I never got around to this earlier this season but, in case you missed it, former Pitt standout DeJuan Blair is trying to make an NBA comeback working his way through the NBA's D-League.
Blair was last seen in the NBA struggling with the Washington Wizards back in the 2015-16 season. He was subsequently traded to the Phoenix Suns then waived without ever playing a game for them. His parts of two seasons with the Wizards weren't good ones. Shooting below 45% from the field, he also managed only to score about two points and grab two rebounds per game during that time.
Blair was signed by the Texas Legends in January and then was traded to the Los Angeles D-Fenders last month. So far, he's not exactly starring in the league but is contributing.
Through 19 games, he's gotten three starts and in only about 20 minutes of action per game, is scoring 11.1 points per contest while pulling in 5.9 rebounds.
It's hard to believe that Blair is actually only one year removed from playing in the NBA. He's really been struggling since 2014 and his NBA career was mostly on life support after he joined the Wizards. As I wrote at the time, Washington wasn't a great fit for him because they had such a loaded frontcourt. Playing time seemed like it would be scarce and, well, it was.
I'm hoping he's able to contribute even more and, if nothing else, get some nice earnings from playing pro ball somewhere. I'm not sure about his future NBA prospects, though. He's only 27 but there are younger guys in the D-League that are more capable. And what he did with Washington over his final two seasons isn't going to make believers out of any GMs anytime soon. His per-minute totals in the D-League are solid, but he'd really have to get into an ideal situation to get back into the league again.