No need for Tyler Dorsey to be offended.
The Hawks may have cancelled a predraft workout with the sophomore shooting guard from Oregon earlier this month. Still, the team selected him with the 41st overall pick in last week’s NBA Draft.
“That’s how the process goes,” Dorsey said after an introductory press conference with fellow draftees John Collins and Alpha Kaba on Monday. “People say you get drafted by the team that you aren’t really talking to or you haven’t worked out for.”
Dorsey is a Hawks player now and the second-round pick has a skill set for which the team has a penchant. The guard can shoot, averaging 14.6 points per game and shooting .423 from 3-point range last season. He shined on the brightest of stages as he led Oregon to the Final Four with an NCAA Tournament-best 23.8-point average. He hit game-winning baskets against Rhode Island and Michigan. He became just the second Oregon player to reach 1,000 career points by his sophomore season.
Dorsey can also handle the ball, something the Hawks need and want. The team already has guards Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Malcolm Delaney and Tim Hardaway Jr. (restricted free agent) on the roster. Yet, general manager Travis Schlenk says there could be place for Dorsey on the roster.
“We are very excited to add his shooting to the team,” Schlenk said. “The one thing about Tyler people don’t realize is, I think, he has the ability to become a secondary ball-handler.”
The Hawks often used lineups with multiple guards capable of handling the ball on the court at the same time last season.
“I’m very comfortable playing on the ball and I’m very comfortable playing off the ball,” Dorsey said. “I feel that I’m a combo guard. I’ve been playing that position my whole life. Being that secondary ball handler, I can take on that role. I really play well with the ball in my hands.”
Dorsey, 6-foot-5, 183 pounds, shot .416 (155-of-373) from 3-point range in his two collegiate seasons. The extra three-foot distance of the NBA 3-pointer is not a concern for the confident Dorsey. He said the NBA line falls right into his range as most defenders guard to the 3-point line. A shot two or three steps behind the line was just fine with Dorsey.
The ability to play as a secondary ball-handler helps Dorsey get off his shot, something that can be a difficult adjustment from the college to the pro game.
“For me, that’s my game,” Dorsey said. “More than a spot-up shooter. I think I shoot better off the dribble. I do shoot it good spotting up but off the dribble and creating my own shot is what I do best.”
Dorsey was not in New York for the draft. He was back home in California eagerly awaiting his name to be called. He said his NBA dream began in middle school and, he felt, was close to a reality by his freshman season at Oregon.
“From L.A. to the A,” Dorsey said of his basketball journey.
The Hawks would like Dorsey to get stronger. The player development will begin almost immediately. He will take part in a minicamp in Atlanta this week before taking part in the Las Vegas Summer League from July 7-17.
Dorsey holds dual citizenship from the United States and Greece as his mother, Samia, is Greek. Dorsey is expected to play for the Greece National Team in this year’s European Championship. He will be on the initial roster of 15 and likely will make the final 12 who will play for the title. Dorsey will play alongside the Bucks’ Giannis Antkeknupo, the Kings’ Kosta Koufos and Georgios Papagiannis and former Grizzlie Nick Calathes.
“I’m a worker,” Dorsey said. “The draft is done and now it’s time to get to work.”
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