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Ex Longhorn Cory Joseph Reflects on NBA Draft Process & Time with Spurs

I got drafted by the Spurs, which was the best situation for me and for my career," Joseph said. "I'm thankful everyday that I got drafted by them."

The Texas Longhorns likely won't have a player selected in this year's NBA draft despite having three former players get picked last time around.

In fact, the last nine Longhorns taken in the draft since 2011 were 6-7 or taller, proving Texas' resume of building high-quality players in the front court.

But the last guard to hear his name called didn't have to go far from Austin after being the No. 29 overall pick in 2011. Former Texas guard Cory Joseph had to travel just an hour and a half south on I-35 after the San Antonio Spurs selected him. 

He spoke with Jefe Island, a multimedia hoops platform that has conducted numerous interviews with current and former NBA players, about what the process was like leading up to it and how arriving in San Antonio changed his career.

"I got drafted by the Spurs, which was the best situation for me and for my career," Joseph said. "I'm thankful every day that I got drafted by them."

The Toronto native spent one year up the road in Austin with the Texas Longhorns before getting drafted at 20-years-old. Even at a such a young age, coach Gregg Popovich and the front office didn't provide Joseph with the usual exciting draft call that most first-round picks get. Classic move from an organization that has always kept things business as usual.

"San Antonio, man," Joseph said. "They're a great organization, everybody knows that. They're funny, though, cause I didn't even know I was getting drafted by San Antonio until I see my name. Usually, you get the call beforehand ... but I didn't even get the call. David Stern came out and announced my name."

He was the third Longhorn to be selected in that draft, as Tristan Thompson went No. 4 overall to the Cavaliers while Jordan Hamilton was off the board three picks before Joseph to the Mavs before being dealt to the Nuggets on draft night.

Joseph knew his projections were all over the place leading up to the draft. He contemplated staying another year in Austin with the future uncertain and a lottery selection the following offseason well within his reach. Safe to say his one-and-done route worked out for him.

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"I had a wide range," Joseph said. "My range was from (pick) 20 all the way to 40. I was really contemplating maybe to come back or not. I felt like maybe I could've been in the lottery that next year. But the opportunity was given and it worked out."

At the time, there was no turning back once a player entered their name into the draft pool. Joseph bet on himself.

"When I was in NBA workouts, at that time you couldn't put your name back, you couldn't go back to college. Once you put your name in, you were done. That eligibility was done. I worked out for like 28 teams, I was on a serious grind."

Joseph started all 36 games for the Longhorns, averaging a team-high in minutes (32.4), assists (3.0), steals (1.0), and 3-point percentage (41 percent). He averaged 10.4 points on 42 percent from the floor. 

After winning a ring in 2014, Joseph spent one more season with the Spurs before signing with his hometown Toronto Raptors in the 2015 offseason. He averaged a career-high 9.3 points in his second year with the team before being dealt to the Indiana Pacers. He's now had stints with the Sacramento Kings and Pistons as he looks to find a permanent home with a rebuilding Detroit team. 

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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