Friday, June 29, 2007

D.J. Strawberry Drafted by Phoenix Suns

You had to stay up past midnight on the East Coast to see a Terp get drafted tonight, but finally, D.J. Strawberry (2003-07) was drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the 29th pick of the second round (#59 overall, next to last pick in the draft). D.J. becomes the first Maryland player to be drafted since Steve Blake in 2003. He worked out for Phoenix back on June 8th, and while the team liked his defensive skills, they didn't believe he would still be on the board when their pick at #59 came around.

No news links yet as of 12:05am... this was just reported on ESPN a few minutes ago. Check back later today for more commentary and news, probably from the Arizona Republic.

Morning Update: Two news stories about D.J. getting drafted this morning. First, the Baltimore Sun has an excellent story on Strawberry:
Strawberry's road is likely to begin in the NBA's summer league, where teams send their draft choices, younger players and free agents trying to land a spot on a roster to play in a tournament-like setting.

Being selected last night likely means that Strawberry will be guaranteed a spot on Phoenix's training camp roster, as opposed to having to make a favorable impression during summer league games.

Strawberry, the son of former major league outfielder Darryl Strawberry, will still be seriously challenged to make the Suns' 15-man roster, which includes two-time league Most Valuable Player Steve Nash, forwards Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion, and guard Raja Bell, a defensive specialist, whom Strawberry said he hoped to emulate.

In D.J.'s future hometown, he only gets a a few lines at the bottom of an Arizona Republic story about the Suns' draft night:
Kerr said he spent the second round trying to trade up to get the 6-foot-5, 201-pound Strawberry, known for his defense.

Strawberry could make a roster that must carry 13 players but has 11 under contract.

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