Tony Carr made Penn State history on Thursday night when he became the first Nittany Lion basketball player to be drafted into the NBA in a very long time. However, just being drafted doesn’t do much to guarantee a lengthy NBA career, let alone being drafted in the second round like Carr did. He’s still got a lot of proving himself to do before we can say that another Nittany Lion has “made it” in the NBA.
I say “another” because Tim Frazier has established himself as a decent backup point guard over the past two seasons with New Orleans and Washington. Frazier’s lack of height and a consistent three-point jumper caused him to slip off the draft board entirely, but his quickness and floor vision, not to mention his perseverance, helped him break into the world’s best basketball league.
As far as making the team goes, being drafted in the second round isn’t that much better than not getting drafted at all. I suppose NBA teams are slightly more invested in a player if they use a draft pick on him, but second-round guys are expected to fall by the wayside all the time. Still, enough diamonds in the rough like Isaiah Thomas and Draymond Green pop up to make those late picks important.
Carr was a wonderful player at Penn State, but guys who can score like he did in the college game are run-of-the-mill in the NBA. Whether or not Carr makes it big will depend a little bit on luck and a lot on his ability to adjust to the pro game. Carr won’t be seeing the ball on nearly every possession like he did in March. Instead, he’ll have to figure out a way to make himself useful on defense and when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands.
Personally, I think a long NBA career is a long shot for Carr because he depended on volume for his scoring last year and doesn’t have the smoothest release on his three-point shot. That will make shooting off the dribble difficult in the NBA. Fortunately, I’m not a basketball scout, so I’ll leave this one up to our readers. Do you think that Carr will be a successful NBA player? Will he become a solid backup like Frazier or is he destined for something more?