At the beginning of the night, four Gonzaga players had hopes of hearing their name called in tonight's NBA Draft. When the Heat selected Memphis F Robert Dozier as the last pick in this year's player selection meeting, only one Zag had an NBA home.
Austin Daye, who in recent days was labeled by many experts as the player in the draft with the most "bust potential," ended up getting drafted exactly where many people had him from the beginning: No. 15 to the Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons will probably limit Daye's minutes over the next few years while they try to build his game up, both physically and mentally. If Daye listens and commits himself to improving his game, he may end up being an important part of the Pistons rebuilding process.
Jeremy Pargo, once considered a potential first round pick, had seen his stock rise somewhat over the last week after he impressed in some last minute workouts. Particularly, the Utah Jazz seemed to show interest in the former Zag. Unfortunately for Pargo, that did not materialize. Don't count out Pargo though, his brother Jannero began his professional career as an undrafted free agent before going on to playing several seasons in the NBA.
Micah Downs was probably never a serious option for many teams tonight. Though Downs was a solid player for the Zags, he lacked the complete game, one great skill, or enormous upside that often merits a draft selection. Downs is good enough to keep playing basketball at the professional level, but his NBA prospects don't seem great right now.
The night was probably most disappointing for Josh Heytvelt. Heytvelt was seen by many as a near-lock to hear his name called at some point tonight. Some even thought he could sneak into the late first round. Team after team passed on Heytvelt, and like Pargo and Downs, Josh will have to pursue his professional career by other means in order to keep his NBA hopes alive.
All in all, tonight's draft was a little disappointing for Zags fans. Pargo and Downs didn't have great draft prospects, but there was still a hope that they could sneak into the mid-to-late second round. The complete absence of Heytvelt from the draftees is surprising.
However, Daye did hear his name called in the first half of the first round, making him the third Zag this decade to be a first round selection. While the night was disappointing for the majority of the Zags with NBA hopes, at least one of them knows that he has an NBA future beginning this fall.
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