With some surprising info coming up in the NBA Draft Combine and some reportedly impressive pre Combine workouts, Cory Joseph may be on his way to climbing up the Draft ladder. Can Ball Ray takes brief a look at the early going for Young Joseph ...
With the NBA Draft only a few weeks away, 25 days to be exact, we will see a lot of action in the ways of workouts being scheduled by various teams. Of course the ones we fans of the few Canadians in this edition of the Draft will be following a little more closely are the ones that have the names Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph listed.
As you may recall, Joseph was not invited to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago a couple of weeks back while Texas teammate Thompson was. (We are all going to safely assume that TT will be a likely Lottery and at the very least definite First Round selection so we really won't be talking much about him as a guy with as much to gain from being invited to the Combine.) This event has been a gauge of potential First Round status for players in the past but we were all reasonably aware that Joseph will likely not be among the first 30 names picked. The consensus is that he's a mid to late Second Round guy at best and so it was no surprise. But oddly enough, Joseph still showed up on a few of the Combine measurement scales.
Now I wasn't at the Combine, nor was I in Chicago when it was going on, but there was a report (from a very good friend who's step daughter messaged him to ask why he was in the Windy City) Joseph was indeed in Chi-Town. Whether he crashed the party so to speak or his was invited to measure up with a few players declining is really neither here nor there - what's important to note is that he still was measured and he looked very good in some categories considering the players present.
Now I'm sure this impressive showing, plus the buzz he generated from the pre Combine workouts in New York on May 6 and in Jersey the following day are all doing nothing but boosting any Draftability he has currently and the pay off will likely become clearer in the amount of workouts he's fitting to get to.
I'm sure you've heard either from me here or in Twitter or from a link to a story somewhere on the 'net that there are rumours of a team grabbing him in the second round. I've heard a couple of team names bandied about but I'm not the one to keep pushing sand up a hill. What I can tell you is that the workouts schedule by Joseph in the coming weeks will be an indicator as to where he may have gotten the assurances from.
Outside of the large workout camps in New York and New Jersey, Joseph was reported to be in Detroit May 25, Houston may 26 and in OKC the 27. Very interesting spots for his first few workouts I think considering that both the Pistons and Rockets seem to have potential positions open for the coming year at the guard spot due to age and possible salary dumps leading to us (or me at least) believe that there could be potential storylines brewing here. The invite to a Thunder workout may have been a throw in type thing to go up against Duke's Nolan Smith who would likely be picked ahead of Joseph in the First Round but he was still seen by the top dogs in OKC. And if we're thinking realistically, with the amount of backcourt players on the current Thunder team he'll likely not end up here on the big board anyway (though that may change after this last Play Off series performance, Eric Maynor). In any case, these workouts so close together, whether by design or not, are all promising signs.
Now the only listed workout as of Saturday that I found for Cory was in Chicago on June 11. This could be an interesting one to keep an eye since the Bulls are really only four guards deep overall (unless you include Kyle Korver in that mix) and could use another defense saavy backcourt player for another run and a ring next season. He could be a very good compliment to an already offensively capable Bulls guard set if a spot were available. Too early to tell of anything serious of course but you never know, right.
For the time being, there really isn't much to say that these are the teams that are looking hard at Joseph but they are looking. It should be obvious that it's too early to jump to any conclusions other than more workouts in tow is better than less and that he's definitely keeping his name in the mix even if it's only in passing at this point. Keep an eye on the coming weeks right here, or on the hinternet, for anymore news. I would imagine that there will likely be more workouts coming up for him soon, with one possibly being Toronto, and it's these coming trials that will give us fans a better idea as to where he may end up.