considerably less money than he was in Italy.
As this NBA TV feature shows, Reynolds is interested in proving those who didn't draft him wrong. In his first two games, Reynolds is averaging 21 points, shooting 53.3% overall and 50.0% from three. If you're wondering when you might see the Armor on Versus, the cable channel that carries D-League games, you'll have to wait. None are scheduled til March 19.
The 6'4" Curry, drafted and then cut by the Bulls, was brought up by the Clippers last season but saw action in only one game, going scoreless. He played most of the season at Springfield, which like the Nets, suffered through a miserable year. He's averaging 15.5 ppg in two games.
Goodridge is 26. He played for LaSalle, worked out for the Knicks after the draft and impressed them. He signed instead with the Warriors. He was Golden State's last cut in late October then drafted by Springfield with the fifth pick. Donnie Walsh told the Post Friday the Knicks are indeed monitoring him and like his leaping ability and his defense. Goodridge is averaging 10 points and five boards.
The Nets have no specific rights to any Armor player, unless, like the T-WIll situation, they send one of their players down...or have their draft rights. Otherwise, players can be called up by any NBA team as long as they are not under contract to another NBA team. The Armor are also the Knicks and 76ers affiliate this year, and both Andy Rautins of the Knicks and Craig Brackins of the 76ers are reportedly headed north to Springfield, which if so would make the Armor one of the top D-League teams. There are reports the Sixers are concerned about sending Brackins to Springfield because the Armor don't run Doug Collins' system.. That won't be the Nets' issue next season. The Armor will run Avery Johnson's system and their coaches will be selected by the Nets.
Billy King said at the beginning of the Nets West Coast trip that Ben Uzoh might be sent down as well, but now with Williams sent down, Uzoh's position in New Jersey seems secure.