There is nothing like NBA training camp season. We get to hear about who lost weight or put on muscles and possibly a claim of a player being in the best shape of their career. Training camp also allows for dreams to be captured without the doom-and-gloom nature of an NFL Hard Knocks camera leering over its next victim of a team cut.
For Dallas Basketball's first training camp profile, we focused on the blue-collar workers of the NBA: the two-way roster spots. Although not a glamorous topic, it's a necessity in that it makes for a good story. Two men with every reason to quit instead see training camp as an opportunity of a lifetime, ignoring the critics who haven't been there before- inspiration personified.
Even before the NBA's focus on Africa to scout and prepare talent for the world's best professional basketball league, Nigeria provided a healthy dose of players. Born in Nigeria, then moving to Canada to play for the Orangeville Prep team, Eugene Omoruyi found his way into college scouts' itinerary.
Starting his college career as a Scarlet Knight at Rutgers University, Eugene Moruyo spent three years before transferring to Oregon University. Despite his redshirt status in his debut season with the Oregon Ducks, Omoruyi averaged a promising 17 points per contest.
Going undrafted, although disheartening, doesn't mean the end for Omoruyu; the league has seen stranger things occur. If Omoruyi proves to be a commodity of a 6'7, 235-pound wing, which is the point of emphasis in the league, perhaps he'll find a home in Dallas.
You can hear from Omoruyi himself right here in this Mavs Step Back Podcast exclusive 1-on-1 interview with Dalton Trigg:
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In the past, a four-year college player typically was indicative of a mature player with a bright future on the horizon. Now, it just means the player isn't poised for a star-level career in the NBA. The last statement isn't an all-end-all scenario, but it's pretty close to a definite judgment.
JaQuori McLaughlin pushed the "is he ready or not" envelope by playing five college basketball seasons. Again, this doesn't define him as a "bad" or "good" player, but it does align him with other players looking to claw their way out of the crab bucket of the league.
As a native Northwesterner, McLaughlin unsurprisingly signed up to play for one of the prestigious schools of the Pac-12 conference. Similar to Omoruyi, McLaughlin played in the state of Oregon, but for the rival Oregon State. Standing at a respectable 6'4, 190 pounds, the UCSB point guard produced a 16-point average in his last year of collegiate basketball.
In the ever-blossoming 3-point shooting era, McLaughlin's 40-percent shooting mark from deeps indicates an apparent strength that could benefit the guard later in the training camp process. Coincidentally, McLaughlin will wear No.30 for the Mavericks.
Expectations for Omoruyi, McLaughlin
It doesn't take much analysis to explain why it's a long shot for both Omoruyi and McLaughlin to surpass their two-way contracts.
The roster is rich of veterans with postseason experience. Despite the chants of "Luka Doncic needs help," it's unlikely the two-way roster spots do anything other than play sporadic NBA minutes in light of the Mavericks' lofty playoff goals.
If the Mavericks take on either or both of the two-way players, ultimately exceeding the 45 days allowed for them to stay with the NBA team, consider it a home-run occurrence for the two-way players striving to see the outside of the NBA-minute starved bucket.
Without damning them to ever seeing a legitimate NBA roster spot, expect Omoruyi and McLaughlin to spend the season as G League mainstays.