Despite going undrafted on Thursday night, JayVaughn Pinkston’s dreams of making it to the NBA are still alive.
On Friday, Pinkston tweeted out a cryptic message that merely said:
For those confused by Pinkston’s cryptic tweet, Coach Jay Wright made the situation crystal clear a few days later, tweeting,
Since graduation, Pinkston participated in multiple pre-draft workouts with teams including the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics. If Pinkston can impress the Nets during Summer League play, he could find himself opening a back door to the NBA, and a spot on the Nets’ roster.
The Nets are coming off of a 38-44 season and an 8th seed in the NBA playoffs. They could also be looking to fill a position at center after Brook Lopez opted out of his contract to become a free agent. The Nets will need to fill this spot, especially since they only have one other center on the roster in Jerome Jordan, who saw very limited playing time this season.
Pinkston is on the small side to play the position of small forward, at least by NBA standards, but he has incredible strength for a guy his size. At 6’7″, 247 pounds, Pinkston has shown that he can take opponents much larger than him. He frequently bumps bodies with bigger guys and drives into the pain taking difficult shots or getting to the line.
Defensively, Pinkston is a great asset and can help the Nets should Lopez forgo resigning. Pinkston displayed his ability to step up in the 5 slot when Villanova’s only true center, Daniel Ochefu, was on the bench. In fact, some of his biggest plays this season came on the defensive end of the court, where he made game-saving blocks against Michigan and Syracuse. If Pinkston demonstrates his defensive capabilities and his raw strength, the Nets may have to keep him on the roster.
Pinkston will be joined by Cliff Alexander of the Kansas Jayhawks and Ryan Boatwright of the Connecticut Huskies in Summer League play. He will get an opportunity to prove the value that comes as a Villanova Basketball grad and a chance to become the first hometown player to ever make it onto Brooklyn’s roster.