Archie Goodwin was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam today, his second assignment of the year by the Phoenix Suns. Goodwin has played 5 career games for the Jam. Over those game, 3 last year and 2 so far this year, Goodwin has averaged 22 points and almost 5 rebounds per game.
For this assignment, however, Archie won't be competing in regular season D-League action. Instead, he will be featured in the D-League Showcase, a mid-season tournament for the D-League's best teams that runs from January 15th through the 19th. This season, the tournament is being hosted in Santa Cruz, home of the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Archie's opportunity comes as a result of the strong play of the Jam who, as one of the top 8 teams in the league qualified for a featured spot in the tournament. They start the tournament off today at 10 am against the Texas Legends.
The Jam have to be hoping that Archie will provide a spark to the team after the recent departure of Elijah Millap, the team's leading scorer who was signed to a 10 day contract by the Utah Jazz earlier this month. This, combined with the departure of mid-season addition Chris Wright, who had played phenomenally for the team but left to pursue a contract overseas, has left the team struggling a bit on offense. The record doesn't reflect the struggles, as the team is 3-1 since then, but the struggles have nonetheless been present.
Archie joins a growing list of NBA players and former NBA players who have been assigned to or picked up by D-League teams in preparation for the showcase. For instance, former NBA player Tyrus Thomas was picked up by the Iowa Energy prior to the showcase. He is reportedly trying to play his way back in to the league.
Players in situations more similar to Archie are Isaiah Canaan, Nick Johnson, Ognjen Kuzmic and Ricky Ledo, all of whom have been assigned to teams that will be competing in the showcase. In fact, Archie will be squaring off directly with Ledo, who will likely start at SG for the Texas Legends.
The D-League Showcase promises to be a strong opportunity for the Jam to prove that they are a legitimate contender in the D-League, and for Archie to show that he is a dominant force among D-League level talent, which may lead to his value as an NBA player increasing in the eyes of the rest of the League.