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Grand Rapids Drive roster takes shape after NBA D-League Draft

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The new D-League team added 10 draft picks, traded for one, and signed six additional players to compete for the roster at training camp this week.

Robert Covington
Robert Covington
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Some of the names may ring a bell, but with the flurry of activity let's take a minute to get to know the players battling for a spot on the Drive's roster.

Signings

Hasheem Thabeet, C, 7-3, 263 pounds, 27 years old
Sean covered the main points of Thabeet in announcing his signing last week. Thabeet has been a spectacular bust of a second pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, but he could prove an excellent cornerstone for the Drive this season. He can still rebound, block shots, and provide an intimidating presence in the paint to ground the Drive defense. He's found his way onto NBA rosters for each of the past five seasons with teams looking for any remainders of potential left in him. It's possible that putting up regular double-doubles along with solid shot blocking could inspire a NBA team in need of depth at center to eventually come calling, which is Thabeet's goal for signing in the D-League rather than a more lucrative contract overseas where he would likely be forgotten about.

Lorenzo Brown, PG, 6-5, 189 pounds, 24 years old
Brown was drafted by the Timberwolves last season with the 52nd pick, but waived before the season. He eventually signed on with the 76ers and saw action in 26 games, but it was in the D-League where he shined. Between two teams, he averaged 17 points per game on 46 percent shooting, including 36 percent from three, along with 6 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game. Coming out of college at North Carolina State he was very much a pass-first point guard, averaging 12 points and 7 assists per game.

Adonis Thomas, SF, 6-6, 232 pounds, 21 years old
After going undrafted thanks to the probably-unwise decision to enter the draft after a lousy sophomore year at Memphis, Thomas spent some time with the Magic, 76ers, and D-League last season. It was the D-League where he spent the most time and made nice progress toward rebuilding his credibility as a prospect. Thomas averaged 16 points per game on 54 percent true shooting including 46 percent from three in 34 games with Springfield Armor. The talent is certainly there for Thomas, as he was a former McDonald's All-American and top 10 recruit coming out of high school.

Josh Bostic, SG, 6-5, 227 pounds, 27 years old
Bostic was the NCAA Division II Player of the Year at Findlay, where he averaged 19 points per game. Since then he's bounced around between D-League and international leagues. He played for Elan Chalon of the French League last season.

Bruce Massey, G, 6-3, 195 pounds, 24 years old
Massey was teammates with Thomas in Springfield last season, where he played 18 minutes per game in 36 games but only averaged 5 points on 47 percent true shooting. It's apparently on the defensive end that Massey earns his minutes.

L.D. Williams, SG, 6-4, 210 pounds, 26 years old
Another returning player from Springfield, Williams played in 30 games last season at 21 minutes per game. He averaged 6 points while shooting only 31 percent from the field.

Trade

Daniel Orton, C, 6-10, 270, 24 years old
The Drive traded a third round pick in the D-League draft for Orton's rights and a sixth round pick. Orton is another player working his way into the league after leaving school prematurely. A former five star recruit at Kentucky, Orton left after a freshman year where he averaged 3 points and 3 rebounds a game as DeMarcus Cousins' backup. He picked up some hype leading up to the draft thanks to his size and potential, but a knee injury wiped out his rookie season and he's since bounced around with four NBA teams and the D-League. He has reportedly signed with a Chinese team for the coming season after failing to make the Wizards roster out of training camp.

Draft

Robert Covington, PF, 6-7, 210 pounds, 23 years old, first round pick 1
Meet the Grand Rapids Drive new franchise player. Covington was the D-League Rookie of the Year last season and the Drive's first pick in the draft. The only red flag here is that he might be too good for the D-League and might wind up getting an early call from a NBA team. He nearly signed with the 76ers, but the two couldn't come to terms over contract length - which isn't the first time that's been the case for the 76ers this offseason, as they look to sign as much talent as possible on the cheap. Covington averaged 22 points with 3 three-pointers per game, 9 rebounds, 2.4 steals, and 1.4 blocks for the Rio Grand Valley last season. His offensive ability, particularly being able to shoot from deep, should partner nicely with Thabeet to form a potentially frontcourt.

Ben Hansbrough, G, 6-3, 203 pounds, 26 years old, first round pick 5
Hasnbrough was a surprise choice at the fifth pick, especially with the 21 year old former NBA first round pick Marquis Teague still on the board. But the Drive reached for his tremendous three point shooting. As a senior at Notre Dame, Hansbrough averaged 18 points per game and shot 43 percent from behind the arc. He has spent much of his time since then in Europe, most recently in the ACB where he averaged 11 points and 2.4 assists per game in 23 minutes. Though he lacks size and athletic ability, tall point guards in Lorenzo Brown and Spencer Dinwiddie at times should help mitigate those challenges.

Omondi Amoke, F, 6-7, 225 pounds, 25 years old, second round pick 5
The biggest highlight of Amoke's basketball career was getting kicked off the team at Cal for violating team rules, supposedly for stealing laptops and cell phones. But he was an energetic player and stout rebounder, eventually finishing up his college career with Cal State-Fullerton where he averaged 11 points and 9 rebounds per game.

Shaun Pruitt, F, 6-9, 250 pounds, 28 years old, third round pick 1
Presumably a pick to add frontcourt depth behind a pair that could potentially receive NBA call-ups. Pruitt had a solid four-year career with Illinois and has since bounced around with international teams.

Kammeon Holsey, F, 6-8, 226 pounds, 24 years old, third round pick 11
Holsey didn't really register on the draft radar this summer after finishing a four year career with Georgia Tech. He averaged 20 minutes per game over his career and showed a decent scoring punch for a big man with 7 points per game on 56 percent true shooting.

Dominic Waters, G, 6-1, 176 pounds, 28 years old, third round pick 13
Waters could wind up being an interesting player. He averaged 19 points on a nifty 48/42/90 line along with 5 assists his final collegiate year with Portland State in 2009-10. He spent last year in the ACB where he averaged 11 points and 4 assists in 23 minutes. Pistons assistant general manager Jeff Nix pointed Waters out as a player who could surprise.

Renaldo Woolridge, F, 6-8, 208 pounds, 24 years old, fourth round pick 5
Son of Orlando Woolridge. Spent four years at Tennessee before using a redshirt senior year to play at USC in 2012-13, but never earned significant minutes at either. He was relatively touted out of high school, but never produced. A hefty chunk of his shots came from the outside, but he finished his career making only 29 percent from three. He spent last season playing overseas.

Kelsey Barlow, G, 6-5, 199 pounds, 23 years old, fifth round pick 5
Played three years at Purdue before spending his final collegiate season at Illinois-Chicago last season. He led his team in points, assists, and steals, but, well, it was a 6-25 team.

Moses Sundufu, G, 6-1, 205 pounds, sixth round pick 4
Spent his final two collegiate seasons at St. Mary's (Texas) where he averaged 11 points and 5 rebounds. He averaged 39.5 percent from behind the arc at St. Mary's and was known as a tough defender. He was born in Sierra Leone before fleeing the wars at 6 years old, finally making it to the United States three years later. His life story is definitely some recommended reading.

Jerrell Sanders, G, 6-6, 210 pounds, 25 years old, sixth round pick 5
Sanders is a former local star at Cresten High School in Grand Rapids and Ferris State University. He played last year in Germany.