Justin Hurtt won't be slowed down by not getting picked in Thursday's NBA draft. That's because he saw his good buddy Ben Uzoh survive a similar letdown just one year ago.
I texted back and forth with the former Tulsa star during the draft a few times and he admitted he was a little nervous. Towards the end of the second round, when the foreign names were flying off the board, I started to realize that NOT getting drafted might be the best thing that could have happened to Hurtt.
He's a player with the incredible ability to create a shot just by rising over defenders for jumpers from nearly anywhere on the floor. He is a good ball handler, too. Those skills will fit on a roster in the NBA. Now, he gets to pick where he wants to go, pretty much.
There would be no reason for a team like the Thunder to take him. OKC is guard heavy and just drafted another one. He needs to go to a team that can use stability off the bench and won't rely on him to score a lot.
He worked out for Phoenix, Washington, Sacramento, OKC, Minnesota, Golden State, Los Angeles (Lakers) and Philadelphia. He could land with one of them. I'd like to see him go to a team like San Antonio. The Spurs have an older, veteran core that he can learn behind while preparing to make a mark on the league.
Uzoh went to the New Jersey Nets a year ago and was traded to the Denver Nuggets in a deal for Carmelo Anthony. He and Hurtt chat about life in the NBA quite often. I think Hurtt will find his way into a lineup soon, but he's going to have to do it without the aid of an NBA summer league if the league goes into a lockout next week.
Odds of Hurtt making an NBA roster this year? I say 60% chance