Taking A Pass

Kevin Pittsnogle was set to be selected by an NBA team in the second round of Wednesday night's draft, but one big item prevented the 6-11 center from becoming WVU's first draft pick in nearly a decade.

That team, which Pittsnogle's agent, Dan Tobin, declined to identify, had one condition it wanted met before selecting the sharpshooting West Virginian.

"We had a team in the second round poised to select Kevin, and they called a couple of picks before their spot and were poised to select him," Tobin told BlueGoldNews.com. "They wanted him to agree to play his first year in Europe, and Kevin didn't want to do that. He knows he can play in the NBA now, and that was just something he wasn't interested in doing."

While rare, Tobin has seen similar situations in previous years. In 2002, he had a team express the same interest to one of his clients in the days before the draft, but after his player said no, the team ended up drafting him anyway. That player wound up playing for the team for two years.

"It's not common, but it happens," Tobin said. "I don't think it reflects badly on either side. It's in the team's interest to explain to the player what it expects, and the player has to make his goals clear."

Pittsnogle's thumbs down on Europe won't hurt his free agent chances. In all, he was contacted by ten teams about free agent tryouts. He's already scheduled to play for Miami in the Orlando summer league that begins on June 10, and a week later will play for the Dallas summer entry in the Utah summer league on June 17.

While playing on a team's summer league entry doesn't necessarily mean a leg up on the free agent process with that NBA squad, Tobin notes there are good things about playing for the franchises that recently clashed in the NBA finals.

"Those two teams are good fits for him. Quite frankly, they are great organizations," Tobin said. [Dallas owner] Mark Cuban spent time with Kevin when he worked out for the Mavericks, and told him he was on a short list with them. Cuban picked up the phone the moment the draft ended and invited him to their summer league team, and and reminded him of that Dallas has a great history with free agents. Kevin is excited abot playing there. He knows there were 15 players in 2005 that went undrafted but made rosters, so not getting drafted is not a bad thing for him. He's been very positive about it."

The free agent signing period for the NBA begins on July 14.

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