The Armor brass (meaning the Nets brass) gathered in Springfield Friday evening for the D-League Draft and used their first pick to take Johnny Thomas, a 6'6" shooting guard who graduated in three years from North Carolina State, then played a year at Marshall while pursuing a masters degree in sports management.
Thomas averaged 9.1 ppg for N.C. State in his last year in Raleigh, then 9.1 again for Marshall last season Described as a "character guy". Strong and athletic, Thomas is defensively oriented.
Then, in a surprise, the Armor took 6'10" Brooklyn native (and former Warrior) Chris Taft after grabbing similarly sized Dennis Horner, a teammate of Thomas at N.C. State. Taft, 26, hasn't played professionally since a stop with the D-League's Rio Grande Valley in early 2008. His NBA career had been troubled by back problems.
In later rounds, the Armor went for 6'7" forward Brandon Bush, who last played in Iceland and 5'9" guard Marcus Hill, who played in Mexico this summer after four years at Minnesota State. Michael Sturns, a 6'5" guard played for Tulsa (as well as in Japan. Finally, the Armor took Akeem Bennett, who played for St. Francis of Brooklyn.
The Armor will fill out the roster with four players from their local tryout: 6'6" forward David Akinyooye from Adelphi, 6'2" guard Travis Cohn from Jacksonville, 6'8" forward Alejo Rodriguez of Iona and 7'0" center James Smith, a veteran D-League player
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NBA Development League: 2011 D-League Draft - D-League