Basketball Insider's overseas basketball expert David Pick feels as though the long awaited Utah Jazz draft selection of Ante Tomic is, well, going the way of the "draft and never come over" instead of the "draft and stash" ideal. He had a chat today (read it in full here at BasketballInsiders.com) and said the following:
Q: Is Ante Tomic going to the NBA next year?
A: Ante Tomic has missed the train to the NBA. Furthermore, I'm told he's not even interested in going overseas to the league. Sources believe Tomic will renew his vows with Barcelona going forward. There is no question that he's a legit NBA talent - he can score, rebound, and pass. I just don't think the NBA is something Tomic is thinking about.
Well, that sucks. So the 2008 NBA Draft had the Jazz pick:
- Kosta Koufos (1st Rnd, #23), directly ahead of Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum, George Hill, and Nikola Pekovic, DeAndre Jordan and many others
- then pick Ante Tomic, who will never play in the NBA, right before Goran Dragic
- and then pick Tadija Dragicevic, who was later used in a four team trade to help facilitate trading Lamar Odom to the Clippers
I think every team can play "What If" when it comes to past draft nights, but I feel as though most of us liked Tomic. He was a legit 7'2 big who had Pau Gasol like passing skills who could rebound and shoot a high percentage. He just never really wanted to come over as much as we wanted him to.
I guess he'll just have to exist in 'what if mode'.
In 16 games so far this season, Ante is averaging 11.75 ppg, 6.81 rpg, 1.25 apg, and shooting .610 in 20.7 mpg. The owner of a number of European cups (e.g. ringzz) and All-Euroleague 1st team honors looks to be happy as one of the biggest fish in a small pond, instead of having to defend guys like Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, and others all night long.
I only blame him because I'm a Utah Jazz fan and had been waiting for him to join the team, foolishly, for years.