In any other draft class, Weber State guard Davion Berry would have had probably heard his name called. At the 2014 NBA Draft, however, Berry wasn’t drafted, leaving his best opportunity to make an NBA roster as a free agent.
On Sunday, June 29 it was announced that Berry will not only get his chance to show NBA teams what he can do–he’ll get to do so playing for former Wildcat Damian Lillard’s team, the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA summer league.
The Blazers summer league entry will play in Las Vegas. According to NBA insiders, Berry–who worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana and the Utah Jazz–was likely “on the cusp” of being drafted late in the second round.
The problem was, none of the teams that worked out Berry had late picks in the second round, the area in which Berry was projected to go. So, he was forced to go the summer league route to make an NBA team.
Even if Berry had been drafted in the second round by an NBA team he would have still likely played on that team’s summer league entry–and had a non-guaranteed contract. In other words, not much, if anything, would have been different had Berry been drafted.
There is also no guarantee that Berry will make the Blazers 12-man regular season roster–Lillard is an All-Star now and won’t play on the Blazers summer league team–but playing for Portland’s summer league squad is still a great opportunity for Berry, the player from Oakland who looks up to Lillard as a player, a mentor and a role model.
That Berry and Lillard both hail from Oakland is a bonus, and so is the fact that both played for the Weber State men’s basketball team in college. After those comparisons are over, it’s simply time to for Berry to play ball in Vegas with a chip on his shoulder. Berry averaged 19 points per game for the Wildcats, and he also won Big Sky Conference player of the year honors as a senior, leading Weber to the NCAA Tournament where it lost to Arizona in the first round.