P.J. Dozier wrapped up his time at the NBA Draft Combine and wasn’t ready to leave the Windy City. Not for a few days at least.
The former South Carolina guard had a workout scheduled with the Chicago Bulls. After that, it was time for bouncing around to such places as Boston and Brooklyn to audition with prospective employers.
“I just really wanted to enjoy the process, enjoy this journey,” Dozier said. “Not many get to say they experienced this.”
Dozier believes he helped his NBA stock with his performance at the combine, and the publicity, praise and volume of workouts that followed seems to support that.
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He worked out with the San Antonio Spurs over the weekend and, according to the Orlando Sentinel, with the Magic on Tuesday. Dozier also will work out in Oklahoma City, Toronto, Portland, Los Angeles (Lakers), Utah, Charlotte and New Orleans, 247Sports reported.
Dozier considers himself a point guard, but his versatility to play and defend all three guard positions is the main message in his pitch to NBA teams. The draft is June 22.
He made an impression at the combine with an improved second day that included 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting and a dunk that was No. 4 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays of the day.
“Dozier skied off of two feet, caught a lob well behind his head with one hand and hammered it home with force near the end of his final game at the 2017 NBA Combine, leaving scouts and executives with a taste of what makes him an intriguing second-round prospect,” DraftExpress wrote.
His athleticism was further validated in the combine testing. According to DraftExpress, his 34-inch no-step vertical put Dozier in the 97th percentile historically. He also had a 39-inch max vertical (92nd percentile) and a 3.15 ¾ court sprint (91st percentile).
Dozier admitted to noticing his name on the big screens inside the Quest Multisport Complex that showed some of the test rankings.
“I think I tested fairly well, for the most part,” he said. “I always feel like I can do better, even if it’s the best that I did.”
Dozier’s shooting, specifically from three-point range, is still a work in progress. He was 3-of-11 from long distance over the two combine games. He shot 30 percent from three-point range this past season. That percentage dipped to 22 and 19 percent in the SEC and NCAA tournaments, respectively. That part of his game regressed as his overall play improved during the Gamecocks’ run to the Final Four.
Shooting, and lots of it, has been a primary focus of his pre-draft training.
“It’s definitely something I’ve been working on, countless hours in the gym shooting the ball,” he said. “Just trying to get reps, see the ball go in, tweak any mechanics that need to be tweaked. It’s been going good.”
Dozier left the Gamecocks after his sophomore season and said he had no regrets about his decision as the combine wrapped up.
He also said he doesn’t pay attention to mock drafts, which can be all over the map with how high he and USC teammate Sindarius Thornwell might be drafted. DraftExpress has Dozier going No. 47 overall, in the second round, to Indiana. Some mock drafts have him sneaking into the first round.
Dozier met with Portland, New Orleans, Utah, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Memphis, New York, Miami, Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Clippers at the combine. It’s the feedback from those coaches and executives in which he puts the most stock.
“It’s a lot of, ‘He said, she said,’ ” he said of projections. “Some mock drafts are very good. I guess they analyze very well. For me, if it doesn’t come straight from the horse’s mouth, it’s not very valid.”
DraftExpress on P.J. Dozier
1. Dozier is one of the most unique physical specimens in this draft, and he backed that up in the athletic testing component of the NBA combine.
2. Dozier resembles a young Andre Iguodala physically, despite not being the same caliber of prospect.
3. He has the physical tools to guard up to three positions at the NBA and the athleticism to have an impact on both ends despite an unpolished skill set and shaky jumper.
4. After a somewhat forgettable first day, Dozier found a way to have an impact on the offensive glass and around the rim while also flashing solid vision (even though it only yielded one assist).
5. But his defensive versatility, physical profile, explosiveness and budding passing ability make him an interesting second-round flier a NBA team might look to develop.