When it comes to the North Carolina Tar Heels’ representation in the NBA Draft this year, things have been rather quiet compared to everything that happened last year. Recent graduate Theo Pinson has been working out for multiple teams, as did Luke Maye before announcing his return to school. Things had been quiet in regards to the 2017 Final Four MOP Joel Berry II. That is, of course, until now.
Jason Jones with the Sacramento Bee reported yesterday that Joel Berry II has been invited to work out for the Sacramento Kings today at the Golden 1 Center practice facility. Joining Berry for the workouts will be USC guard Jordan McLaughlin, Queens University forward Todd Withers, Wyoming forward Hayden Dalton, Arizona center Dusan Ristic and Saint Mary’s center Jock Landale. This is the first workout that Berry has been invited to, and with the NBA Draft being just weeks away, his performance will be crucial to his hopes to land a spot on an NBA roster.
The good news is that the Sacramento Kings are one of a handful of teams that could probably use the services of Berry. They are a team that is still in the process of rebuilding, with a lot of young players such as former UNC player Justin Jackson, former Duke player Harry Giles, and former Kentucky star De’Aaron Fox. What’s interesting about this roster is that they may not necessarily need Berry, as they have Fox and former Kansas player Frank Mason III. Adding Berry would give them a four-year college player that is a proven leader that developed well during his stay in Chapel Hill, but one would think the likely scenario is that the Kings would pick up Berry as an undrafted player and have him play in the G-League until they decide they need more depth at the point guard spot. With this being such a young team, it’s hard to fathom that there won’t be some roster moves made during the next few years to try to develop a team that’s able to keep up with the rest of the Western Conference. It is safe to say, however, that Fox probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, as he had a productive rookie campaign averaging 11.6 points and 4.4 assists per game.
It will be very interesting to see if Berry receives more workout invites from other teams before the NBA Draft on June 21st. Berry’s leadership skills, work ethic, and competitiveness are qualities that could go a long way for any team that is willing to give him a chance. It is difficult to determine whether or not his overall game is good enough to sustain a career in the NBA, but there have definitely been more than enough surprises throughout the lifespan of the Association. Hopefully we will learn more about Berry and Pinson’s draft potential in the weeks to come.