Syracuse, NY — Buddy Boeheim will be in New York City on Thursday, but he won’t be at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the NBA draft.
Boeheim and his family, Jim, Juli and his older brother Jimmy, will set up shop in a restaurant in Manhattan and spend draft night there. They will have a private room. Some other clients of the Roc Nation agency will also be there.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Buddy Boeheim said in a phone interview last Saturday.
If the mock drafts and tipsters are correct, Buddy Boeheim won’t be drafted Thursday.
There is a chance that you could hear your name called. He has worked for 13 different NBA teams in the weeks leading up to the draft.
But whether he makes it to the second round or becomes an undrafted free agent when the draft ends, Buddy Boeheim knows his immediate future will be an opportunity to play in the NBA summer league. And that’s all he wants: a chance.
“Even if it was a sure thing, I wouldn’t change the focus,” said Buddy Boeheim. “I just want to have a chance and I will have it whether I get drafted or not. I will have the opportunity to play in the summer league.
“The draft is not the most important thing. It would be a tremendous honor if any team decided to take me, but I’m focused on controlling what I can control.”
Boeheim will eventually get that opportunity, and it will be more than a pipe dream for Lloyd Christmas.
That’s because Boeheim owns the hottest product in the NBA right now, a shot hit that made him one of the top 3-point shooting threats in the country last season.
Boeheim led the ACC in scoring with 19.2 points per game last year. More importantly, he made 88 3-pointers, a rate of 2.75 per game that ranked second in the ACC. He finished his career with 309 made 3-pointers, second only to Gerry McNamara’s school record of 400. In his career, Boeheim made 36.2% of his 3-point attempts, all while being the focal point of opposing defenses as a junior and senior. .
Thus, his travel itinerary was filled with NBA teams who wanted to see him train at their facility. The list includes the Clippers, Knicks, Portland, Golden State, Orlando, Miami and more.
Ironically, workouts have given Boeheim the opportunity to show NBA teams parts of his game beyond his ability to shoot the ball.
“I think most of it isn’t really about shooting,” he said. “I have four years of taking pictures and making difficult shots. Obviously you want to go in there and get the shit out of the ball, but I’ve had a few where you miss a few shots.
“I have tried to show that I have become faster and stronger. I have added some muscle since the end of the season. I’m more than a shooter. I can make the right play. I can defend and do other things.”
In many cities, Boeheim has found a friendly face.
In Orlando, he saw former Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams and chatted for about 10 minutes. In Portland, former SU strength coach Todd Forcier conducted the conditioning tests.
Former Syracuse forward Wes Johnson, who is now in player development for the Clippers, led the workout there.
During Boeheim’s stay in Los Angeles, he took a break from living in hotels and spent the weekend at the home of SU classmates Ky and Shane Feldman.
“It’s been pretty impressive,” Boeheim said.
Two people he hasn’t seen on the road are former teammates Jimmy Boeheim and Cole Swider. NBA teams try to avoid bringing in players who might be familiar with each other for the same workout, as it could give them an advantage over other prospects.
“Twice I went to a town right before or right after Jimmy was there,” Buddy said. “We text each other after a workout and ask how it went.”
Buddy and Jimmy still share an apartment in New York City, where they have been since the season ended. But for the last three weeks, they have rarely been there at the same time.
“I think we’ve both been here maybe a night or two together,” Buddy said. “This is my first day back in a week or so. I’ll spend a night or two here and have a chance to reset. He has been traveling for the past week.
The brothers will definitely be together Thursday night in Manhattan as the top draft picks dress in sharp suits to attend draft proceedings in Brooklyn.
Buddy will eventually join those draft picks at the NBA summer league in Las Vegas.
“I’ll get my chance and then it’s just a matter of taking advantage of that chance,” he said. “So far, the response has been good. I think I can help a team with what I contribute”.
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