Storyline: D-League Call Ups

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David Nwaba, who signed a 10-day contract with the Lakers last week, was encouraged by Walton’s recent compliments. But when the Lakers mull whether to grant Nwaba a second 10-day contract on Friday, the variables go beyond Walton liking Nwaba’s defense. “We want to look at a couple of people before the season ends,” Walton said. “Some of them aren’t available right now. (Nwaba’s) been good. But we have to decide if we want to wait or look at someone else.”

The Dallas Mavericks reached down to the NBA Development League and signed Ferrell to a 10-day contract on Jan. 28, and after three games the Mavs and Ferrell agreed to a two-year contract that pays him $208,000 this season and $1.3 million next season. Cook played for the D-League’s Canton Charge, but signed a 10-day contract with the Mavs on Sunday. In the process, the 6-foot-2 guard noted that he and the rest of the D-League players were some of Ferrell’s biggest cheerleaders. “Guys in the D-League, we all root for guys who get called up (to the NBA),” Cook said. “I think guys who prosper from getting called up on 10-day contracts give us a lot of confidence.”

Do you feel like you might need to free a roster spot for buyout season? Bob Myers: “Well, Briante is on his second 10-day and it’s really a 12-day because (it has to last three games). That’ll give us more time to evaluate him push it past the deadline. So we’ll see who was or was not traded and who might or might not be a candidate for a buyout. The buyout market is always fluid. It’s unpredictable. Often times you hear a player’s name and that doesn’t come to fruition or conversely, you’ll not have thought of a possibility and that pops up. So technically, having let (Anderson) Varejao go, we have a spot. (Briante) Weber currently has it. We can be flexible. So we’ll see what happens. It’s kind of hard to speculate on the buyout market because it’s somewhat unpredictable.”

San Antonio selected him with the last pick in that June’s NBA Draft, No. 60 overall, a pick that was traded to Brooklyn that night. Almost three years later, Jefferson in an All-Star in a Spurs jersey – an Austin Spurs jersey. Leading the Austin in total points and rebounds this season, Jefferson will play in the 2017 D-League All-Star Game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on NBA TV. “I probably thought I was going to San Antonio for a few seconds on draft night before my agent told me I was in a trade,” Jefferson said. “If I could actually be a Spur some day, that would be everything coming full circle and a dream come true.”

Vander Blue: Jae is my brother. I live with Jae in the summer, so I talk with him every day, we have the same agent. That’s my big brother. So we talk every day just about life and everything. I’m in contact with him every single day. I haven’t talked with Jimmy in a little bit. We don’t talk as much as we used to, but Jimmy is always there for me to trying to give me some assistance, trying to help me. In Marquette, we are family, so we’re all still pretty close and we take pride on that. It’s a brotherhood, so all those guys are still very supportive of me, they tell me what they think about me. They all believe I’m an NBA player and it’s gonna happen soon. We’re all just trying to embrace our grind. They grind in the NBA, I’m grinding here, but we all just want to see everybody be successful.

Six current NBA players, including five who have earned GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA this season, highlight the 12-man East and West rosters in the 2017 D-League All-Star Game. The East team features Yogi Ferrell (Long Island Nets/Dallas Mavericks), Ray McCallum (Grand Rapids Drive/Charlotte Hornets) and Chris McCullough (Long Island Nets/Brooklyn Nets). The West team is headlined by Johnny O’Bryant III (Northern Arizona Suns/Denver Nuggets), Briante Weber (Sioux Falls Skyforce/Golden State Warriors) and Okaro White (Sioux Falls Skyforce/Miami Heat)

For those in Quinn Cook’s life – whether they be fans, colleagues or others – a question seems to continually surface. “What more does this guy have to do to get an NBA call-up?” Cook, for the record, does not torture himself with that query. At least he doesn’t anymore. “I see it literally like 20 times a day on Twitter and Instagram,” the Duke product and second-year Canton Charge point guard said about people opining on his NBA chances. “So I see it, but I don’t think about it, man. It drove me crazy last year, just feeling sorry for myself, saying ‘why this?’ and ‘why that?’ instead of just focusing on the task at hand.”
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March 30, 2017 | 4:16 pm EDT Update
Ever since the Lakers hired Walton in the 2016 offseason after serving as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors for the previous two years, Walton said Buss has “been incredible” as she has offered support as they talked in person or via text message. “As a coaching staff, it’s really nice to hear and know,” Walton said. “We can do things that we feel are best for the team and not have to worry for now at least if we’re a part of that future. It’s very comforting to coach that way.”
“It’s a tough spot to be in with the people that hire you aren’t here anymore. Even before that happened, I always had a good relationship with her and have had random talks with her before any of that went down,” Walton said of Jeanie Buss. “She was great with the vision she had, what she saw and the way she sees things playing out. That made it a little easier even before we had official talks after all that stuff went down.”
March 30, 2017 | 3:13 pm EDT Update