What’s the difference between the ultimate Lakers fans and everybody else? They get excited about the prospect of an NBA Development League expansion draft in the coming month for the D-Fenders.
That will be the first step for the Lakers’ new minor-league affiliate in building a roster. No date has been set for the draft, but the D-Fenders can select players from the D-League teams that have folded (Fayetteville, Florida and Roanoke) as well as players left unprotected by current teams.
They probably will sign four of those players and bring them to D-League training camp in November. They also will be able to sign two players of regional significance and one player from a local tryout camp. And there will be a 10-round draft in late October or early November after NBA training camps end.
That should leave the D-Fenders with a roster of 16 or 17 players for their training camp.
The Lakers also will be able to assign the rookies and second-year players from their roster to the D-Fenders, up to two at a time. They used the minor-league system twice last season, sending rookie guard Von Wafer to their affiliate in Fort Worth, Texas.
One sidenote: Even though the Lakers will own and operate the team, the D-Fenders players will be treated no differently than their counterparts around the league. That means any other NBA team could sign a D-Fenders player to a 10-day contract beginning in January.
So don’t get too attached to your D-Fenders’ star next season. He could be a Clipper before you know it.