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Sons of Liberty: 87ers Close Out Sophomore Season With Loss

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While they failed to make the playoffs for the second consecutive year, the Delaware 87ers' 2014-15 season was far from a disappointment.

Sean Kilpatrick was one of four Sevens to earn a call-up to the NBA this season.
Sean Kilpatrick was one of four Sevens to earn a call-up to the NBA this season.
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Delaware 87ers 2014-15 season ended last night with a 124-117 loss to the Grand Rapids Drive. Philadelphia 76ers second-round draft pick Jordan McRae led the Sevens with 29 points and six assists, while Drew Gordon chipped in 14 points and 21 rebounds.

The defeat was the final blemish on an up-and-down year for the Sevens. Delaware closed out the season with losses in eight of their last nine contests, but the lone win was an impressive 156-143 victory over the Westchester Knicks on Friday night.

On several levels, Delaware's season could be considered something of a success. Their 20-30 record was an eight-game improvement on last year's 12-38 mark, the team finished seventh in the league in scoring (110.1 PPG), and four players - Drew Gordon, Malcolm Lee, Ronald Roberts, Jr., Sean Kilpatrick - were signed by NBA clubs this season.

Since D-League teams completely overhaul their rosters each year, most of the players who suited up for the 87ers won't be back in November. Tiny Gallon was the only holdover from last season's team, but injuries limited the 6'9" forward to just 10 games during the 2014-15 campaign.

Over the coming weeks, the current members of the Sevens will each go their separate ways as they continue to chase their dream of playing in the NBA. The Sixers are now armed with plenty of data on how the players could potentially fit into Brett Brown's system, and some of the 87ers may even earn a spot on the 76ers' Vegas Summer League entry.

So, as the Sixers' D-League affiliate wraps up their second season in Delaware, let's take a look at some of the more notable players on the Sevens' roster:

Jordan McRae: You could hand Jordan McRae a Sixers' jersey today and pencil him in as the starting shooting guard, and he'd acquit himself rather well.

McRae (18.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.8 APG in 13 games) is a dynamic scorer who is far more skilled at attacking the rim than most wing players in the D-League. His shot selection is more of an issue than his actual shooting form, but his brief stint with the 87ers should help him hit the ground running by the time summer league comes around. If nothing else, his length and athleticism will make it difficult for the Sixers to deny him a spot on the team next season.

D.J. Seeley: Seeley is arguably the second-best player on the 87ers' roster, and it would be a crime if he isn't making a living playing basketball either overseas or in the NBA next season. While he doesn't have ideal size for a shooting guard (6'4", 195), Seeley showed promise as a playmaker after moving to the point midway through the season. On the year, Seeley averaged 19.4 points, 5.1 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game, but his greatest asset is his dead-eye marksmanship from beyond the arc (43.8 percent - 10th in the D-League).

Sean Kilpatrick: Kilpatrick was acquired by Delaware in late January, and his first stint with the Sevens was good enough to earn the 6'4" guard a 10-day contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The details behind his call-up made national headlines, but Kilpatrick - who shot 47.5 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from deep this season - is more than just a footnote in an NBA news-and-notes roundup. The former Cincinnati guard scored 20 points or more in three of the Sevens' final five games of the season, and will likely wind up on some team's summer league roster in July.

Jamal Jones: Of the two draft-eligible players on the 87ers' roster (Finnish forward Joonas Caven is the other), Jamal Jones has the best chance of playing at the next level. He's got his work cut out for him, however: Jones was Delaware's second pick in the 2014 NBA Development League draft, but the 6'8" shooting guard was somewhat erratic during his first season of professional ball (41.9 percent FG%, 33.6 percent 3PT%).

He won't be drafted in June, but considering the fact that he's only 22, Jones still has plenty of time to work on his game. And for what it's worth, the Sevens may have been intrigued enough by his potential to retain his returning player rights for next season.

Maalik Wayns: It's hard to see a scenario where Maalik Wayns is back in the NBA next season. He did a tremendous job of taking care of the ball once he joined the Sevens in early February (5.2 APG vs. 1.5 TPG), but Wayns' perimeter game still needs a fair amount of work.

Last summer, Wayns signed a deal to play in Lithuania, but was forced to part ways with the team in October due to an injury. It's probably in Wayns' best interests - both financially as well as developmentally - to explore the overseas route once again this offseason.

Drew Gordon: For what it's worth, Drew Gordon checks a lot of the boxes when it comes to the power forward position. He's got good size (6'9", 245), he plays extremely hard, he runs the floor well, and he's a decent defender to boot.

The offense/low-post moves aren't quite there (yet?), but Gordon still found a way to notch 19 double-doubles in 41 games with the Sevens this season. Is he a rotation guy on the next level? I'm not entirely sure. But he's definitely talented enough to make some team's 15-man roster.