Brock Motum had to wait his turn.
At Washington State in his first two seasons he averaged 5.3 points. He played a supporting role to Klay Thompson, a 6-7 shooting guard, who is flourishing after his second season with the Golden State Warriors.
Motum, a 6-8 forward, averaged better than 18 points in his final two years. He put up 18.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and shot 45.6% for the Cougars as a senior.
The Australian won’t wow anyone with his physical skills, but he believes he has diversified his game enough that NBA teams are considering him for the June 27 draft.
“After my freshman year I learned a lot of the college game,” said Motum, who worked out recently for the Wizards and had made five visits at that point. “I was more of a complementary player to Klay Thompson. My junior year I sort of exploded, had a breakout year. This year, I developed some counter moves in the off-season."
“I was on a lot of team’s scouting (reports). Then they knew my game so I had to develop a little more and become a little more of a well-rounded player so I wasn't just the same guy.”
The Wizards are looking for scoring, particularly from the post. Motum sees himself as a stretch power forward who can shoot off the pick-and-roll.
He’s always seen playing professionally as a possibility, even if it wasn't always evident to everyone else.
“It was always my goal when I was taking basketball seriously, probably at 12 or 13, I knew I wanted to come and play basketball in the States at a high level,” said Motum, who was recruited by assistant coach Ben Johnson to Washington State. He’d coached and played in Australia.
Seeing Thomspon, who averaged 16.6 points and helped lead Golden State to its first playoff berth in six years, helps. Thompson was a lottery pick in 2011, chosen 11th overall. Motum would be fortunate to get taken in the second round, where the Wizards have the number 38 and 54 picks.
“I talk to Klay probably once a week. I call him with questions. He’s already done all that I have to do. He was a year above me so anything I needed I’d just call and he’d have an answer. Same with this draft process,” Motum said. “I played with him now he’s doing so well in the NBA. It gives me the confidence to be able to do the same thing.”