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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Jerryd Bayless picked 11th, traded to Portland”

    UA freshman Jerryd Bayless is greeted by NBA commissioner David Stern on the stage at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night during the NBA Draft. Bayless was chosen as the 11th overall pick by Indiana but was later traded to Portland.
    UA freshman Jerryd Bayless is greeted by NBA commissioner David Stern on the stage at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night during the NBA Draft. Bayless was chosen as the 11th overall pick by Indiana but was later traded to Portland.

    NEW YORK CITY – Standout UA guard Jerryd Bayless only played one season as a Wildcat, but spent even less time as a Pacer.

    More accurately, Bayless spent a mere minutes wearing a yellow and blue hat, after Indiana drafted and traded him with its 11th overall selection at the 2008 NBA Draft Thursday night.

    Indiana verbally agreed to terms with Portland to trade Bayless and Ike Diogu for Portland’s Brandon Rush, the 13th overall pick, Jarrett Jack and Josh McRoberts.

    Indiana went 36-46 this past season while Portland finished with a 41-41 record.

    “”They’re a great team already – they’re missing maybe one or two parts,”” Bayless said. “”Hopefully I can go in there and play hard and be that missing part.””

    For much of the offseason, Bayless was a projected top-six pick, shuffling the 3-5 spots with USC’s O.J. Mayo and Stanford’s Brook Lopez.

    Both Lopez and Bayless, however, fell into double digits, at the 10th and 11th picks, respectively.

    “”I know I have something to prove,”” Bayless said of not being drafted higher. “”Obviously there are some better prospects and it’s understandable. Hopefully (I) work as hard as I can and play well against the rest of those teams.””

    Fluxuation in this week’s mock drafts derived from the rising interest in UCLA’s Russell Westbrook. With Mayo’s No. 3 pick to Minnesota perceivably locked up, the choice between Bayless and Westbrook quickly shifted into Westbrook’s favor.

    Indiana guard Eric Gordon was also chosen before Bayless, by the Clippers’ seventh selection.

    Regardless of the slips and climbs, Bayless, Mayo and Westbrook are just grateful for the opportunity.

    “”At the end of the day, I’m just happy to be an NBA basketball player,”” Mayo said. “”It’s definitely a dream come true and (I’m) just happy to be here in these shoes.””

    Said Westbrook of his late surge: “”I worked so hard to get to the best possible positions I could possibly be in and this is one of the best possible positions there is.””

    Bayless helped represent the largest freshman class in NBA Draft history. A total of 10 players were selected in the first round, a new NBA record. The first three picks, Derrick Rose of Memphis, Michael Beasley of Kansas State, and Mayo, were freshmen.

    Bayless was the 10th-highest Wildcat ever to be drafted.

    In his first and only season as a Wildcat, Bayless averaged 19.7 points per game with a .407 3-point field goal percentage.

    2008 NBA Draft
    No. 1: Chicago Bulls – Derrick Rose, Memphis
    No. 2: Miami Heat – Michael Beasley, Kansas State
    No. 3: Minnesota – OJ Mayo, USC
    No. 4: Seattle – Russell Westbrook, UCLA
    No. 5: Memphis – Kevin Love, UCLA
    No. 6: New York – Danilo Gallinari, Italy
    No. 7: LA Clippers – Eric Gordon, Indiana
    No. 8: Milwaukee – Joe Alexander, West Virginia
    No. 9: Charlotte – DJ Augustin, Texas
    No. 10: New Jersey – Brook Lopez, Stanford
    No. 11: Indiana – (Traded to Portland) Jerryd Bayless, Arizona
    No. 12: Sacramento – Jason Thompson, Rider
    No. 13: Portland – (Traded to Indiana) Brandon Rush, Kansas
    No. 14: Golden State – Anthony Randolph, LSU
    No. 15: Phoenix Suns – Robin Lopez, Stanford
    No. 16: Philadelphia 76ers – Marreese Speights, Florida
    No. 17: Toronto Raptors – Roy Hibbert, Georgetown
    No. 18: Washington Wizards – JaVale McGee, Nevada
    No. 19: Cleveland Cavilers – J. J. Hickson, NC State
    No. 20: Charlotte Bobcats – Alexis Ajinca, France

    Stay with the Wildcat for more coverage on the 2008 NBA Draft.

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