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D-League Mini-Camp next opportunity to find gems

Cliff Alexander Brooklyn Nets

Another chance for Brooklyn Nets scouts to find a gem. Another chance for two Long Island Nets players to make an impression.

The D-League’s eighth annual Elite Mini-Camp, a two-day scouting event featuring some of the league’s top prospects, tips off on May 8 at Chicago’s Quest Multisport gym with about 40 players scheduled to attend.

Before the NBA Draft’s top prospects converge in the Windy City for their Combine, the NBA D-League’s camp offers standouts from the past season another chance to perform in front of NBA team personnel in advance of Summer Leagues and 2017 training camps.

Two Long Island Nets big men, Cliff Alexander and Egidijus Mockevicius, will be among the 40. At one point, Trahson Burrell was expected to play but isn’t on the list. Alexander received a 10-day contract from the Nets in April to satisfy a promise Sean Marks made his agent. The Nets then waived him so they could do the same for Prince Ibeh, another Long Island player who had also been promised a 10-day. He was also cut. The Nets don’t hold rights to either, but could sign either or both to summer league or camp deals.

The Nets have signed seven players to 10-day deals in the Marks Era. Sean Kilpatrick, Yogi Ferrell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Quincy Acy, Archie Goodwin as well as Alexander and Ibeh. All but the last two wound up with long-term contracts.

The D-League mini-camp is the second of four camps where NBA executives will look at talent. The day after the D-League camp ends, it’s the NBA Draft Combine, also in Chicago. Then, on June 9, execs gather in Treviso, Italy, for the adidas Eurocamp, essentially the pre-draft combine for international players. The PIT tournament for college seniors took place last month.