NBA franchises want to know as much as they can before they invest in a potential draft choice, so during pre-draft meetings, decision makers reveal a creepy level of intel.
“You dated Miss Kansas City,” one franchise representative said to former Wichita State guard Landry Shamet during a meeting this week at the league’s annual combine.
“And I was like, ‘What? How do you know that?’” Shamet, a Park Hill grad, said. “... Good for them.”
Shamet, finding the knowledge “impressive,” was willing to discuss the relationship. He was also ready to address a more prominent concern: his previous foot injuries.
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He underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal in his right foot this past summer. In 2015, he sat out his freshman season at Wichita State after a similar injury in his left foot.
“I’m like an encyclopedia on it,” Shamet said. “I can tell you everything under the sun about fifth metatarsal stress fractures, unfortunately.”
So he told teams how he handled his rehabs for each injury, how he now feels fully recovered after a season at Wichita State during which he only experienced “spurts and bright spots” of playing the way he believes he can.
He believes he only regained all of his athleticism recently — around the time when he moved to California to train — and he set out to prove this week that he has the athletic ability to be a capable defender at both guard positions in the NBA.
“I know there was a question mark there,” Shamet said of his defense. “So I wanted to show that was important to me.”
Regardless of how he performed on offense, Shamet knew he could show he played with energy by staying engaged defensively. On Friday, after his second and final scrimmage of the week, he felt he had done that and was unconcerned with his offensive struggles. He shot 2 of 8 on three-pointers and 4 of 15 from the field during two combine scrimmages.
“Some days they go in. Some days they don’t,” said Shamet, who made 44.2 percent from three this past season. “That’s kind of out of my control. If it was in my control, I’d be shooting 100 percent and be perfect.”
The 6-foot-4, 186-pound guard profiles as a second-round pick, but his shooting ability could move him into the late first round. He said he had met with 13 teams during his time in Chicago for the combine, including the Atlanta Hawks, the franchise he thinks asked about his one-time girlfriend.
Shamet, 21, said he first thought of himself as a NBA prospect after scoring 20 points against Kentucky in a NCAA Tournament game in 2017. He faced off against De’Aaron Fox in that game. Now the two men are represented by the same agent and training together in suburban Los Angeles.
Fox, now with the Sacramento Kings, is one of the speediest players in the NBA, and Shamet calls the opportunity to train with him a “blessing,” a chance to improve as a defender and prove he’s more than shooter.