Delaware 87ers guard Devondrick Walker has been named the 2017 NBA Development League Most Improved Player, as voted on by the league’s 22 head coaches. The award honors the player who demonstrated the most significant improvement during the 2016-17 NBA D-League season.
In his third season in the NBA D-League and his first with the 87ers, Walker (6-5, 205) appeared in 48 games, averaging 12.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He was acquired by the 87ers in a trade with the Westchester Knicks on Dec. 14, 2016.
Walker’s best month was January, when he averaged 14.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Five of his six 20-point games came after December, including a career-high 24 points in a 131-125 loss to the Maine Red Claws on Feb. 4. Walker also tallied at least 17 points in 12 games this season, with 10 of those performances coming after December.
Walker played for Westchester during the 2015-16 season before joining Delaware in December. In 2014-15, Walker spent time with the Austin Spurs, helping them reach the Western Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA D-League Playoffs.
The Sacramento Kings today announced the hiring of Luke Bornn as Vice President of Strategy and Analytics.
Bornn joins the Kings organization after most recently serving as Head of Analytics for A.S. Roma of the Italian Serie A Football League, where he worked closely with managers, coaches and sports scientists to measure and evaluate athletes and performance. Concurrent with his tenure at Roma, the British Columbia native has served as a visiting scholar and professor at Harvard University in the Department of Statistics.
In his new role with Sacramento, Bornn will report directly to Vice President and General Manager Vlade Divac and employ expertise in data engineering and collection to empower basketball operations personnel with relevant information valuable in decision making processes regarding roster compilation, player evaluation and overall strategy. The material gleaned from Bornn’s data infrastructure will also assist the team’s training staff in analyzing information received via wearable technology.
Over the coming weeks, Bornn will work with Divac and the front office to add some of the sharpest minds in the field of statistical sciences to augment the analytics department and continue building a database accessible to players, coaches and basketball operations personnel.
In addition to his academic acumen and professorships at Harvard and Simon Fraser University, Bornn is a frequent contributor to the field of sports analytics, authoring articles for the Journal for Quantitative Analysis, the Annals of Applied Statistics and the Journal of the American Statistical Association—providing insights on basketball related topics such as NCAA Tournament forecasting, predicting possession outcomes in NBA contests and the spatial anatomy of defensive success.