Former UNLV center Brandon McCoy will be back on campus next month, but this time with the Milwaukee Bucks.
McCoy agreed to a free-agent deal late Thursday after not being selected in the NBA draft earlier in the evening. He will get his first chance to prove himself when the NBA Summer League takes place July 6 to 17 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion.
“He’s definitely going to show what he can do,” said Shaun Manning, McCoy’s longtime trainer. “I think the advantage that he has after this year is he can sign with any team for any amount. He got it put in perspective that where he is isn’t where he knows he is as a player but where the league puts him.”
Attempts to reach McCoy and his agent, David Mulugheta, were unsuccessful.
McCoy was the Mountain West Freshman of the Year last season after averaging 16.9 points and 10.3 rebounds.
The 7-footer is a back-to-the-basket big man, a style no longer prevalent in the NBA. McCoy will need to show he has the midrange shooting game and defense to succeed in the NBA to go with the strong skills he possesses around the basket.
He decided to start his NBA financial clock after one season at UNLV rather than return for another year, and what happened at the draft didn’t change any thoughts in his camp about the decision to leave. But not being drafted also clarified the difficult task of trying to make an NBA team.
“It’s a humbling experience,” Manning said. “When people say he wasn’t ready, he’s ready for the NBA rigors, but who’s really ready for the money? It was time to come out. We never came out because somebody was saying he would get drafted 10th or ninth.”
Manning remained confident that McCoy would have a successful career.
“I really believe after one year there’s going to be some money on the table,” Manning said. “Brandon has always had to be the man, like this year (at UNLV). Next year, he’ll be a puppy and get the instruction visually and verbally from the people who have been through the rigors.”
Bucks in Las Vegas
The Milwaukee Bucks’ NBA Summer League schedule:
July 6, 4 p.m.: vs. Detroit, Cox Pavilion
July 8, 4 p.m.: vs. Dallas, Cox Pavilion
July 9, 6 p.m.: vs. Denver, Cox Pavilion