Could Brockman Slip Into The First Round?

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Jon Brockman into the NBA Draft Lottery. I kept hitting the refresh button, but to no avail. The order would change, but the names largely remained the same: Blake Griffin, Ricky Rubio, Jordan Hill, James Harden, Hasheem Thabeet. No Jon Brockman. So much for ESPN's Mock Draft Machine.

Okay, so maybe Brock's not a lottery pick, but you have to wonder where he falls in this year's NBA Draft. Fact is, nobody really knows. Not even the experts. Two of the premier mock draft websites have differing opinions on the former Husky. lists Brockman as a mid-second round pick, going No. 46 overall to Cleveland, while doesn't even have him on their board.

Brockman, himself, has raised eyebrows in recent weeks by skipping pre-draft workouts he was slated to attend. On June 14, Brockman passed on a workout with the New Jersey Nets. Three days after that, he was not included on a list of players working out for the Portland Trailblazers. That list included University of Washington teammate Justin Dentmon, among other prospects.

The growing buzz on message boards and blogs is that Brockman is voluntarily skipping workouts because he has already been guaranteed his selection in the draft. This is a common practice among first-round prospects, but not nearly as frequent among potential second-round draftees. Though we can only speculate at this point, Brockman's curious absences may indicate that he is headed toward a draft slot much higher than previously anticipated.

Which means that we may even be talking about Jon Brockman as, dare I say, a first-round draft pick.

It sounds crazy, but why else would the guy be taking time off? A first-round selection comes with a guaranteed rookie contract, a second-round selection does not. Hence it would be foolish for any player to take time off were he not already guaranteed a deal.

Of course, it's entirely possible that Brockman has been promised a contract regardless of whether he is picked in the first or second round. Though NBA teams are not allowed to put contracts into writing prior to the draft, they can reach tentative agreements and give verbal guarantees to the players involved.

Either way, the likelihood remains that Jon Brockman is going to be an NBA draft pick in just a few short days.

So where does he end up? The most likely destination has to be Portland, which holds a late first-round selection (No. 24 overall), two early second-round selections (Nos. 33 and 38 overall), and two late second-round selections (Nos. 55 and 56 overall). The slotting would be right for Brockman at Nos. 24, 33, or 38, and the Northwest connection doesn't hurt either. The fact that Portland is looking to add impact role players, rather than projects, helps Brockman's case, as well, as does the presence of ex-Husky teammate Brandon Roy and Martell Webster, who signed with UW before jumping to the league.

One other possible destination is Sacramento, which holds a first-round pick at No. 23, and a second-round pick at No. 31. With the Kings, Brockman could provide a big body to complement the finesse of former teammate and good friend Spencer Hawes.

We'll have all our answers come Thursday, when the 2009 NBA Draft takes place, but until then we can only wait and wonder. Best of luck to Jon wherever he ends up.

Alex Akita is a University of Washington graduate and founder and creative force behind; a website devoted to covering the Northwest's sports teams. Top Stories