Syracuse, NY – Buddy Boeheim will be in New York 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 check into a restaurant in Manhattan and spend a messy night there. They will have a private room. A few 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 fake drafts and tipsters are accurate, Buddy Boeheim will not be drafted Thursday.
There’s a chance he could hear his name called. He 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 at the end of the draft, Buddy Boeheim knows his immediate future will be a chance to play in the NBA’s summer league. And that’s all he wants: a chance.
“Even if I was sure, I wouldn’t change the approach,” Buddy Boeheim said. “I just want to have a chance and I will have it whether I get drafted or not. I will have the chance to play in the summer league.
“The repechage is not the most important thing. It would be a huge honor if a team decides to take me, but I focus on controlling what I can control.
Boeheim will get that chance eventually, and it will be more than Lloyd Christmas’s dream.
That’s because Boeheim has the most sought-after product in the NBA right now, a shot that made him one of the nation’s top 3-point shooting threats last season.
Boeheim led the ACC with 19.2 points per game last year. More importantly, he made 88 3-pointers, a 2.75 per game rate that ranked second in the ACC. He finished his career with 309 3-point shots, just behind Gerry McNamara’s school record of 400. For his career, Boeheim made 36.2% of his 3-point attempts, while being the center point of opposing defenses as junior and senior. .
Thus, his travel itinerary filled with NBA teams wanting to see him train at their facility. The list includes the Clippers, Knicks, Portland, Golden State, Orlando, Miami and more.
Ironically, practices gave Boeheim a chance to show NBA teams parts of his game beyond his ability to shoot the ball.
“I think most don’t really revolve around it,” he said. “I’ve got four years of hard shot and shot streaks. Obviously you want to come in and shoot the shit off the ball, but I’ve had a few where you missed a few shots.
“I tried to show that I had become faster and stronger. I have gained muscle since the end of the season. I am more than a shooter. I can make good play. I can keep and do other things.”
In many cities, Boeheim 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 performed the conditioning tests.
Former Syracuse forward Wes Johnson, who is now in player development for the Clippers, led the practice there.
During Boeheim’s time in Los Angeles, he took a break from hotel life and spent the weekend at the home of SU extras Ky and Shane Feldman.
“It’s been pretty awesome,” Boeheim said.
Two people he hasn’t seen on the road are his former teammates Jimmy Boeheim and Cole Swider. NBA teams try to avoid bringing players who may know each other to the same practice, 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’ll text each other after a workout and ask how it was.”
Buddy and Jimmy still share an apartment in New York, where they have been since the end of the season. But in the past three weeks, they have rarely been there at the same time.
“I think we both spent here maybe a night or two together,” Buddy said. “It’s my first day back in about a week. I’ll have a night or two here and a chance to reset. He traveled last week.”
The brothers are sure to be together Thursday night in Manhattan as the top draft picks dress up in fancy costumes to watch draft deliberations in Brooklyn.
Eventually, Buddy will 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 feedback has been good. I think I can help a team with what I bring.”
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