Here is round 2 of get to know your D-League, in preparation for the upcoming Wisconsin Herd season. You can read through Word 1 here where we looked at who plays in the D-League. With Word 2, we’re going to dive into some of the common questions you have on the league:
1. Is there a D-League Draft, like the NBA Draft?
Indeed there is. The draft takes place the end of October / beginning of November after NBA rosters are complete. The draft typically features 6 rounds, with more than 100 players selected. The HERD, as a new team, will likely also participate in a new team expansion draft to help fill their roster.
Several D-League draftees with Wisconsin collegiate hoops connections include: Alando Tucker from Wisconsin, drafted 2nd overall in the 2011 draft; Greg Mays from UWGB, selected in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft; and Quardell Young from UW Whitewater, selected in the 5th round of the 2015 draft.
2. What ever happened to Vander Blue?
Maybe that wasn’t your next question, but it is a good one. Wisconsin native Vander Blue, who played at Marquette for 3 years, surprised the state when he skipped his senior season for the NBA. His decision upset many MU hoops fans, who were looking forward to a strong year under his leadership. Blue went undrafted in the NBA Draft, and floated around various teams including a seven game stint in Israel.
Blue eventually found his game in the D-League, and was named to the 2014-15 season all star game. He received that honor in 2015-16 and again in 2016-17. This past season he was awarded the D-League MVP award, averaging nearly 25 points per game.
3. Is there a post season?
Certainly. Eight squads make the playoffs in a best of three format. Winners of each of the four divisions and four additional wild card teams each make the playoffs. Playoffs occur in April.
4. I’ve only heard the team name the Wisconsin Herd. What are some of the D-League team names?
Over half of the D-League team names take the same name as their parent team (Clippers, Nets, Spurs, etc). The Philly 76ers team in Delaware adopted the team name 87ers. And then you get a diversity of other more unique names, including the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Greensboro Swarm (which most resembles the Wisconsin Herd concept, as the Swarm is the D-League team for the Hornets), and the Texas Legends.
5. Where are the teams located?