Draft Day Report Card Brings Mixed Emotions

While Tuesday was a historic day for Washington men's basketball, it was also a bittersweet one for two players that were hoping to be taken in the NBA Draft.

"It was nerve-wracking," 'Tre Simmons told Dawgman.com on Wednesday, reflecting back on the five-and-a-half hours he and teammate Will Conroy were virtually held hostage while NBA team after NBA team bypassed them in the draft.

"There is a lot of politics and hype involved."

But Simmons still has plenty to think about. Atlanta, Golden State, Phoenix, Seattle, Utah, Sacramento - in all, eleven teams - have contacted Simmons' agent since the completion of the draft. And according to Sonics President Wally Walker, both Simmons and Conroy have been invited to participate in their summer league.

Phoenix, Atlanta and Golden State look to be Simmons' top choices if he were to sign a free agent contract. "I think those would be the best fit for me," he said.

In talking with Washington Assistant Head Coach Cameron Dollar, he was disappointed that Tre and Will didn't get an opportunity to be drafted, but is confident they will get their chance to fulfill a dream and play professional basketball.

"They'll be there," Dollar told Dawgman.com.

But most of the talk of the day when it came to Husky basketball players revolved around Nate Robinson and UW signee Martell Webster. Webster was taken by Portland with the 6th pick overall, while Nate was taken with the 21st overall pick and then quickly traded by Phoenix to New York.

"With him, you knew that he had a great chance of doing that from the beginning," Dollar said when asked about Webster - a 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Seattle Prep - and his status as a lottery pick. With so many high school players taken in the second round, it was a vindication of sorts for the Washington coaches, who helped Webster compile accurate information about his draft status before making a full-blown commitment to turn pro.

"For us, you always like to make sure a kid is validated in their moves and their decisions," Dollar added.

The announcement of Robinson's selection with the 21st pick was sweet music to Husky fans' ears. But the fact is that Nate could have been taken even higher if pro scouts had been looking outside the box a little more.

"Like I told Miami, 'You've never seen a mold like him before,'" said Dollar when assessing Robinson's NBA potential. "There is nobody like him. What he brings, you've never seen before. His fire is unparalleled. You have to see it."

The last 24 hours have been such a whirlwind for Nate that even his closest friends have had to wait to give him a proper sendoff to the Big Apple. "I'm happy for him," said Simmons. "I called him up after he got drafted, and all he did was scream into the phone and hang up."

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