Should The D-League Make Specific Rewards For Consistency?

After showing much of those same issues in his first game of the Showcase on Monday, finishing with just eight points and eleven boards on 2-of-8 shooting, one scout professed to Draft Express that “he’s out to lunch. The worst body language of any player I’ve seen at this event.”

It’s unclear if the word got back to Dorsey, but he clearly looked like a man possessed in his Vipers 115-107 win over the Bakersfield Jam.

Dorsey was bigger, faster and most definitely stronger than any other player out on the court leading Rockets GM Daryl Morey to proclaim that “he’s the Dwight Howard of the D-League.”

“I really think if he was given starting minutes in the NBA, he’d be in the top 15 in rebounding,” Morey said. “He’s here in the D-League to work on getting the other things up to that level. He’s making strides.”

via Joey Dorsey, ‘Dwight Howard of the D-League,’ Shines at Showcase — NBA FanHouse.

First off, make sure you’re checking out Scott’s work over at FH covering the Showcase.Never before has one man gotten so much out of a trip to Boise before.

Dorsey’s a prime example of why the D-League exists. The objective is to develop physically and to learn the pro-parts, which Dorsey is. It’s a tremendous tool to use for players like Dorsey, who otherwise would have just been released and wandered into Europe never to be heard from again.

What’s the biggest thing coaches preach on? Consistency.  They want consistent effort and focus day in and day out. So why not reward them for that in the D-League?

The CBA is being restructured in 2011 and the things I’m most concerned about outside of revenue sharing are all D-League efforts. Currently the D-League itself signs and manages all of its contracts, meaning that the teams couldn’t provide any bonuses for players. But with a little restructuring, wouldn’t it be possible?

For example, on assignment, the Rockets could provide non-cap relevant bonuses to Dorsey for consistency measures. Either being graded by a Rockets rep in the organization or on some statistical measure. Wouldn’t be for reaching a certain number or count, but say, his total rebounding rate staying above a certain level. Providing measures for guys to work for will mean that they feel like they’re working for something. It’s an incentive process. And while Dorsey is already paid to be on roster, putting those in might get a bigger result.

It’s providing a clear back to the L, which is what guys want.

The option is even better for D-League non-assignment players.You realize it costs a fraction of NBA player contracts and expenses to do anything in the D-League. Being able to provide players who you have assigned to your affiliate rewards for their performances not only will keep them from bolting overseas, but will steer them in the direction they need to go. Key point, you know of a great athletic rebounder and transition scorer who has a penchant for launching 30 foot threes with no conscience. Building in a bonus for a certain FG% with a minimum of attempts would steer the player in the direction you want him to go.

There’s so much potential for avoiding busts, for building up players, for having a true development league, but we have to build it so it can succeed.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.