Men's Basketball

Triche’s future remains uncertain with Draft nearing

On Thursday night, Brandon Triche will sit down with his brothers along with the rest of their family. Together, they’ll watch the NBA Draft and, at some point, hear Triche’s name announced.

That’s the plan at least.

But Triche’s plans, like his NBA hopes, have problems. He might have to fly out the day of the Draft and cram in another workout, desperate at the thought that those few extra hours in yet another gym will make the difference between celebrating with his loved ones, and staring down a summer of suffocating summer league pressure.

“There is no wait until tomorrow,” said Triche’s brother, Mike. “Everything is now.”

It’s a product of the real and perceived holes in Triche’s game. He’s worked out for, in order, the Nets, Pistons, Kings, Trailblazers, Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Mavericks, Suns and Magic. On Wednesday, he’s scheduled to work out for the Celtics.

Each provides hope and an easier path to the NBA career Mike, who Triche texts about every other day and calls twice a week, feels is a certainty for his brother.

“That’s a good sign, it means teams are interested, he has his chance just like anyone,” owner and analyst Aran Smith said. “I think he could get into the very late second round.”

Every compliment, though, is qualified.

Smith thinks Triche is a good enough player for Europe, not for the NBA. His skill set doesn’t match the league, Smith said, he doesn’t have the size to be a shooting guard, the ball-handling to be a point guard or most damningly, the athleticism to make up for either.

“I would have to project him as undrafted,” Smith said.

In Europe, the opponents are slower, the defenses are more compact. He’d find more space to shoot. Coaches wouldn’t need Triche to drive as much, but he could overpower defenders there if he did, Smith said.

But Smith didn’t see Triche outduel former Murray State point guard Isaiah Canaan in front of the Knicks. His agent told Triche’s father Melvin it was an “A-grade workout” – the same agent who was hired because he has a history of successfully representing players with very questionable draft prospects.

Still, when Triche talks to his brother, Europe doesn’t come up. Mike said it’s a thought, but the line’s drawn there. It’s never spoken.

“We just talk about the NBA basically, that’s the main thing,” Mike said.

It’s why Triche flew into Detroit around 1 a.m. one day for an 8 p.m. workout the next. Even there, though, plans were scrambled. Triche was in Detroit. His practice gear was still in New York with the rest of his luggage.

Triche got off to a slow start, Melvin said. Afterward his agent began requiring a day between workouts.

Melvin gets updates from Triche’s agent, a representative of the Billy Duffy Agency, after each workout. And he tells Melvin that each team thinks Triche will be drafted.

“But you know, teams don’t commit to anything,” Melvin said. “But they all say the same thing: that he should get drafted.”

On Thursday, Triche is set to rejoin the family he hasn’t seen since May 13. He can see his brother Mike, who he can only tell where he worked out the best – not where he’d fit – and, if he doesn’t have to jet off for one more workout, they’ll sit and watch.

The last overall pick may come and pass without a single mention of Triche’s name, much less his announcement as a draftee.

If he and Triche are sitting next to each other, waiting for the 60th pick to be made, Mike said he’d simply tell his brother that he’s going to make a team – even if it starts with a summer league contract.

Even with that collective confidence, though, comes the uncertainty that underlies the next three days, or months, of Triche’s career.

“We try not to put that much pressure on him,” Mike said, “but we owe it to him to discuss the hard topics.”


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