ATLANTA — As the Pistons played the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, rookie Svi Mykhaliluk watched from the sidelines. He was not active and did not appear in the game. However, the former Kansas star may have gone unnoticed in Atlanta, but that doesn’t mean nothing is going on his life. He has had to figure out rookie life in the NBA fast.
The Ukrainian forward was drafted 47th overall by Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers this past June, and instantly became part of the most high-profile team in basketball. After averaging nearly 15 points a game at Kansas, he was delegated to playing just 10.8 minutes per game for the Lakers.
Less than six months later he was traded to the Detroit Pistons in a deal that sent Reggie Bullock to LA.
“It’s great man,” Mykhaliluk told Amico Hoops. “It’s (my) first year so everybody knows it’s going to be tough. Gotta get used to it, just gotta find my role, and help my team as much as I can.”
Still, NBA life hit Mykhaliluk fast.
“Just found out on the plane,” Mykhaliluk said when asked how he found out he'd been traded.
Today, the 21-year-old swingman is looking for a new place to live in Detroit.
“I’m staying at a hotel right now,” he said. “I just need to find a place where I like.”
He was only with the Lakers for a short time, but still stays in touch with fellow rookie and LA big man Mo Wagner. Meanwhile, Mykhaliluk said he has already been able to adjust to his new teammates with the Pistons.
Some players never get traded, and some get traded in their first three months as a pro. It’s all a part of the NBA that will never change, a part that Mykhaliluk has already experienced.