Exhibit 9,999 on how hard it is to earn a spot on an NBA roster:
Peter Jok, 2017 Big Ten first-team all-conference player and the league’s leading scorer, is headed to France after spending his first two seasons in the NBA’s G League.
Jok signed a contract this month to play the 2019-20 season for Cholet Basket in the LNB Pro A in France. So ends, for now, his foray in American professional basketball.
Undrafted in 2017, Jok spent the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons with the Northern Arizona Suns of the G-League. He averaged 14.3 points and 40.3 percent from 3-point distance last season. He was on the Orlando Magic’s NBA Summer League team earlier this month, but played sparingly.
So it’s off to Cholet. I don’t know if that’s one of France’s more charming cities. But it’s still France. And it’s still a paying gig in pro ball. If a French publication offered me a one-year contract at a competitive salary, I’d be saying “Buh bye” to Iowa and “Bonjour” to the sucker, er, employer in Le Mans or Limoges or wherever.
Basketball-wise, however, France isn’t in the same hemisphere as the NBA financially, competitively, or in any other way.
Jok, 25, knocked on the door. But being the Big Ten’s top scorer isn’t a hall pass to an NBA job. In this decade alone, Big Ten leading scorers John Shurna, Deshaun Thomas, Terran Pettaway and D.J. Newbill never played in the NBA, while JaJuan Johnson was in just 36 games.
I’ll bet the good people of Cholet thoroughly enjoy Jok and his game.