Former Jayhawk Lagerald Vick lands workout with Charlotte Hornets

photo by: Nick Krug

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (24) pulls up for a three over Louisiana guard Cedric Russell (0) during the first half, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

It’s now officially May, and that means it’s draft season for the folks in the NBA and dozens of draft hopefuls who will spend the next several weeks working to impress that one NBA scout, coach or GM just enough to get a shot at a pro career.

It won’t happen for all of them, of course. And several of them will return to college next season, a move that has become even easier to make under new rules that allow players to test the waters with help from an agent while maintaining their college eligibility.

With the NBA’s predraft combine slated for May 14-19 in Chicago, and a new G League prospect combine on the books for May 12-14 in The Windy City, the next few weeks will be key for all kinds of college players hoping to turn pro.

Included on that list, of course, are four Jayhawks — Dedric Lawson, Quentin Grimes, Devon Dotson and Silvio De Sousa — and several other notable names.

With that in mind, I recently caught up with an NBA scout who works for a team in the Eastern Conference to discuss his franchise’s breakdown of those four Jayhawks and their chances in the June 20 draft in New York City.

The scout shared the information on the condition that neither he nor the team would be identified so he could provide a thorough look at strengths, weaknesses, areas each player needs to work on most and their outlook for the next couple of months.

I’ll put up separate blogs about each of those players in the next couple of days.

But to kick it all off, there was one other name of interest to KU fans who was worthing talking about.

Here’s a look:

Former Kansas guard Lagerald Vick is in Charlotte, N.C., today, participating in a predraft workout with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

The workout was merely the latest in what has been a wild 12 months for the Memphis native and former Jayhawks.

A year ago around this time, Vick, who helped the Jayhawks reach the 2018 Final Four and left KU as a 1,000-point scorer, also was on the path to professional basketball, having decided to leave KU early to pursue a playing career beyond college.

It never materialized and the 6-foot-5 wing who played it right in terms of maintaining his college eligibility, returned to KU for his senior season, which featured some incredible highs and a few lows, including a premature end after leaving school to attend to a personal matter back home in Memphis.

Vick missed the final 13 games of KU’s season and left town without much buzz.

During his days away from the program, Vick worked with some current players at his alma mater, Douglass High, and also continued to workout in preparation for his own possible shot at a pro career.

The former Jayhawk talked with a couple of NBA teams a year ago and attended the alternate combine that was brand new and featured a few of the more forgotten faces in college basketball.

This time around, Vick is hoping to catch the eye of that one team that might consider giving him a shot, and the scout I spoke with said it was not out of the realm of possibilities.

“Lagerald is going to get a chance because of his athletic ability and shot making skills,” the scout said of Vick.

What did he mean by “a chance?”

Everything from possibly getting picked in the second round to catching on with an NBA summer league squad and seeing if he can stick that way.

“Could I see a team taking a guy like him in the 40s or 50s? Sure,” the scout added. “He has the ability.”

But having the ability and turning it into draft-worthy status are two different things.

Vick will have to impress over and over in the coming weeks at whatever workouts he can get just to put that possibility on the table. But he’s clearly going for it and his decision to return to KU for his senior season does not appear to have hurt his chances.

Stay tuned…

Below is the blurb the Hornets have on their website about Vick. He’ll be joined at today’s workout by Appalachian State guard Ronshad Shabazz, Miami (Fla.) forward Dewan Hernandez, South Carolina guard Hassani Gravett, Campbell guard Chris Clemons and Georgia forward Nicolas Claxton.

Lagerald Vick

Averaged 14.1 PPG on 47.6% shooting, 4.0 RPG, 1.9 APG and 1.2 SPG in 23 GP (20 GS) this season for Kansas…One of four Kansas players to shoot at least 45.0% from three-point range since 1991-92 NCAA campaign (Jeff Boschee, Mario Chalmers, Frank Mason; mini. 140 3PA)… 2018 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention… Won three Big 12 regular season titles and two Big 12 Tournaments at Kansas… Member of school’s 2018 Final Four Team… Played with Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham from 2015-18.