Maryland men’s basketball guard Kevin Huerter’s rise from fringe NBA draft prospect to first-round lock was reaffirmed with an invitation to the Barclays Center’s green room Thursday night.
But the former Terps standout will be watching and waiting closer to home, his father, Tom, said. Huerter will take in the draft with family, friends and neighbors at a local country club near his home in Clifton Park, N.Y., over 170 miles from Brooklyn.
Twenty prospects will attend the draft in the green room, from projected top overall pick and Arizona center Deandre Ayton to Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo, who like Huerter is seen as a mid- to late-round pick.
Sports Illustrated reported Thursday there’s a “growing belief” the Los Angeles Lakers have promised to take Huerter with the No. 25 pick, but he also has been linked to the Utah Jazz (No. 21 overall).
“I think he’s going to be a really, really good NBA player,” Maryland assistant coach Matt Brady told NBA.com. “He’s got terrific size, terrific athletic ability. He doesn’t need the ball to impact the game. He’s a great student of the game, and he’s got great character. He’ll always try to outwork his competition, and he’s going to listen to his coaches. And then he’s got that skill that every team wants and needs. He can really shoot it.”
Huerter recently had surgery on his right hand and will be out two months, causing him to miss summer league play, according to a source.