NBA draftee and NBL Next Star Justinian Jessup is expected to stay with the Hawks next season after being drafted by the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.
Jessup can be called up at any time by the Warriors, but Hawks co-owner and president Dorry Kordahi said the guard is committed to the club.
Kordahi reached out to the Colorado product only moments after the Warriors selected him with pick 51.
Jessup is currently in quarantine in Sydney, but he will join his new Hawks teammates at training early next week.
“From our end, Justinian is playing with us for the season,” Kordahi said.
“We haven’t spoken to the Warriors in relation to what their thoughts are, but from our point of view he is coming into camp once he gets out of quarantine.
“Things can change during the year – it all comes down to the Warriors and what they have in mind.
“But the coach has been sending him videos of training, and he has been speaking to the players.
“I also had a chat with Justinian after the draft, and he is all excited and looking forward to getting to training.”
Jessup’s situation is a replica of Sydney Kings’ Next Star signing Didi Louzada, who was drafted by Atlanta in the 2019 draft before his draft rights were traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans can call up Louzada at any time but have opted to allow him to play for the Kings.
The Brazilian small forward excelled in his rookie NBL season with Sydney last year, and he will return for a second season.
NBA draftee and NBL Next Star Justinian Jessup is expected to stay with the Hawks next season after being drafted by the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied
Kordahi credits Hawks co-owner and former NBA executive of the year Bryan Colangelo for recruiting Jessup.
Colangelo has a strong knowledge of the American basketball systems following his time at Phoenix, Toronto, and Philadelphia in multiple management roles.
“I have to give credit to Bryan for scouting Jessup,” he said.
“When we did our research, former NBL player John Rillie was his coach at Boise State.
“Brian knows John really well from back in the day.
“Jessup wasn’t on many draft boards, so it just further highlights the group that we have put together to build up the Illawarra brand.
“We’ve got a good footprint in America with Bryan really understanding players and working with NBA teams there to give us that edge.
“It also sets the benchmark from our perspective with players knowing what we can do off the court as well.”
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