The NBA draft had barely concluded Thursday night when the top undrafted college players began signing contracts to play for various teams in the NBA Summer League.
Not surprisingly, that included former Iowa star Peter Jok, who quickly signed a contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.
At around midnight, Jok took to Twitter with this message: “Thank you to @PelicansNBA for giving me a chance at the summer league. You won't regret it!’’
Jok, who led the Big Ten in scoring last season and broke Iowa’s school records for free throw percentage in a season and career, will play his first game with the Pelicans on July 7 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Also signing to play summer ball with NBA teams were Northern Iowa’s Jeremy Morgan, with Golden State; Illinois’ Malcolm Hill, with Oklahoma City; Iowa State’s Deonte Burton, with Minnesota; ISU's Matt Thomas, with Toronto; and the Cyclones' Naz Mitrou-Long, who will play for both Indiana and Sacramento in two different summer leagues.
Among other Big Ten stars, Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr. signed with Orlando, Maryland’s Melo Trimble and Indiana's James Blackmon Jr. will play for Philadelphia, Michigan's Zak Irvin signed with Miami, Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes caught on with the New York Knicks and his Badger teammate, Bronson Koenig, signed with Milwaukee.
Hill, Walton, Hayes and Long will dive into action very quickly as their teams are among eight NBA clubs that will play in a summer league in Orlando starting a week from today.
The Orlando league runs July 1-6, four teams will play games in Utah July 3-6 and 24 teams, including New Orleans, will be part of the Vegas league, which runs from July 7-17. Most of the games in the three leagues will be televised on ESPN or on the NBA Network.
Although those players were not drafted, it’s possible to land in the NBA fairly quickly.
Jok’s former Iowa teammate, Jarrod Uthoff, also was undrafted last year but he played for the Toronto Raptors in the summer league, played most of last season with the Raptors’ team in the NBA Developmental League, then caught on with the Dallas Mavericks and played in nine games in the NBA late in the season.