The NBA draft has just two rounds and the field of potential draftees come from a world market, not just a national one, so if you actually get drafted, it says a lot about what the league thinks about your ability.
I have to admit, when I first heard that USD shooting guard Charlie Westbrook was getting serious looks from NBA teams, I was skeptical that he was being considered a potential draft pick. This has nothing to do with my assessment of his abilities — I’ve seen the guy do some very impressive stuff on the basketball court — it’s just that it’s relatively rare that NBA teams pick mid-major guys to begin with.
I still don’t know if Westbrook is going to be picked, but I do know that he is being seriously considered and during the course of a try-out process that took him all over the U.S., he made significant impressions on several NBA teams. There are a few teams out there who really, really like what he does.
Obvious pluses for Westbrook are leaping ability and strength, both of which point to a player with the potential to be a good finisher and a good defender. The fact that he’s a very earnest and hardworking guy who is going to be able to get along with anyone also helps him out quite a bit.
Charlie is easy to root for. He is a genuinely nice guy who was always there to answer questions, rain or shine, in his two years at USD. I’m also told that if the NBA thing doesn’t happen for him initially, he’s already got six-figure offers to play overseas.
In a way Westbrook reminds me a little of Stefan Logan. It was always fun to talk with Stefan about the NFL when he was at USD because he truly believed that was where he was headed. It didn’t matter what the internet sites were saying, or later, that he had to start his career in Canada. When you asked Stefan about the NFL, there was no question in his mind that that’s where he was going to end up.
Westbrook has that same pure belief in himself.