This is a big weekend for NBA hopefuls. The Nets will host a draft combine this weekend that will have scouts and GMs from nearly every NBA team. SB Nation New York has the list of attendees.
It's a big event for these players because the underclassmen will be using it as a gauge on whether or not to stay in the draft. They have until Sunday the 8th as mandated by the NCAA to return to school. That was a decision that the NCAA made last season in order to get players to commit to school early for recruiting purposes.
Jimmer Fredette ran into a similar situation last year when he was working out for teams before ultimately returning to school,
"As for feedback, it was weird -- all of the teams told me the same thing: that I could go in the 20-40 range. Those were all teams who were looking for point guards and had picks in that range, so I trusted it. I was looking for a first-round guarantee in order to stay in, but no one could give me one, because it was so early in the process, and so much could change between May 8 and the draft.
"If I had been working out for teams in June, when the draft isn't too far away, someone might have been able to give a guarantee at that point. In this setup, I had to go through four workouts in five days, which was grueling, and then make up my mind."
Jimmer won't be going to these mass workouts this season. Those that are there are those that are late first-round and second-round picks. It will be interesting to see what names climb after this weekend.
It still baffles me a bit that the Jazz didn't re-sign Korver last season. Obviously the guy can still play and play well. But his work in the community, which still goes on despite being in Chicago, and his overall high moral character seemed like a perfect fit for the team. If teams were solely predicated on character, then he would be on the All-NBA first team and the Jazz would have done everything to keep him.
His $5M dollar a year deal that he got with the Bulls doesn't seem like much but for the Jazz, it would have been $10M with luxury tax payments. He didn't come close to his record-setting three-point shooting from last season (41% to 53.6%) but he's still a fantastic shooter.
He's also stepped it up when it matters most, in the playoffs. His three-point shooting percentages the past three seasons (including this one): 46.2%, 47.8%, and 53.8%.
When his career is over, I'm sure he'll reflect a lot more on the work he's done off the court as a result of what he can do on the court. As the Des Moines Register points out, he had active charities in Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, and now Chicago. While I'm sure a good portion of Korver's salary helps finance these organizations, they also raise money through Seer Outfitters, an online clothing company. All proceeds go towards building ramps, clothing kids, and feeding the hungry. According to the website, their "goal is to make sure every child and adult know that they matter."
That may be why it's not surprise that Korver will be returning, along with Deron Williams, to Salt Lake this summer to continue the Dodge Barrage despite not living/playing here anymore. To Korver, this is what he was put here to do. He's using his incredible gifts to provide for others.
Of course he won't take any credit for what he's done. Through his brother Klayton, we learn of one of Kyle's phrases that he often uses,
You don’t do it for reward, fame or for people to notice you. You just do it because you can and it’s the right thing to do.
There's no doubt that even if Korver hadn't played basketball nor made it to the NBA that he would still be doing the same type of work that he is now.
It's too bad the Jazz couldn't keep a guy like him around.
Brandon Knight (Kentucky) will be staying in the draft:
"It was an opportunity I just couldn't pass up," Knight said.
Knight said he received a lot of positive feedback from NBA personnel, leading him to believe he can be a top-10 pick in this year's draft.
That top-10 assurance is a large part of what kept him in the draft. According to several mocks, Chad Ford's being one of them, there's a good chance he gets taken by the Jazz provided they don't win the lottery.
Great timing on this post from Spencer at The Utah Jazz Blog. At a time when Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher may be on their way out of the playoffs, he looks at game one of the 1997 semi-finals when both were coming off the bench. The Lakers were of course ceremoniously dispatched by the Jazz. Aiiiiirballlllll.
Friday open poll... When a statue of Jerry Sloan is built, he should be .....?