Where will Huskies' Jon Brockman go in NBA draft?
There are rumors that Washington's former power forward was guaranteed by a team it would draft him.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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There was never any mystery about Jon Brockman during his four years at Washington.
Fans, coaches and teammates always knew exactly what they were going to get from the 6-foot-7 power forward, who graduated as the leading career rebounder and second-leading scorer in school history.
But as the NBA draft gets ready to begin Thursday, there's enough mystery surrounding Brockman to fill an Agatha Christie novel.
Why did he skip the NBA Combine? Why didn't he attend any individual workouts? Why won't he or anyone close to him talk about any of it?
Speculation has run rampant, from an injury he wanted hidden to a guarantee from a team that it will take him, maybe even one coming with a specific offer of years and money.
Injury is the one thing some of those close to Brockman are happy to rule out.
"He's completely fine," says Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar. "He's been working out, going back and forth to [Los Angeles] through the spring. He's looking big and strong. He's added a little bit of muscle. You see him walking down the street right now you might want to walk on the other side."
That leaves the thought that Brockman has gotten some sort of guarantee, with whatever team involved either requesting that he stay hidden until the draft, or his agent advising him to lie low so as not to risk anything.
"His agents are taking care of it," says Romar, preferring not to go into details. "They know what they are doing on that deal."
Still, it's resulted in a rather odd circumstance for Brockman. Throughout his career he was one of the most gracious and willing interview subjects around and won the Chip Hilton Award this year for leadership, character and talent, but he has been unavailable to media for weeks. Even some at the school have been left wondering what is going on.
Everything figures to be revealed Thursday night, however, and Romar says he has little doubt that Brockman will be drafted. The UW coach even holds out the possibility that Brockman could go in the first round.
"I wouldn't say 'no way,' " Romar said. "I'm not trying to hint at anything. I don't know. But if he were in the first round, it wouldn't shock me."
What would shock Romar is if Brockman were left unselected, which seemed a possibility when the season ended.
Surrounded by a deeper team that won the Pac-10 regular-season title, many of Brockman's stats were down this season — his scoring dropped from 17.8 to 14.9, for instance. That led some to wonder if his draft status hadn't dropped a little, as well. When the season ended, some of the mock drafts didn't include Brockman anywhere.
But shortly after the season ended, he attended the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, the one pre-draft camp he participated in, and impressed scouts by averaging 15.3 points and 16.3 rebounds.
"He just rebounded like crazy and was diving on the floor, just playing with that maniacal approach like he always does," said Romar, who attended the tournament. "The pro people were doing an over-under on how many rebounds he was going to get each night."
Romar said he thinks the tournament helped open the eyes of some scouts who hadn't seen Brockman recently or might have wondered if his game could carry over to the pros.
"You see it in a different environment and you say 'this thing translates,' " Romar said.
Shortly after that tournament Brockman went into hiding. He skipped the combine in late May, leading some to conclude that a team made a deal with him based in part on how he performed at Portsmouth.
Some rumors mention San Antonio as the team, and others have suggested Portland and Detroit as possible destinations. Each team has three second-round picks. Brockman is using the same company for representation as former Husky Brandon Roy, now a star for the Blazers.
But one mock draft this week also had him going to Memphis early in the second round with the 36th overall pick.
Whatever the case, the mystery figures to finally end Thursday night.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
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