Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Tweety Carter's NBA dream has life
By Jeff Caplan
The NBA Draft is 16 days away and Tweety Carter, the four-year guard with a significant footprint in the Baylor Bears' turnaround, can't find his name on any mock drafts.
At 5-11, 185 pounds, Carter is no doubt undersized, but if anyone possesses all the intangibles -- high IQ, terrific teammate, elevates those he plays with, extremely hard worker, extremely coachable -- Carter is it.
Tweety Carter averaged 15 points and 6.1 assists last season for Baylor.
He showed all those qualities in April at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament where fringe players like Carter are invited to compete to prove to scouts that they're NBA material. Carter left Portsmouth with the tourney's sportsmanship award and scouts left with a positive impression.
"Everybody loved him. He was tough, but then we had a lot of tough guards there," said Ryan Blake, the NBA's director of scouting. "We had [California's Jerome] Randle. We had [Alabama's Mikhail] Torrance, and Tweety is such a good kid. But, you look at these guards and there is really a fine line between a kid that can make it or not make it."
Carter was Baylor's second-leading scorer at 15.0 points last season and he led the Big 12 at 6.1 assists. His leadership and talent helped the Bears advance to the NCAA Tournament in two of the past three seasons, including last season's milestone run to the Elite Eight.
"It doesn’t matter if he gets drafted or not," Blake said. "He’ll be a guy that will still get that opportunity. Come draft day, if his name doesn’t get called, which a lot of people won’t, his phone or his agent’s phone number will be ringing."
Carter will likely be able to sign with a team after the draft and then get a shot to audition in one of the NBA's summer leagues. He could then get invited to training camp. If things don't work out for an opening-day roster, Carter is a prime candidate to play overseas or possibly in the D-League.
"If he can do it like an Anthony Morrow (Golden State) or anybody who’s on that fine line and he convinces a team to give him that chance, because again he is a competitor, he’s a guy that’s been through it all," Blake said. "They [teams] go by the mental part of the game and he has a lot of physical attributes, too, and he’s been running the show for a while."