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Skyforce Rookies Vie For Spots on Crowded Roster

Ryan Evans
(Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

An unsung component of the NBA Development League is providing an orientation for players who are entering their first season of professional basketball. Certainly there are the NBA lottery picks who will make their mark on the big stage immediately. Numerous others have to wait for that big break or learn how they fit within the parameters of the game.

The Sioux Falls Skyforce enter camp which begins on Thursday November 7 with five rookies in the fold. Two of them came from open tryouts (Forward Robert Martina, Guard Grant Johnson), one from the D-League draft (Guard A.J. Davis), one in a trade (Forward Ryan Evans) and one allocation from the Miami Heat (Guard Larry Drew II).

One year ago, only one newbie, Forward Bryant Voiles, broke camp with the Skyforce. Meanwhile the last time a significant crop of first-timers started the season in Sioux Falls was 2011 with Casey Mitchell, Billy McShepard, Will Pratt and Anthony Moody.

The longest shots of course are the open tryout players, but Voiles ranks in that category as an example of one who stuck.  Davis is a third round draft pick, but not assured of a place on the team.  Evans has potential to land a spot since the team traded a former NBA player for him the former Badger will need to impress to hang around.  Drew II seems like the surest bet with his time in Miami prior to the season.  Nonetheless a synonym for a D-League roster is fluid, so no player can be allowed to sleepwalk.

A total of ten players will suit up after two weeks of camp as opening night beckons on November 22 at the Sanford Pentagon. Make an impression and you get time on the court, rookie or not.

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