College Mens Basketball

Peter Jok undrafted, signs with New Orleans Pelicans for NBA Summer League

Iowa guard not selected but quickly finds place to play summer ball, becomes third straight Hawkeye to take that route

Iowa Hawkeyes guard Peter Jok (14) aims a free throw for a technical foul on the Penn State Nittany Lions during the second half of a game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Sunday, March 5, 2017. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Iowa Hawkeyes guard Peter Jok (14) aims a free throw for a technical foul on the Penn State Nittany Lions during the second half of a game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Sunday, March 5, 2017. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — He may not have been selected in the 2017 NBA Draft, but Iowa guard Peter Jok has a shot at an NBA roster spot via the NBA’s Summer League.

Jok went undrafted Thursday night, but per his Twitter account, Jok has a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans to play on their Summer League squad in Las Vegas. The Pelicans begin their summer league July 7 at 5 p.m.

He took to Twitter to express his thoughts on it — before the draft was even complete.

Just 20 minutes later, Jok tweeted the news of his deal with the Pelicans.

Jok was invited to the NBA Draft Combine May 11-12 in Chicago, and said then it was a quality experience he needed to get himself in front of NBA scouts and general managers. Despite the up-and-down Combine on-court performance, Jok said the interview process was a positive one, and felt like he’d have a real chance this summer.

NBA draft experts saw Jok as a one-tool player, given his proficient shooting ability, but Jok said he’s focused hard on showing teams he can defend.

“I can come in and be a knockdown shooter, be a 3-point shooter,” Jok said at the Combine in May. “If I show teams I can defend, I can be at the next level. … That’s the one thing that’s come out of every team I’ve met so far. My main focus here is to show that I can defend.

“I need to keep getting better at that so I can be a two-way player and stick.”

Jok’s shot with the Pelicans makes him the third straight Hawkeye to go undrafted but end up on a summer league roster. Jarrod Uthoff and Adam Woodbury went undrafted last year, but played in the summer league. Uthoff ultimately ended up signing with the Dallas Mavericks late last season, while Woodbury ended up in what now is the NBA G-League — formerly the D-League — with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Aaron White was the last Hawkeye to be drafted, in 2015, following Devyn Marble’s selection in 2014. Gabe Olaseni also played in the NBA summer league in 2015.

Jok finished his final season at Iowa leading the Big Ten in scoring at 19.9 points per game and shot 41.3 percent from the field for his career. His 3-point shooting was on display in winning the men’s college 3-point shooting contest at the Final Four in Phoenix.

If Jok can follow the Uthoff path to an NBA contract remains to be seen, but he was confident last month he could make it happen.

“I feel like my game is going to translate to the NBA better than college because there’s so much spacing,” Jok said at the combine. “My basketball potential hasn’t peaked yet. I’ve still got a lot to learn and a lot of room to get better.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8884; jeremiah.davis@thegazette.com

 

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