The basketball talent nowadays is overflowing which means several worthwhile prospects miss their chance to get drafted.
That situation works in the favor of teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, who have no picks in the 2022 NBA Draft. Fortunately, the Lakers have been able to find gems like Austin Reaves, who were able to contribute right away after going undrafted.
The Lakers held their first pre-draft workout that included the University of San Francisco’s Jamaree Bouyea on Tuesday afternoon. Bouyea is an NBA hopeful who views Reaves as a source of inspiration as he goes through the draft process.
“Absolutely, I think every year there’s probably a diamond in the rough somewhere that pops out on a team,” Bouyea said. “I think Austin Reaves is one of those guys that came in and maybe surprised the organization a little bit and had some good minutes and helped the team win games for sure. I think knowing that there’s always that possibility of being underrated or being the kind of guy that can still strive in the NBA and survive and have success is something very inspiring.”
Bouyea helped his draft stock in the first round of the NCAA Tournament where he dropped a career-high 36 points against Murray State. He acknowledged that that game reaffirmed his belief that he could hang at the pro level.
“I was thinking about the NBA. I think after, it was my last year obviously, after that just kind of knowing I want to play in the NBA. I think the tournament opened the eyes of a little bit more people. I think more teams, more coaches and scouts probably noticed after that game that I can score on a bigger level and a bigger stage. I think that.”
So far, Bouyea figures to get looks in the second round, which could mean the Lakers may need to acquire a pick if they hope to have him on the roster. Los Angeles has shown no hesitation in pulling the trigger on older prospects, and Bouyea is an intriguing name to watch out for.
Jamaree Bouyea reflects on his growth as a player
Bouyea may not have drawn much interest when he began his collegiate career, but has turned himself into a legitimate prospect over the years. The guard reflected on his growth as a player, citing his improvement in nearly every area of his game.
“I think I’ve grown in the point guard position as a whole. When I came into USF, I wasn’t so savvy and poised and patient as a guard. I was just kind of an athletic guard that’s just running the floor. I think now I can handle the ball and get in pick-and-rolls and make the right plays and see the right reads. I think I’m excited to show in the NBA that I can play defense as well. I think I’ve picked up on my defense since I’ve been in college. That’s what I kind of take pride in now.”
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