The D-League expansion draft takes place Wednesday with the Long Island Nets, Greensboro Swarm and Windy City Bulls starting to stock their rosters. But don't get too excited about the names in the expansion pool. The best players will play overseas this season and the others are mostly end-of-the-benchers ... or players with a troubled past. Only one player selected in last year's expansion draft was on a D-League roster on Opening Night in mid-November.
Here's how it works, per Upside Motor which tracks the D-League...
Each team will select 12 players’ returning rights from the 19 teams who were in the league last season. In turn those teams could only protect 10 players’ rights and the rest of their players are fair game for the draft. There is one caveat, as each team can only lose two players, so strategy over who to pick when will certainly come into play.
Teams retain the rights for two years. So if the Nets are interested in a player who's toiling overseas this season, they can select him in the expansion draft, then try to convince him to play in Long Island next year.
The list of names available is closely guarded, but Chris Reichert of Upside Motor has learned the names of the most intriguing.
--Jarvis Threatt, a 6'2" point guard who's currently with the Rio Grande Vipers. A hyper-athlete, he won the D-League dunk contest two years ago.
--Alex Kirk, a 7'0" center whose rights are held by the Canton Charge but is playing for Foshan in China. Depending on when his Chinese Basketball Association season ends, he could be available this season.
--Drew Gordon, a 6'9" power forward whose rights are held by the Delaware 87ers, the 76ers affiliate. He put up 14 points and 9.6 rebounds last season in France, playing for Chalon, a French powerhouse. Aaron Gordon's older brother.
--Fuquan Edwin, a 6'6" small forward whose rights are held by the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat affiliate, but who's playing for Cairns in Australia. A Seton Hall alumni and local product, he has 3-and-D potential. He was invited to the Nets mini-camp back in May.
--Khem Birch, a 6'9" center whose rights are also held by the Sioux Falls Skyforce, but who's playing for Olympiacos in Greece. Birch played three games for the Nets summer league team in 2015 before leaving to go overseas. The Nets liked him as a rim protector. A teammate of Anthony Bennett at UNLV.
--Robert Upshaw, a 7'0" center whose rights are held by the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Dropped by two college programs and the D-League for drug policy violations, Upshaw is not a likely Nets pick.
The selections should be known by late afternoon.