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Los Angeles D-Fenders sign former San Diego State guard Jamaal Franklin

It's been a long road back to Southern California for this Aztec grad.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Los Angeles Lakers D-League affiliate, have signed former San Diego State guard Jamaal Franklinper the team's website.

Franklin recently returned to the states after playing in China with the Zhejiang Lions. He averaged 28.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game for the Lions, and he also had a 53-point night in late November.

Franklin played for SDSU from 2011 to 2013. He was named the Mountain West Player of the Year in 2012 after averaging 17.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and one steal per game.

The Memphis Grizzlies drafted Franklin with the 41st choice in the 2013 NBA Draft. Nicknamed "The Grindson" in Memphis, Franklin never really found his footing within the Grizzlies organization and was waived by the team in late August of this year.

Franklin has a decent shot to earn quality minutes in the D-League and possibly at the NBA level, as the Lakers have a depleted roster with players like Jordan Clarkson and Tarik Black fluctuating between the D-League and NBA on a regular basis.

The D-Fenders released guard Naadir Tharpe, presumably to make room for Franklin. They acquired Franklin through a successful waiver claim.