Milton Doyle, the 6’4” Loyola Chicago point guard in Nets training camp, is not unused to overcoming challenges. A Chicago high school star, Doyle was recruited by Kansas and spent a summer in Lawrence before deciding to return to his hometown and enroll at Loyola. Under NCAA rules, he had to sit out a year.
Not a problem. He was named Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Freshman and Newcomer of the Year in 2014. Then, his sophomore year Doyle had one injury after another, followed by a “sluggish performance” his junior year, as the Loyola student newspaper described it this week. Last season, he was back on his game and earned first team All-MVC honors.
Making it to the next level wasn’t easy. Like many marginal NBA prospects, Doyle played in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament this April and although his numbers weren’t stellar, he got noticed. Eight teams agreed to work him out but only one, the Nets offered him a summer league contract.
The Nets had roster guards and wings on the roster in Las Vegas —Isaiah Whitehead, Spencer Dinwiddie and Archie Goodwin — plus Jeremy Senglin, who the Nets had given a small guarantee.
Despite that, Doyle played well, averaging 10.5 points 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists, showing some defensive skills along the way. His performance was good enough to get him a training camp invite and a small guarantee.
Doyle said he knew about the deal roughly two weeks when the team played the Lakers in the Nets final summer league game on July 15. It wasn’t announced until August 4, when the Nets announced they had signed him and Senglin.
“There was an offer on the table before we played the Lakers,” Doyle said. “They had to wait on a few things to go through and it was a big process, so that’s why it took so long to get released.”
The Nets, with a surplus of guards, waived Goodwin, who’s actually younger than Doyle.
Can he make the final roster? He thinks he can, as does his agent, Keith Kreiter who’s also Yogi Ferrell’s agent. Doyle told the Loyola Phoenix he has to wait until after training camp in September to find out whether or not he earned an NBA contract or a two-way deal, meaning he’d split time between the NBA and the G-League. The Nets have signed Yakuba Ouattara, another 6’4” guard, and Jacob Wiley, a 6’7” power forward, to two-day deals.
“It’s just a chance that I will possibly be on the roster,” Doyle said. “Everything’s still up in the air right now.”
As noted, none of that has stopped Doyle in the past.
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