The Nets have let it be known that the Springfield Armor will play a lot bigger role in player development than it has in the past, as they try to compensate for lost draft picks. They've already dispatched Doug Overton, an assistant the last four years, to Springfield and reportedly hired Cliff Robinson as a skills coach.
On Thursday, the Armor front office, headed by Milton Lee, announced they want to win as well, bringing back players who have toiled for the Armor the past three years, several of whom have spent time on NBA rosters since leaving Springfield.
Among the 11 players set to attend the team’s 2013 training camp in November are two players who will be joining the Armor as Affiliate Players: Gary Forbes and Adonis Thomas, both cut by the Nets last week. NBA D-League teams are permitted to protect up to three players waived from their NBA parent club’s training camp roster.
But for local fans, the big names are Jeff Foote and Willie Reed, who've manned the center position the last two seasons and have played for the Hornets (Foote) and Grizzlies (Reed); and Dennis Horner, who had two stints with the Nets in New Jersey. Also invited: Armor fan favorites L.D. Williams, two-time D-League dunk champion, and the explosive JamesOn Curry, who was a Nets training camp invite in 2011.
In addition to the previously announced three-team trade that will bring guard Lorenzo Brown to Springfield, the Armor also swung a separate deal with the Santa Cruz Warriors, sending the returning player rights of forward/center Chris Taft to Santa Cruz in exchange for the 47th overall selection (third round) in Friday's draft. Taft was originally acquired by the Armor with the first pick in the fourth round (48th overall) in the 2011 NBA D-League Draft, but never appeared in a game in Springfield.