BOZICH: On NBA Draft Night, Peyton Siva Selects ...
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Peyton Siva is a dinosaur, a four-year college basketball player. Only four or five seniors can hope to have their names called in the first round of the NBA Draft Thursday night.
But Siva is a talented and savvy dinosaur who has worked out for at least 11 NBA teams – and has played against Nerlens Noel, Otto Porter, Trey Burke, C.J. McCollum, Michael Carter-Williams and others who will be summoned to the stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn during the first dozen picks.
Siva will follow the fun the same way that you and I will follow it – on television from a spot in Louisville.
But the experience and insights that Siva gathered from directing Louisville to the 2013 NCAA title makes him the perfect guy to ask this question:
Which guy would you take with the Number One selection?
"Me, of course," Siva said, with a laugh.
Of course. Of course. But I'm changing the rules. You can't take yourself.
"OK, I'm taking Gorgui (Dieng)," Siva said.
Rule Change Number Two: You cannot select a former teammate.
"I don't know, it's tough," Siva said. "Cleveland (which picks first) could use a big man. I think they'll go in that direction (which means Noel or Alex Len of Maryland).
"They drafted (Syracuse guard) Dion Waiters last year and they've got Kyrie Irving so I don't really think they need a guard. You never know on that day. Anything can really happen."
It's a mystery for guys who will be taken in the first five picks – and a bigger mystery for guys waiting to exhale after every pick in the second round. That's Peyton Siva territory.
Siva said that he was confident he would be selected in the mid-to-late second round. He has devoted most of May and June to signing up for frequent flier programs and navigating airport check-in lines.
Since early May, Siva has trained at Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas, a place that lists Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Garnett, John Wall and many other NBA players as alumni.
From Vegas, Siva logged thousands of flight miles, working out for the Sixers, Celtics, Kings, Wizards, Jazz, Trailblazers, Lakers, Warriors, Mavericks and two other teams.
On Thursday, DraftExpress.com had Siva bound for the Minnesota Timberwolves with the next-to-last pick – No. 59 overall – in the second round. Other projections have Siva being taken as high as 53rd by Indiana, although he bypassed a workout with the Pacers Monday. Or he could slip into the world of free agency outside the 60 selections.
"I watched him his whole career," said one NBA scout whose territory includes Big East basketball. "I've seen him play brilliantly for stretches, three or four minutes. I think he has a good chance of being taken in the second round. He was superb in the NCAA Tournament.
"He scares some scouts because he can be careless with the ball. But he's not afraid of the bright lights and the big stage.
"He had a terrific finish to his season. Great quickness. Great speed. Gets into the lane at will. Great confidence in himself. His weakness is lack of focus. When he focuses, he plays really well. When he loses focus, it really hurts him."
Siva, of course, has heard it all, good and bad – questions about his size, his shooting stroke and anything else you want to question. He's traveled to all these workouts and scouting combines and heard questions like these two:
How many basketballs would fit into this room? Why is a pothole round?
"You've got to take it all in and enjoy it," Siva said. "I don't really care. Whoever wants me to come play, I'll come in and play and give them everything, just like I did at Louisville for four years.
"I'm definitely going to be nervous. But I'm also excited. I did all that I could."
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