Could Cory Jefferson land one of Suns' final roster spots?
Cory Jefferson was selected with the 60th (and final) pick of the 2014 NBA draft, and players who go that late are usually bound for the D-League or a career overseas.
But Jefferson made the most of his opportunity, and appeared in 50 games for the Nets last season, while averaging 10.6 minutes per contest.
Brooklyn waived him this summer, and he's now in training camp with the Suns. Zach Buchanan of azcentral sports wonders if Jefferson might end up with one of the team's final spots on the roster.
There is a long line of power forwards ahead of Jefferson on the depth chart, including Markieff Morris, Jon Leuer and Mirza Teletovic. Phoenix has 13 players in camp on guaranteed contracts, leaving just two free spots for the four other players in camp. Of those four, Jefferson and fellow forward Henry Sims may have the best shot. But other players who could be released by other teams may skip ahead in line.
“He’s that guy who puts pressure on the basket and on the rim and it opens a lot of things up,” Suns head coach Jeff Hornaceck said. “He sets screens and, defensively, he can come from the weak side and block shots. He’s a little outsized for maybe that position, but he handles it pretty well.”
Whatever happens, Jefferson has already beaten the odds in one sense. Since 2005, when the draft culminated with the 60th pick, only five of the nine players who preceded Jefferson as Mr. Irrelevant ever played a second of NBA basketball. Only two of those – Isaiah Thomas and Robert Sacre – are still in the league.
Jefferson hopes to join those two as the exception to the rule that the last pick never makes it.