LOS ANGELES – Norvel Pelle’s improbable plan will have to wait at least another year.
The former standout at Los Angeles Price who failed twice to meet academic standards for college had hoped to be picked in June’s NBA Draft without having played a minute of NCAA ball. However, his agent, Gregg Nunn, confirmed through a representative on Monday that Pelle had withdrawn his name from the draft.
The 20-year-old is suffering from a foot injury that will need minor surgical attention.
After performing well at a group workout in Los Angeles in front of several NBA general managers, including Jerry West and Mitch Kupchak, Pelle was invited to participate in May’s combine in Chicago. However, in that workout and several other group sessions afterwards, the 6-10 big man failed to stand out. Not only was he slight for his position, but he also has little to no game film by which teams can judge him.
This latest development certainly doesn’t help Pelle’s case, but it doesn’t necessarily hurt it, either. With the draft just a week and a half away, he was not expected to be picked, and the surgery won’t necessarily change his fate after the draft. He will perhaps have the chance to sign on with a summer league squad, and if not, he can still sign with the NBA D-League or an overseas team for next season before declaring for the draft again. At that point, prospective teams will have a better idea what Pelle is capable of, and Pelle himself will have had another year to refine his game and add some muscle to his lanky frame.