J.J. Frazier busy pursuing next step of a pro career

Georgia guard J.J. Frazier (30) during the Bulldogs’ game against South Carolina at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. (John Paul Van Wert/UGA)

While Georgia fans wait on Yante Maten’s decision on whether to return for his senior season, his former Bulldog teammate J.J. Frazier is busy auditioning for NBA teams.

 

This week the guard worked out for Minnesota on Monday, then took part in a pro combine at IMG Academy in Bradenton Fla., where he met with Oklahoma City and Golden State, was in Milwaukee for a Bucks workout Thursday and is slated to be in Sacramento on Monday and meet with the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. He’s also slated to work out for the Atlanta Hawks on June 12, who have the No. 60 overall pick.

“They have the last pick in the draft,” said Zachary Charles, Frazier’s New York-based agent. “The last pick in the draft is a wild card pick. It really doesn’t mean much and if you go ahead and pick a point guard from the home town Georgia who played high school in Georgia (at Faith Baptist Christian Academy) you never know what will happen.”

Charles has aimed to try to get Frazier workouts before teams that have second-round picks but admits it’s probably a small possibility he gets selected when the NBA Draft is held on June 22.

Frazier was a first-team All-SEC selection this past season as a senior when he led Georgia in scoring and was named to the all-tournament team at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Virginia in April, where Charles said he averaged 17.3 points per game.

“If J.J. were 6-foot-1, this wouldn’t even be a question,” Charles said. “It would be more of where than if he would go in the draft. I think he’s a special kid and I think teams are starting to see that.”

Frazier checked in at 5-foot-9 ½ and 139 pounds, according to measurements taken at the Portsmouth Invitational.

“Teams are questioning, can he play defense against the bigger guys?” said Charles, who mentioned Frazier held up well against Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox and some other bigger guards.

Frazier met with some NBA teams at Portsmouth and also made contacts with European teams in case he goes that route. At this week’s combine, he topped all participants in the shuttle run, lane agility and the three-quarter sprint.

Frazier would try to hook on with a team in a summer league in Las Vegas or Orlando if he goes undrafted.

The obvious obstacle is Frazier’s size.

“Isaiah Thomas, Tyler Ulis and Kay Felder, all those small point guards that were drafted, it’s opening the door for teams to say, OK, just because you’re small doesn’t mean anything. You can still get to the rim, you can still shoot,” Charles said. “People see he plays with a chip on his shoulder, he plays with infectious energy. He’s a really leader and I think it will open the door, if not this year, I think the NBA is a very, very big possibility at some point in his career.”

 

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