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D-League coach says Romero Osby close to NBA

It either speaks to Rob Hennigan's ability to spot talent in difficult locations or to the straight difficulties of the NBA's roster constraints that he and Jacque Vaughn have had to deal with after DeQuan Jones cracked the roster last year and Solomon Jones cracked it this year as training camp invites.

That eventually left Romero Osby as the odd man out for the Magic this year as the team opted to go with the experience of Solomon Jones for their final roster.

Osby was a major off-the-board pick from Hennigan. And Osby seemed to deliver on everything Osby promised — especially that "human being" comment. Osby had meager stats at Oklahoma for two years and was seen more as a hustle and intagible player. He showed that in Summer League and training camp.

Osby was consistently described as a humble and hard-working player. The kind of guy you want on a young team and fit into the team's culture.

Unfortunately for Osby, he did not perform well in preseason games and Vaughn felt more comfortable going with Jones and his defensive ability and veteran leadership.

That was not the end for Osby though. He has latched on with the Maine Red Claws in the D-League and has begun turning heads there. Maine's coach Mike Taylor told Kevin Thomas of the Portland (Me.) Press Herald that Osby is very close to cracking his dream of playing in the NBA. He should not be in Maine very long:

He is very close. If there is a need by an NBA team, I believe he’ll be right on their radar.

The Red Claws opened their season Friday and Osby played pretty well.

Starting at power forward against the Springfield Armor, Osby scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 26 minutes in Maine's win. He did have some negatives with five fouls and 5-for-13 shooting. Osby's shooting should not be too much of a concern as he would not be a primary scorer in the NBA. He is mostly going to be played for his hustle and defense.

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Osby should have plenty of suitors when teams begin looking to the D-League or free agents for some mid-season re-enforcements. The Celtics, the Red Claws' parent team, were one of the teams initially interested in Osby during the Draft and after the Magic let him go.

It is not completely out of the realm of possibility that the Magic would go after Osby if they have an open roster spot after they make whatever moves they make. It seems highly unlikely Osby will make it that long though.

If he continues to play well, Osby should be a solid player to add down the road.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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