For weeks, Cliff Alexander was penciled in next to the Nets on mock drafts. It made some sense. The Nets are in need of young, athletic bigs and although he was forced off the Kansas Jayhawks in February for alleged NCAA violations, there was no doubt of his potential.
At 6'9" and 240 pounds, with a standing vertical of 38", Alexander could easily have been chosen by the Nets. But by the time midnight struck at Barclays Center, the 19-year-old's name was nowhere on the board. Arturas Gudaitis of Lithuania had been taken at No. 47; Satnam Singh Bhamara of India had gone five spots later. But not the player who had been ranked No. 2 in this year's freshman class.
When the Nets summer league team takes the court at 5 p.m. Saturday vs. the Grizzlies' entry, one of the more interesting stories will be Alexander's attempt to rectify things. The Chicago Tribune's Mike Helfgot spoke with Mark Bartelstein, Alexander's agent, about what Bartelstein calls the "perfect storm" of misfortunes, " a great deal of which is not on him."
Now, mindful of what happened but free of the expectations, Alexander, says his agent, is intent on doing well and with a good chance of sticking with the Nets rather than spending the season in the D-League or overseas. He chose Brooklyn after looking at 15 or 16 teams and believing their lack of front court depth would give him a great opportunity. Ironically, since he made that decision another Kansas big man, Thomas Robinson, signed with the Nets.
- Cliff Alexander left at the NBA draft altar: Now what? - Mike Helfgot - Chicago Tribune
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