The Delaware 87ers are a significantly different unit than the one that headed out to the D-League Showcase earlier this month. Sevens' head coach Kevin Young isn't a fan of the event due to its hectic nature, and he's probably even less enthusiastic about the level of turnover his roster has seen over the last 10 days.
On Tuesday, former Sevens' guard Sean Kilpatrick became the seventh player to make the leap from the D-League to the NBA this season after signing a 10-day contract with the Denver Nuggets. Kilpatrick was the second leading scorer in the league at the time of his departure (27.1 PPG), and his absence figures to leave a significant hole in the Delaware offense.
Well... at least that was the story heading into last night.
In his first game with the 87ers, former Louisville guard Russ Smith poured in 37 points on Friday (including 23 in the second half) as Delaware rolled Raptors 905 119-104 at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark.
Smith, who was acquired by the Sevens on Wednesday, got all of his work done in just 28 minutes off of the bench. Jordan McRae (the D-League's fourth-leading scorer with 22.0 PPG) chipped in 23 points, while former 87ers' forward Ronald Roberts Jr. led Raptors 905 with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
The addition of Smith and the subtraction of Kilpatrick weren't the only significant changes to the Sevens' roster over the past 10 days. A day after bringing in Smith, the 87ers traded point guard Gary Talton to the Grand Rapids Drive in exchange for Sam Thompson, a athletic, 6-7 small forward who was part of the Sixers' Utah Summer League roster.
On January 6, Christian Wood - who was sent down to Delaware on several occasions earlier this season - became a more permanent fixture withe Sevens after the team acquired him via the D-League's in-season affiliate rule.
At the halfway point in the 2015-16 campaign, Delaware is 13-11 and sit just 1.5 games out of first place in the Atlantic Division. And there's no rest for the weary: The Sevens are back in action tonight as they head out west for a 7 P.M. tip-off against the Erie Bayhawks.
ANOTHER ONE: Looks like the Sevens aren't done dealing after acquiring forward Earl Clark earlier today.
The Delaware 87ers have acquired Earl Clark & RR Ike Diogu from Bakersfield Jam for RR Tristan Spurlock & 2016 2nd rd pick #NBADL— Chris Reichert (@Chris_Reichert) January 16, 2016
In 22 games with the Bakersfield Jam this season, Clark averaged 20.2 points (on 39.6 percent shooting), 8.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Following the move, the Sevens' roster now stands at 12, which is the maximum for the D-League.