Point guards who have gone through the D-League fire

Point guards who have gone through the D-League fire
December 26, 2013, 9:45 pm
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Mark Strotman

The Bulls announced earlier today that Marquis Teague had been sent to the D-League. While it's a demotion for the 20-year-old second-year point guard, he'll join a list of current NBA players who once played in the Association's "minor league." Here's a look at some of those point guards, what their situations entailed and what they have done since finding some extra time and confidence in the D-League.

CJ Watson, Indiana Pacers: Watson went undrafted in 2006 and spent one season overseas in Italy and Greece. He then was selected No. 5 overall in the 2007 NBA D-League draft, where he averaged 26.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Months later the Warriors called him up, and he averaged 3.7 points and 1.1 assists in 32 games for Golden State. His career as an above-average reserve have taken off since; in seven seasons Watson has averaged 7.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 412 career games.

Jeremy Lin, Houston Rockets: Lin exploded onto the scene in 2012 when he took over New York City for a few months. But there were signs he had some potential, which he flashed with the Reno Bighorns in 2010-11. In 20 games over three different stints, the rookie averaged 18.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 32 minutes per game. The next season the Knicks claimed him off waivers, and the rest is history. Lin is the starting point guard in Houston and, while he hasn't repeated his remarkable 35-game stretch in New York, he's still an above-average player starting for a playoff contender.

JJ Barea, Minnesota Timberwolves: As a rookie, Barea went undrafted but made the Dallas Mavericks' final roster. He was sent directly to the D-League, the Fort Worth Flyers, and dominated, averaging 27.3 points, 5.0 assists and 7.8 assists in seven games, including back-to-back 40-point performances before heading back to Dallas. That rookie season he appeared in 33 games (one start), averaging 2.4 points and 0.7 assists. Now in his eighth season, Barea has established himself as a streaky shooter off the bench, with career averages of 1.6 3-pointers per game and 6.4 assists.

Jordan Farmar, Los Angeles Lakers: Farmar played sparingly his rookie season after going No. 26 overall, and was sent to the D-League on the last day of March. He played in three games, averaging 7.8 points and 2.8 assists. He holds the odd distinction of being the only player to compete in a D-League game and NBA game in the same day. Farmar is in his seventh NBA season, this season with the Lakers after playing overseas last year.

Ramon Sessions, Charlotte Bobcats: The Bucks took Sessions No. 56 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft, and sent him to the D-League for the majority of the season. Sessions was stellar, averaging 20.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 24 games. Milwaukee called him up toward the end of the year, and he averaged 8.1 points and 7.5 assists in just 26.5 minutes per game. He's now in Charlotte, backing up Kemba Walker as one of the first Bobcats off the bench.