Jarrell Brantley just wants a chance to get his foot in the door with an NBA team.
If Brantley can get that opportunity, the former College of Charleston power forward is certain he can take care of the rest.
Brantley, who went through nearly a dozen workouts with NBA teams after the college basketball season ended, has no idea if he'll be one of the 60 players selected in Thursday night’s NBA draft.
That’s out of his control.
He does believe he made an impression on some of those teams and hopes that will be enough to hear his name called Thursday night.
“You can’t get caught up in that kind of stuff,” said Brantley, who finished his career as the Cougars' third all-time leading scorer with 1,914 points. “If I don’t get drafted it’s not the end of the world or the end of my journey. I’ll just go back to work and make myself better.”
Brantley (6-7, 250 pounds) is an intriguing prospect for NBA clubs. His combination of size and skill along with his ability to play multiple positions make him a legitimate second-round pick.
“He has an NBA-ready body and a good skill set,” said one NBA scout. “He can handle the ball and he’s a good passer for his size and he gets up and down the floor really well for a guy his size. He’s got a great motor. He’s a guy that can come off the bench and bring a lot of energy to a team. I see him as a mid-to-late second-round pick.”
Brantley has had workouts with Boston, Minnesota, Phoenix, Charlotte, Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I’ve been to a couple of teams twice, so I think that’s a good sign,” Brantley said. “I’m just trying to open up some eyes and get my name out there. I feel like I can be a versatile player.”
A year ago Brantley watched former teammate Joe Chealey go undrafted and then sign a two-way contract with the Greensboro Swarm, the Charlotte Hornets’ G League affiliate. Chealey was picked to play in the NBA’s Summer League and eventually made it to the NBA.
“Joe and I talk almost every day and I’m just following the blueprint he laid out,” Brantley said.
Brantley said he's not thinking about playing professionally in Europe or Asia — at least not yet.
“That’s not my mindset right now,” Brantley said. “We’ll wait and see what happens in the next couple of weeks.”
Brantley recently got a brief taste of professional basketball and wants more. The Columbia native took part in the 3x3U National Championships during April’s Final Four.
Brantley teamed up with fellow Colonial Athletic Association stars — Hofstra’s Justin Wright-Foreman, Northeastern’s Vasa Pusica and UNC Wilmington’s Devontae Cacok — for the three-on-three tournament. The CAA contingent defeated a team from the West Coast Conference in the championship game.
“That was so much fun playing with those guys,” Brantley said. “At first it was a little strange playing with them instead of against them. It was an amazing experience. The battles we had over the last four years had been pretty intense, but once we got to know each other we got along really well. We were a tight-knit group. We did everything together. They are such good guys. They became like my brothers. You see why they made it so hard on us and why they were all winners.”
There was a little trash talking among the players. Brantley, Pusica and Cacok gave Wright-Foreman, the CAA two-time player of the year, an especially hard time about never winning a league title. Brantley, Pusica and Cacok all won a CAA tournament titles and played in the NCAA Tournament.
“The three of us got rings and he didn’t,” Brantley said, laughing. “We reminded Justin about that all the time.”
It was Brantley’s free throw that sealed the victory in the championship game and the $100,000 prize for first place. Brantley had been in pressure situations before, but not with money on the line.
“To be honest, I wasn’t nervous at all about the free throw,” Brantley said. “There was no pressure. That was just a fun event. I’d taken a lot bigger, more important free throws at TD Arena.”
When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
1. New Orleans Pelicans
2. Memphis Grizzlies
3. New York Knicks
4. New Orleans Pelicans (via Los Angeles Lakers)
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Phoenix Suns
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Atlanta Hawks
9. Washington Wizards
10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)
11. Minnesota Timberwolves
12. Charlotte Hornets
13. Miami Heat
14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings)
15. Detroit Pistons
16. Orlando Magic
17. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets)
18. Indiana Pacers
19. San Antonio Spurs
20. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers via Memphis Grizzlies)
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
22. Boston Celtics
23. Utah Jazz
24. Philadelphia 76ers
25. Portland Trail Blazers
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston Rockets)
27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets)
28. Golden State Warrriors
29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors)
30. Milwaukee Bucks