NBA Scouts, Experts: D-League Might Be Best Route for Rasheed Sulaimon | Zagsblog
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Thursday / May 30.
  • NBA Scouts, Experts: D-League Might Be Best Route for Rasheed Sulaimon

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    Duke v LouisvilleJust as the NBA D-League served as the best route for P.J. Hairston to the NBA, it might serve the same function for Rasheed Sulaimon, the junior guard who was dismissed Thursday by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

    “Absolutely,” one NBA scout told “[That’s his] best chance of possibly being drafted.”

    Jonathan Givony of agrees. He Tweeted: “Gotta think D-League is the best option. I doubt there’s a big market in Europe right now.”

    Although no sources were cited, Mike Ortiz Jr. of reported that Sulaimon plans to graduate from Duke and “pursue” the D-League next year. Duke says Sulaimon remains in good academic standing and is expected to finish the spring semester.

    The D-League path worked out for both Hairston and, to a lesser degree, Glen Rice Jr.

    Hairston joined the D-League after getting suspended from North Carolina in July 2013 and coming under investigation for potential rules violations.

    He was then chosen No. 26 in the 2014 NBA draft by the Miami Heat on behalf of the Charlotte Hornets. Hairston became the first NBA D-League player to be drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft.

    Rice Jr. was dismissed from Georgia Tech during his junior season in 2011–12 and later joined the D-League. He’s now averaging 14.5 points and 4.1 rebounds for Rio Grande Valley, the Houston Rockets’ D-League affiliate.

    Robert Upshaw, a 7-footer who was recently dismissed from Washington reportedly for failed drug tests, could also enter the D-League, Yahoo! Sports reported.

    Sulaimon is not projected to be drafted and two NBA scouts told he wouldn’t be if he entered the 2015 NBA Draft.

    Transferring is an option, but Sulaimon would have to sit out a year just to play one more year of college basketball.

    Houston and Texas are both potential landing spots, sources told

    One NBA scout thinks transferring is also a good idea.

    “He should go to a school where he will get 35 minutes and 15-18 field goal attempts per night,” one scout said. “He needs to continue to improve his game. There’s a reason he got beat out by the young guys at Duke.”

    Still, one other D-League source wondered if Sulaimon was physically ready to play in the league.

    “The D-League has some guys with experience that he may not be ready for,” the source said. “He’s probably better off trying to find the right fit to transfer to a school where he could star.”

    Photo: Duke Athletics

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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