We are only a few hours away from ending the speculation as to why Cory Joseph came out early and whether or not he had an ace in the hole guarunteeing he be Drafted ...
With all the players that have been tagged the many things that players get tagged at this time of the basketball season - Lottery pick, project, on the bubble, intriguing - the one player that most intrigues me as a Canadian ball fan is Cory Joseph.
I'm going to assume that you were not born yesterday and that you have some basketball knowledge regarding him so I'll spare you the details. (And if you don't then please stop reading this post and go directly to Google followed by Draft Express. Do not collect $200.) Now as a point of interest, I counted ten workouts as per the list on The Hoops Report and that is not including the two pre-Draft Combine sets in New Jersey and New York in early May. That is a whole lot of workouts. Now since he wasn't called back for a second workout it makes finding his potential future employer a little harder to locate but that doesn't mean we can't venture a guess, right.
There has been the story ciculating in hushed tones among the sports guys andthe world wide web that a team has given an assurance that they will select him in the second round. That is an intresting rumour and a very plausible at that. Joseph plays great defense and can run the offence if need be. These two make him instantly attractive and with the price they'll be paying him for a 2nd round contract makes his price tag irrelevant.
So the in million dollar question is: Where will he go in the Draft?
Let's look at a list of the teams that he worked out for: Detroit, Houston, Oklahoma State, Cleveland, San Antonio, Miami, Milwaukee, Chicago, Sacramento and Toronto. A third of the league saw Cory before today and realistically, he could work for all of them. One of these teams must've told Joseph to sit tight througn the First Round and we'll pick you up in the Second..
But which team is it?
My money to this point is that either Detroit, LA Lakers or Chicago picks him up in the 2nd round. This may go against lots of mock Drafts I'm sure but I think that these two teams are the ones that will pick up Young Joseph's services. The three mock Drafts that I perused were Draft Express, NBA Draft.net and The Hoops Report and they project Joseph in the range of 44 (to the Sixers) and 56 (a Lakers pick). All reasonable but are they probable?
Here is my argument for my three team picks. Detroit has multiple 2nd Round picks so taking a chance on a young guard to shore up the aged backcourt makes sense. Chicago only has the one pick in the Second but they could use a defense minded guard for a backcourt that has some age showing and seemed pretty ineffectual on defense in their last Play Off series (which they lost badly by the way). The Lakers are also an option to make this happen for Cory. They have four picks, two early and two late, in the Second Round and with an aging set of guards and no real need for him to shoulder any offense, he could be a reasonable selection to take a chance on.
Please bear in mind that my only frame of reference is fellow Canadian Andy Rautins, who comes into the Draft with similar skill sets (shooter, defender, high basketball IQ, can run an offense) and coming from similar situations (both come from high profile teams that made NCAA Tournament runs and they were both the third wheel on their teams) and I thought he'd go lower than where he was picked at (38th by the Knicks) so I could be way off with Joseph on these.
Either way, tonight will end the intrigue of Cory Joseph.