The D-League team Sean Williams joined Tuesday is one of the better ones in the NBA’s minor league with a wide open game and two other NBA players on assignment. Like the Nets the Colorado 14ers were flush with big men until Tuesday's Two of its top three scorers are 6’9" forwards who’ve been the league’s players of the week the last two weeks and another 6’9" forward is the team’s best three point shooter.
But on Tuesday, one of those two, James Mays, went down with a torn achilles. The 14ers coach said Mays is likely done for the season...giving Williams a greater opportunity.
Still, the team’s two best players are faces Williams will recognize: Eddie Gill, the 6’-0" point guard who has had five turns with the Nets, on summer league, preseason and regular season rosters, and Josh Davis, a 6’9" power forward who played with Williams in the Orlando Summer League a year ago.
Gill has played 181 games for five NBA teams, including two stints with the Nets totaling 21 games. He’s also played 114 with the Pacers, 23 with the Grizzlies, 22 with the Blazers and one with the Sonics. He has twice figured in Nets history, being the player the team traded for in the ill-fated 2004 deal that shipped the Nets first round pick to the Blazers. He also started for the Nets against the Knicks last season when Jason Kidd famously backed out because of a migraine. He’s averaging 14.7 ppg and 7.4 apg.
Davis, 28, is the reigning D-League Player of the Week, having averaged 20 ppg and 8 rpg over three games last week, all of which the Broomfield-based team won. He's played 52 games for five NBA teams, 42 with the Sixers in 2004-05 and a handful of games with the Hawks, Bucks, Rockets and Suns. He has also had tryouts with the Magic, Pacers, Trailblazers, Timberwolves, Bulls and Nuggets. He has played in Italy and the CBA where he was both All-CBA Newcomer of the Year and Most Valuable Player. He’s averaging 15.3 ppg and 6.8 rpg for the season.
Until he went down, the 14ers also had the 6’9" Mays who was undrafted out of Clemson but played with the Nuggets in preseason and was the last man cut by George Karl. Mays, 22, was averaging a team high 19.8 ppg and 9.2 rpg for the 14ers. He had been D-League Player of the Week before Davis, averaging 25.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in three games. He highlighted that run with a 37-point night in his team's Dec. 9 win over Rio Grande Valley, the high game in the D-League this season.
Gill, Davis and Mays are all free agents.
The 14ers also have two players on assignment from the Nuggets: Sonny Weems, a 6’6" swingman who’s averaging 14.2 ppg and Cheikh Samb, a 7-1" center who was acquired in the Allen Iverson-Chauncey Billups trade. He’s averaging 10.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Weems is 22, Samb 24.
The 14ers are the D-League affiliate for the Nets and Nuggets.
Another player who could be competing with Williams is the team’s 6’9" three point specialist, the aptly named Trey Glider. Glider, who has no NBA experience, is shooting better than 40% from deep and is averaging 9.7 ppg.
While D-League coaches are not required to play those players on assignment from NBA teams, the 14ers coach, Bob MacKinnon, has a reputation for player development and is the son of a former Nets coach.