The NBDL is the closest thing the NBA has to a minor league system. With first-round, second-round, and undrafted talent flourishing in the developmental league more teams are sending players down to refine their skills.
However, as the competition gets better, so does the talent, and nobody has shown more of that than Brady Heslip. Heslip, an undrafted guard out of Baylor University, joined the Minnesota Timberwolves summer league roster in 2014 and went 7-for-10 on three-point attempts in five games.
Despite his strong shooting ability, Heslip was waived by the Timberwolves on October 25th, one of the team’s final roster cuts. With his options limited, Heslip took part in the NBDL draft. He was selected by the Reno Bighorns with the 11th overall pick, and he has been nothing short of sensational since.
During his professional debut, Heslip shot an astounding 11-of-18 on three-point shots to set the D-League single game record. This season, Heslip has averaged a remarkable 33.3 points while shooting 54.7 percent from the three-point line.
With all the success in the D-League it’s almost a given some team will look to sign Heslip to at the very least a ten day contract. However, at least one Eastern Conference scout has his doubts on Heslip.
“I don’t think he is an NBA guy. He’s the best shooter in the D-League, by far. But he’s a product of Reno’s gimmicky, amateurish system. It’s run-and-gun and shoot the first open three. He has the leeway to take ridiculous shots that no NBA team would ever let him take. There is no defense being played.”
Whether or not Heslip gets his well deserved shot in the NBA remains to be seen. However, one thing is certain is that he can shoot.