Toko Shengelia proved once again this week that he's the best player in the D-League. On his third visit to Springfield, he averaged 24 points a game and led the Armor to a win and two losses in four days. Over his three assignments --six games-- he averaged 26.8, 9.2 and 5.0, tying the Armor single game scoring record and pulling off a triple-double. Now he's back in Brooklyn.
So who's the next D-Leaguer to be brought up by the Nets? They plan to add a prospect near season's end so they can gain his non-Bird rights and sign him through next season. The Armor have two guys the Nets might take a chance on in April:
--Kris Joseph, the 6'7" swingman who the Armor traded for last month -- reportedly at the Nets request. Joseph is averaging 22.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting over 43 percent from 3-point range in seven games. "He’s an NBA player. If he’s not an NBA player, then I don’t know what I’m doing," his coach Bob MacKinnon told Tim Bontemps following Monday’s 130-112 win over Erie. The Armor is 5-2 since they acquired him. Drafted at #51 by the Celtics, he was cut in January.
--Willie Reed, the 6'10" center/power forward who the Armor drafted in November. Reed is a Milton Lee project. The Armor GM took a chance on the uber-athletic Reed despite some baggage and he's responded. After starting slow, he's had his best production of the season the last five games. He averaged 18.6 points, seven rebounds and two blocks while shooting 63.5 percent overall. In fact, he's been shooting at better than a 60 percent clip over his last 11 games. One of the youngest players in the D-League at 22, Reed has launched a #CallWillieUp campaign on Twitter. Nets brass who drove to Springfield Monday liked what they saw.. Undrafted in 2011, he had a tryout with the Kings this summer.
There are other prospects as well, four of whom have worn the Nets uniform the last two years. Ben Uzoh and Dennis Horner have seen regular season action. Training camp invites and/or summer league players Carleton Scott and Edwin Ubiles are also available. The Armor traded for Ubiles on Tuesday. But if any of the Armor players get the call, it will likely be Joseph or Reed.
But don't be surprised if the Nets cast the D-League net wider than just the Armor roster. For example, D.J. Kennedy of the Rockets' Rio Grande affiliate, has impressed team scouts. He scored 27 points for the Bayhawks in Monday's game vs. Springfield, then was traded to Rio Grande on Tuesday.
- Former Syracuse star Joseph wowing Nets' D-League coach - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Shengelia gets needed court time with Nets' D-League team - Tim Bontemps - New York Post