Recapping every trade from the 2015-16 D-League season

Oct 24, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Ricky Ledo (1) against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Dallas Mavericks defeated the Orlando Magic 117-92. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 24, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Ricky Ledo (1) against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Dallas Mavericks defeated the Orlando Magic 117-92. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA D-League expansion draft is a mere nine days from now and with three new teams entering the fold, 30 players’ returning rights will be shuffled around.

The Windy City Bulls, Greensboro Swarm and Long Island Nets will start with the cupboards bare, but come August 24th they will acquire the returning rights to 10 players to start their season. Last season the Raptors 905 were the new kids on the block and were very busy using their expansion draftees to improve.

Returning rights (RR) are held in the D-League for two seasons after the last season a player appeared in a game for their team. So, players who played back in the 2013-14 season and have not played in the D-League since, no longer have their rights attached to a specific team — unless they were selected in an expansion draft. Rights start with a fresh clock for players taken in expansion drafts.

This is vital to future trades as you will see that when you scroll through the trades from last season. Teams will bank on a player returning at some point and use current assets to acquire RR and vice versa.

Last season there were 32 trades executed in the D-League. In 2015-16 that number exploded to 49! Not all trades have a clear cut winner and loser as they usually involve draft picks and/or returning rights. I aim to hash out the teams who now look very smart and the ones who look, err not too wise.

October 12, 2015

Erie BayHawks acquire: RR Derrick Caracter
Idaho Stampede acquire: 2015 3rd Rd Pick (Travis Releford)

Neither player lasted the full season. Caracter was waived in February while Releford only lasted in Idaho until January — do I have to pick a “winner”? NO.

October 30, 2015

Maine Red Claws acquire: RR Nolan Smith & 2015 1st Rd Pick (Askia Booker)
Raptors 905 acquire: 2015 1st Rd Pick (Mike Anderson) & 2015 2nd Rd Pick via WCK (Jay Harris)

When it happened I loved this trade for both teams. Smith wasn’t likely to come back (he didn’t) and the 905 obtained two picks to help build their expansion team’s depth. Askia Booker is far and away the best player involved in this trade, but Maine ruined that by trading him a day later. Anderson had a season-ending injury early for the 905 and Jay Harris was waived by February. WASH.

Santa Cruz Warriors acquire: RR Kevin Jones & 2015 2nd Rd Pick (Ronnie Brewer)
Raptors 905 acquire: RR Ronald Roberts Jr. & 2016 3rd Rd Pick

The Toronto Raptors would have signed Roberts if they hadn’t added former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett to their roster late in the offseason, so he’s clearly the prize here. SCW accommodated him by moving his D-League rights, but unfortunately didn’t get much in return. Jones stayed overseas and Brewer basically provided veteran leadership for Santa Cruz.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Texas Legends acquire: RR Jamil Wilson & 2015 5th Rd Pick (Jon Octeus)
Bakersfield Jam acquire: RR Jarrid Famous & 2015 3rd Rd Pick (John Dickson)

Octeus and Dickson were both waived after training camp. Jamil Wilson played 48 games for Texas averaging 15.2 points and 5.5 rebounds so pretty easy thrashing here for Texas considering Famous did not return. However, it’s important to note, the Jam (now NAZ Suns) still own his RR.

Fort Wayne Mad Ants acquire: RR Adrian Thomas
Bakersfield Jam acquire: RR Brian Butch

Neither played last season as Thomas was waived after camp in Fort Wayne. Butch’s rights are no longer owned by Bakersfield (NAZ Suns) as they expired following the 2015-16 season. WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS TRADE.

Reno Bighorns acquire: RR Jeremy Wise & 2015 5th Rd Pick (Jordan Richard)
Bakersfield Jam acquire: 2015 4th Rd Pick (Javier Carter)

Wise and Richard were both waived out of training camp and Carter played the full season in Bakersfield. This seems like a slam dunk, however Richard is from Rancho Cucamonga, home of the Cucamonga Cracka Killaz so Reno wins by default.

Raptors 905 acquire: 2015 3rd Rd Pick (Kourtney Roberson) via IWA
Los Angeles D-Fenders acquire: 2015 3rd Rd Pick (Jamal Branch)

Branch was born in Humble, TX and Roberson played his HS ball in Humble, TX and then they were traded for each other in a professional basketball league. Pretty sure Humble, TX won this trade, but they’ll never tell you that because it would be too braggadocios.

Rio Grande Valley Vipers acquire: RR Toure Murry & RR Kevin Parrom
Texas Legends acquire: 2015 1st Rd Pick (Amir Williams)

Toure Murry was traded later in the season to Sioux Falls and won the D-League title so he’s the real winner here, but Texas won this trade long-term. Williams is likely back next season while Murry is too good and will probably sign overseas somewhere.

Fort Wayne Mad Ants acquire: 2015 2nd Rd Pick (Walt Lemon Jr.) & 2015 3rd Rd Pick (Anthony Walker) via OKC
Maine Red Claws acquire: 2015 2nd Rd Pick (Ella Ellis)

The Mad Ants win this in a landslide victory. Lemon had a great season and one of the best dunks of the season and Walker lasted the entire season with the team. Ella Ellis attended West Point, only suited up for three games this season and was waived in February so he could continue to serve for our country — THANK YOU SIR.

Maine Red Claws acquire: 2015 2nd Rd Pick (Karrington Ward)
Westchester Knicks acquire: 2015 2nd Rd Pick (J’Mison Morgan) & 2015 3rd Rd Pick (Kevin Capers)

Capers played the full season in Westchester, while Morgan was waived out of camp, and Ward was waived in December and finished the year on Erie. WC, won, I guess?

October 31, 2015 — DRAFT DAY!

RGV Vipers acquire: RR Jordan Hamilton, 2015 6th Rd Pick (Michael Craig) and 2016 1st Rd Pick
Reno Bighorns acquire: 2015 1st Rd Pick (Cliff Hammonds) & 2016 8th Rd Pick

Wait, what?! The Vipers have some information they used to blackmail Reno right? I don’t see any other explanation for this trade. RGV got Jordan Hamilton AND a ’16 1st!? Hammonds was solid for Reno — 8.3 points, 5.2 assists — but this is a bad move by Peja. Yuck.

Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports /

Oklahoma City Blue acquire: RR Jeff Adrien, 2015 3rd Rd Pick (Jon Octeus) & 2016 2nd Rd Pick
Texas Legends acquire: 2015 2nd Rd Pick (Patrick Miller) & 2016 8th Rd Pick

Legends win, theeeeeeee Legends win. Miller was a stud all season long and even earned an NBA summer league invite to play with Chicago this summer. OKC can even this out a little bit if they nail the 2nd round pick they obtained, but it’s not lookin’ good right now.


Bakersfield Jam acquire: 2015 1st Rd Pick (Askia Booker) & 2016 8th Rd Pick via TEX
Maine Red Claws acquire: 2015 1st Rd Pick (Kevin Young) & 2015 2nd Rd Pick (Karrington Ward)
Texas Legends acquire: 2015 5th Rd Pick (Quardell Young)

The Jam cleaned house. Young and Ward were both eventually waived and Quardell was waived following Texas’ training camp. Booker is a legit talent and may even return for a second season with the now NAZ Suns.

OKC Blue acquire: 2015 3rd Rd Pick (Ian Chiles)
LA D-Fenders acquire: 2016 3rd Rd Pick

Well, let me tell you abo…oh just forget it.


OKC Blue acquire: J.P. Tokoto, 2015 3rd Rd Pick (James Carlton) & 2016 2nd Rd Pick via FWN
FW Mad Ants acquire: RR Gideon Gamble, 2015 2nd Rd Pick (Stephan Hicks) & 2016 2nd Rd Pick via DEL
Delaware acquire: Gary Talton, 2015 1st Rd Pick (Rodney Carney) & 2016 2nd Rd Pick via OKC

The Blue win this trade because of Tokoto. He provided some amazing highlights this season, but if Stephan Hicks returns to FWN and improves on his solid play they could make a case as well.

Grand Rapids Drive acquire: 2015 2nd Rd Pick (Adrian Forbes) & 2016 2nd Rd Pick
Canton Charge acquire: 2015 2nd Rd Pick (Michael Stockton)

Charge fleeced GR on this. Stockton was stellar as a backup for ROY Quinn Cook this season and had he been the starter likely would challenge for the league lead in APG.

SC Warriors acquire: RR Daniel Orton
Idaho Stampede acquire: 2015 2nd Rd Pick (Justin Manns)

Manns was traded later in the season and Orton only lasted 20 games with SCW. Idaho wins by the mere fact that there’s no way a winning organization should trade any asset for Daniel freaking Orton. He’s played 5 seasons in the D-League and has more technicals (29) than double doubles (15). Jesus.

November 2, 2015

Bakersfield Jam acquire: RR Earl Clark
Raptors 905 acquire: 2016 3rd Rd Pick

Clark was a monster for BAK averaging 20.2 points and 8.1 rebounds but the team only managed an 8-14 record with him and his cancerous nature got him traded yet again. Raptors 905 win this because at least their pick this season carries hope with it; albeit a smidge of hope.

Delaware 87ers acquire: RR Peyton Siva & RR John Bohannon
Erie BayHawks acquire: RR D.J. Seeley & Myck Kabongo

The fans are the winners after Siva gave us this amazing reaction to hearing the news he’d been traded. Even the players can’t follow the quirky rules in our league!

November 3, 2015

Raptors 905 acquire: RR Sim Bhullar
Reno Bighorns acquire: RR Ricky Ledo

Anybody who trades for Ricky Ledo will have good luck forevermore so clearly Reno’s GM should take advantage of this and play the slots every night, until he hits the jackpot.

November 25, 2015

Delaware 87ers acquire: Rick Jackson
Iowa Energy acquire: RR Khalif Wyatt

Khalif Wyatt is one of the best guards in Europe so there’s less than zero chance he will ever return to the NBA D-League. Rick Jackson was waived in March, but played solid ball for the 87ers before that point. I mean, who cares now?

December 2, 2015

GR Drive acquire: RR Dahntay Jones
Raptors 905 acquire: 2016 2nd Rd Pick

To further solidify how much of a problem Earl Clark was for the Jam locker room, the 905 got a 3rd Rd pick for him and a 2nd Rd pick for 35-year-old Jones. WOW. Jones got a call up from the Cavaliers and made some big plays in their NBA Title run.

Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

December 13, 2015

Texas Legends acquire: Manny Harris
LA D-Fenders acquire: RR Damion James

One of the strangest things from 2015-16 was seeing the Michigan Mamba in a Legends jersey and I didn’t like it one bit. Having said that, Texas clearly wins this trade as he provided an offensive boost before doing his normal thing and signing overseas midseason.

December 29, 2015

Delaware 87ers acquire: 2016 2nd Rd Pick
Westchester Knicks acquire: Gani Lawal

The Knicks gave up a second round pick for Lawal, proceeded to only play him 18 minutes a game, and then less than two months later, traded him to Reno. Knicks gonna Knicks.

December 31, 2015

SC Warriors acquire: 2016 5th Rd Pick
Delaware 87ers acquire: Juwan Staten

Staten didn’t play that great in his rookie campaign last year, but Delaware gave up a 5th round pick to get him, so they basically got him for nothing in D-League terms.

Idaho Stampede acquire: Corey Hawkins
Sioux Falls Skyforce acquire: RR Shane Gibson

There just weren’t minutes on a stacked Skyforce roster for Hawkins so they moved him to Idaho, where he played 30 minutes a night and earned himself a pro deal in Italy for next season. If Gibson returns SXF has another sniper on deck as he can shoot the lights out.

January 5, 2016

Reno Bighorns acquire: Kadeem Jack
FW Mad Ants: RR Christian Watford

Kadeem Jack has all the tools to put up huge numbers in the D-League but the guy just cannot stay out of foul trouble, so he did alright instead. Now he’s off to Japan for the 16-17 season. Watford is still hanging out in a basement somewhere watching this on repeat. (Assist went to another D-Leaguer from 15-16; Verdell Jones)

January 12, 2016

SC Warriors acquire: Mac Koshwal
Bakersfield Jam acquire: RR Dominique Sutton

The Warriors had a rough season and at this point they needed some size, so they went out and nabbed Koshwal. He was average the rest of the way, but it was really a moot move. Sutton is one of my favorite players since covering the D-League, but it’s not likely he will come back. Still give the nod to NAZ Suns since they hold his RR. Kudos.

January 13, 2016

Delaware 87ers acquire: Sam Thompson
GR Drive acquire: Gary Talton Jr.

Thompson is head and shoulders above Talton as a prospect, however in D-League terms the latter is just what teams need — a heady point guard who gets others looks. The issue was Talton didn’t get much run for Grand Rapids. Both are off to greener pastures across the pond, but if they both returned I definitely give the Sevens the win.

January 15, 2016

Delaware 87ers acquire: Earl Clark
Bakersfield Jam acquire: 2016 2nd Rd Pick via OKC

For those keeping track, this is the second time that arguably the most talented player in the league was traded last year. Umm, that screams player-problem and it ended up biting Delaware as Clark went AWOL one day and didn’t return, yikes. The Jam gave up a 3rd to get him and got a 2nd to dump him?! That’s a swappers paradise, patent pending.

Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

Delaware 87ers acquire: RR Ike Diogu
Bakersfield Jam acquire: Tristan Spurlock

The Jam GM figured he was on a roll, so he called the Sevens again and got Spurlock for basically nothing. Now, I would never disrespect big Ike, but he ain’t comin’ back to this league, so it’s a no brainer for the Jam and maybe the Sevens GM had a bad day?

Iowa Energy acquire: Michael Frazier
LA D-Fenders acquire: RR Kendrick Perry & 2016 2nd Rd Pick

D-Fenders ran away with this one. Frazier has talent but never realized that in LA or Iowa. He ended up being waived by Iowa, but FWN gave him a shot and he played so well, that he earned a deal in Italy this offseason. LA still earned a 2nd round pick in this year’s draft so they take it.

January 20, 2016

SC Warriors acquire: Daniel Coursey
Erie BayHawks acquire: 2016 2nd Rd Pick

Coursey played spot minutes for Casey Hill in Santa Cruz and although he’s a solid NBADL player, he doesn’t bring much more than that. Giving up a 2nd round pick for him seems like a steep fee. Draft picks aren’t as valuable in the D-League as teams aren’t traditionally built via the draft, but still — Erie wins this one.

January 27, 2016

FW Mad Ants acquire: RR Larry Owens
Iowa Energy acquire: Ramon Harris

Before being traded this was Harris’ fourth season with the Mad Ants so this move was a bit of a surprise. My theory is that GM Brian Levy found out Harris was fraternizing with fellow Alaskan Seth Partnow and had to make a move. Win some, lose some.

January 29, 2016

LA D-Fenders acquire: RR Lazar Hayward & 2016 5th Rd Pick
Erie BayHawks acquire: Two-2016 2nd Rd Picks (Original and via Iowa)

Hayward was a pivotal role player for the D-Fenders as they made their postseason run, however after fouling out of a playoff game, Hayward punched something and broke his hand. I need the hidden footage to provide to NBA on TNT.

January 30, 2016

LA D-Fenders acquire: Michael Holyfield & 2016 4th Rd Pick
Iowa Energy acquire: Zach Andrews & Two-2016 5th Rd Picks (Original & via Erie)

Big man for big man here, so likely about fit for both teams. We all lose this one. LA had Michael Frazier but traded him before we could get a, “Frazier connects with Holyfield for the hammer!!” call. Life is cruel.

February 2, 2016

Erie BayHawks acquire: John Bohannon
Delaware 87ers acquire: RR Lenzelle Smith Jr.

What the…wait a second here. Erie traded Bohannon earlier in this damn post and now they wanted him so badly they made another trade?! He must have been really good for Erie after this (looks up stats) — DAMMIT.

February 3, 2016

Erie BayHawks acquire: RR Luke Harangody
Raptors 905 acquire: John Jordan

Harangody is entrenched in Europe as a solid pro. John Jordan won the D-League slam dunk contest by beating D.J. Stephens and J.P. Tokoto. Hmmmm, let me ponder this a bit.

Erie BayHawks acquire: Justin Manns
Idaho Stampede acquire: 2016 4th Rd Pick

This was the first of a plethora of firesale trades Idaho would make. I don’t have much else to say here except every time I see Justin Manns’ name I think, “That’s my mans…” (DMX voice). Eh.

February 19, 2016

Iowa Energy acquire: RR Ty Walker
Bakersfield Jam acquire: Joel Wright
Raptors 905 acquire: 2016 4th Rd Pick via BAK

Bakersfield/NAZ clearly won this trade. Walker isn’t likely to come back and even if he does, Wright is the better player. Wright has since signed in the Philippines but NAZ have his rights for two more seasons and that holds value. The 905 have now acquired 600 draft picks for an 8-round draft if you’re keeping score at home.

February 24, 2016

Westchester Knicks acquire: RR Ra’Shad James & 2016 6th Rd Pick
Reno Bighorns acquire: Gani Lawal & 2016 4th Rd Pick

The Bighorns had no room for James; a high-scoring wing. They had David Stockton, Erick Green and Ricky Ledo and there is only one basketball. Their star PF, Vince Hunter was gone however and they needed size so this move made sense from a logic standpoint, but Lawal played 11 minutes a night for Reno and James was a bench scoring machine posting 16.4 points on just over 50 percent shooting. Allan Houston making moves!

WC Knicks acquire: Keith Wright
Austin Spurs acquire: Wesley Saunders

Both of these guys went to Harvard and even played together when Wright was a senior and Saunders was a freshman. Saunders won Ivy League POY in 2014 and is four years younger. Neither did much in 2015-16, but Saunders looks to be the better prospect. That’s all I got.

March 3, 2016

Austin Spurs acquire: Brandon Fields
Idaho Stampede acquire: 2016 3rd Rd Pick

This is one of the more lopsided trades from last season. Idaho/SLC was having a firesale and Austin was smart to pick up the phone and get Fields. He’s a great scoring point guard and for the last two seasons was pushing for an NBA gig; he didn’t get it and now he’s signed in Italy for next season. If he comes back though, those all-important RR belong to Austin. Muhahahahahaha.

March 4, 2016 — TRADE DEADLINE

Raptors 905 acquire: E.J. Singler
Idaho Stampede acquire: 2016 2nd Rd Pick

A 2nd seems high for Singler but he posted career highs of 14.7 points and 7.5 rebounds in his 10 games with the 905, so maybe they found something Idaho couldn’t. Plus, the 905 have PLENTY of picks to spare. The Idaho firesale continues!

LA D-Fenders acquire: Jeff Ayres
Idaho Stampede acquire: 2016 1st Rd Pick

The D-Fenders went for broke with this move and it might have paid off, if Ayres hadn’t been called up almost right after. They needed a big and Ayres put up 16.5 points and 13.0 boards in his two games with LA. Oh what could have been. The 1st rounder will be late, so it was a healthy gamble; they just happened to bust.

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports /

Maine Red Claws acquire: RR Abdul Gaddy & 2016 3rd Rd Pick via SCW
Raptors 905 acquire: Davion Berry

Berry finally got his shot to play big minutes in Mississauga of all places and averaged 17.9 points and 3.7 assists over the final 10 games of the season. He played so well that he earned himself a deal overseas in Greece. He’s from Oakland, went to Weber State and maybe one day he will give us a taste of his rap skills like his brother from another mother, Damian Lillard. 905 win!

Idaho Stampede acquire: RR Eric Griffin
Texas Legends acquire: Pierre Jackson

Jackson had only been playing 20 minutes a night for Idaho and then was suddenly suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team”, so this move wasn’t a surprise. Jackson didn’t play a single minute for Texas and who knows if he ever will. Griffin is one of the best two-way players this league has to offer, but has been reluctant to return due to greater aspirations. I still think SLC wins this trade because of the massive upside of a Griffin return.

Canton Charge acquire: 2016 5th Rd Pick via LA D-Fenders
Iowa  Energy acquire: D.J. Stephens

D.J. Stephens is the winner here. He was only getting 20 minutes a night for Canton (why!?) but this move gave him a starting role and 34 minutes a night to shine in Iowa. His all-around improvement was on full display for the Memphis Grizzlies, who recently signed him to a partially guaranteed deal! The high-flying, freakishly athletic, Stephens will be coming to an NBA arena near you.

Texas Legends acquire: Melvin Johnson III
Raptors 905 acquire: 2016 4th Rd Pick

Johnson has been in the D-League two full seasons and by season’s end had played for SIX teams. Unfortunately, he just hasn’t gotten a chance to really play much. Bright side? The 905 got another draft pick! (They acquired four 2016 draft picks over the course of the season: a 2nd Rd, a 3rd Rd and two 4th Rd picks!)

Sioux Falls Skyforce acquire: Toure Murry
Texas Legends acquire: RR Andre Dawkins

The Skyforce eventually won the D-League championship after setting a record with 40 wins (40-10). They didn’t need the extra depth, but wow what a move. Murry has NBA experience so adding a guy like that at the deadline is a coup for the Skyforce.

Next: D-League call ups have earned $430M since 2011