Through the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26 in New York, New York, Florida Gators center Patric Young kept you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.
He checks in for the 10th and final time from New Orleans, Louisiana, after going undrafted and instead signing a training camp deal with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Up until the start of the draft, I was still hearing the same thing regarding my status. I got a lot of good feedback coming out of my workouts and the potential was there for me to go somewhere between the 25th and 40th picks. Obviously, that did not happen.
My draft party was held at Latitude 30 in Jacksonville, Florida. About 40 people were there including family, friends, teammates, my AAU coach, physical therapist, some people from church and those that have been there for me throughout my entire journey. The party was in a movie theater-type room, and it was kind of cool to watch the draft in that kind of atmosphere.
There was a lot of food and everyone was just chilling out and socializing. During the first few picks as things were starting to kick off, my buddy and I were trying to predict who would go where and having some fun with it. Not going in the first round, I was like, ‘OK, I’ll probably be in these next 10 picks here’ because Philadelphia liked me a lot, Minnesota, Detroit seemed like they really wanted me to be there. I was waiting for the phone call, waiting for the phone to ring, and it just didn’t.
When I heard Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee) and Johnny O’Bryant III (LSU) go back-to-back, because they were like No. 35 and 36, I thought there was a good chance I would go in the next pick or next couple of picks. I didn’t hear my phone ring, and they kept going with these international players. I’ve come to realize that a lot of these teams are trying to make room because they know they don’t have to pay these players yet because they’re not coming over here. A lot of teams are trying to make runs at LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and a lot of these other guys, so free agency definitely affected the draft from what I understand.
Late in the second round I left the draft party and did not want to continue watching it, at some point around pick 50, as I figured at that point I would not get a phone call. I went back home and spoke to my agent later that night. He said, “Don’t worry about it. We’re going to take care of everything. We got 10 teams interested in you for Summer League and the fall.”
Less than 12 hours later – I didn’t go to bed until 2 or 3 a.m. – he told me the top three teams for me were New Orleans, Detroit and Philadelphia. Those three teams had the best opportunity for me. He was going to work on a guarantee and money deal for training camp. The Pelicans were the first team that offered that and said they wanted to draft me but did not have the opportunity. So, I got some guaranteed money as well as a spot in training camp after Summer League play in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It feels good going to a situation with a team that really wanted me but couldn’t get me instead of a team that would get me on the team just to have me on the team and see what I could do. The general manager, Dell Demps, called me and said he’s really excited for me to be here. He wants me to play defense and rebound in Summer League and everything else will work out. I was excited to hear from him, especially with him saying those things. This definitely feels like the best scenario for me right now.
Over the last two weeks, I have been hanging out at home in Jacksonville, getting physical therapy for three hours every day and seeing plenty of friends and family. On July 4, I went to the beach and saw fireworks out on the water. Other than that, I really have not been doing too much except the physical therapy. Nothing is bothering me, but I wanted to make sure I was in the best health possible for the start of workouts and stuff.
I flew into New Orleans on Sunday. Over the next few days before we leave for Las Vegas, we will be in the facility getting physicals, working out and probably putting some team concepts together for Summer League. It’s like a three-day mini camp mostly with rookies and the players who will be on the Summer League roster on July 11.
Thank you all for following along in my journey. I’m never going to forget how supportive and loving you guys were both while I was wearing the orange and blue on the outside and now during this path while I wear it on the inside. Hopefully you all will continue watching me on the next level!
PATH TO THE DRAFT – PREVIOUS ENTRIES
» PART I: Looking back at career, forward to NBA Draft
» PART II: Hiring an agent, graduating, training for the combine
» NBA COMBINE: Full Two-Day Results
» PART III: Combine Recap: Meetings with the Grizzlies, Pelicans
» PART IV: Combine Recap: Meets with the Knicks, Jazz
» PART V: Visits with the Suns, Spurs, 76ers
» PART VI: Visits with the Bulls, Knicks (and fun)
» PART VII: Visits with the Thunder, Jazz, Mavericks
» PART VIII: Visits with the Timberwolves, Rockets and Clippers
» PART IX: Visits with Boston, Detroit; return to Jacksonville