Peter Jok wasn't an NBA free agent for long Thursday night.
The former Iowa shooting guard wasn't selected in the two-round, 60-pick NBA Draft held in Brooklyn, N.Y.
But he tweeted shortly after the draft's conclusion that he had been invited to the New Orleans Pelicans' NBA summer league team.
If Jok can make a strong impression in an NBA summer league (the first one, in Orlando, starts July 1), he'll have a good shot at a roster spot.
"They need shooters," he told the Register in a text message late Thursday night.
If the Pelicans and Jok combination sounds familiar, it should. That was the one team he worked out for last year, when he was testing the NBA waters, before injuring his wrist and returning to the Hawkeyes for his senior season.
Jok told the Register earlier this week that his preference would be to stay in the United States, unless he got a too-hard-to-pass-up overseas deal. That could mean a start in the NBA G League — formerly the NBA Development League. It’s a similar path that 2016 Hawkeye consensus all-American Jarrod Uthoff took. And after starting with the Toronto Raptors organization, Uthoff found his way onto an NBA roster (with the Dallas Mavericks) toward the end of the 2016-17 season.
Uthoff now has a good chance to make the Mavs’ NBA roster in 2017-18; if he does, he would earn a reported $1.3 million next season.
Jok also could work his way into one of 60 new “two-way” contract spots (two per team), in which players with less than 3 years of pro service can spend up to 45 days with their parent NBA club and make a minimum of $75,000 a year and up to $275,000. Typical G League players early between $20,000 and $26,000.
You may have heard the term “3 and D” thrown around a lot Thursday night during ESPN’s telecast. It means a player than can be a prolific 3-point shooter while also being a tough defender. The San Antonio Spurs’ Danny Green is a good example.
Jok knows he must improve his defense, but he’s got the 3-point ability down. He knocked down 216 of them in his Hawkeye career, and impressed many NBA teams with his smooth accuracy during his team workouts. He led the Big Ten Conference in scoring last season, at 19.9 points per game.
“I’m a ‘3 and D’ guy at the next level,” Jok said this week. “They like my game and how I keep things simple.”