It may feel good to be chosen in a certain position, but above all I want a place where I can have an impact from the beginning, the Montrealer said by videoconference on Thursday. I want to be able to help quickly. It is also a matter of development.
The draft will take place on June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Quebecois could hear his name between the 5th and 7th tier – in order Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers, the three clubs with which he has coached to date.
Other experts see Mathurin chosen at 8th level, by the New Orleans Pelicans. The home team also spoke to other clubs during last month’s NBA hopes camp in Chicago.
Before shining in the NCAA, the Montreal North player opted in 2018 for the NBA Academy of Latin America, located in Mexico. There are coaches with experience in the pros, in the NCAA and internationally.
It was a great experience, said Mathurin, who turns 20 on Sunday. Living in another country and living alone helped me for what I was going to live later.
I was able to meet extraordinary people and understand what it takes to go to another level.
A 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) and 95 kg (210 lb) athlete, Mathurin played for two seasons at the University of Arizona.
Pac-12 Division Player of the Year, Mathurin improved his points-per-game average from 10.8 to 17.7 from his rookie season to his second. He was named one of the 10 Elite Wooden All-Americans after his second campaign.
Mathurin said on Thursday that each of his practices went well. Asked about the Pacers, he said he would do well with them, highlighting the talent of players like Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner, but also the presence of a renowned coach like Rick Carlisle.
Carlisle’s roots are in upstate New York.
Fifteenth in terms of NBA wins, the 62-year-old is also president of the circuit coaches association.
Since 2014, Indiana has been defeated in the first round for five straight years and missed the playoffs for the next two seasons. The team is coming off its worst season since the mid-1980s, going 25-57.
Indiana was very successful in the 1990s, with Reggie Miller and Mark Jackson in particular.
The family at the center of it all
For Mathurin, the path to the top was marked by tragedy.
When he was 12 years old, his older brother Dominique lost his life in a bicycle accident at age 15.
He is the reason I am moving forward, Mathurin said Thursday. He’s the reason I want to be the best at what I do.
Mathurin and his older sister Jennifer found the strength to overcome the ordeal, mainly thanks to sport.
Jennifer played basketball for four years at North Carolina State University. She is now a technical assistant at Bishop’s University on the women’s side.
She was my idol and still is, Mathurin has said. She always encouraged me to improve. She made sure to guide me well so that I could be successful.
On Thursday, he also said this:
It is thanks to her that I became a very confident person.
Several experts have noted the Quebecker’s explosive side, but also his willingness to shoot and the success rate of his shots, especially as soon as he catches a pass.
The Wildcats have gone 33-4 overall this season. In the round of 16 of March Madness, they were defeated 72-60 by the University of Houston.
Mathurin scored 15 points in this game, after adding 18 and 30 points in the first two games of the tournament.
Arizona was led by Sean Miller in its first season and by Tommy Lloyd in its second. Mathurin argued that the change helped him become more versatile, as the former emphasizes defense and the latter on offense.
Last year, Mathurin helped Canada win bronze at the FIBA U-19 World Cup in Latvia.
He grew up in the same corner of the metropolis as Luguentz Dort, who made his place brilliantly with the Oklahoma City Thunder for three years. He considers Dort a good friend.
The Nets’ home has hosted the draft every year since 2013, except 2020, due to the pandemic.