The board-terrorizing, crowd-electrifying, spark plug that is Cam Oliver appears to be moving onward in his career. With NBA playoffs underway, draft boards are being constructed by GMs across the league. Oliver appears to be an early second round pick in accordance to nbadraft.com, as he is listed at 41 overall, placing him in a Charlotte Hornets jersey, in the event that no deals transpire. Along with nbadraft.com, draftexpress.com also has Oliver going in the first-half of the second round, except their predictions says Milwaukee would be the recipient of Space Cam’s athleticism. Both would be ideal landing spots for Oliver, as he’d more than likely get more optimal playing time than if he were on a stacked roster such as the Golden State Warriors or Cleveland Cavaliers. I’d also be more than elated to watch an Oliver, Giannis Antetokounmpo tandem go to work in the league, but that’s neither here nor there.
The Hubble telescope is an optical telescope that was originally meant to give scientists an unobstructed view of the universe. What should have been one of the greatest scientific creations of the 90s, actually ended up (initially) being a complete bust due to an optical defect. During its first use a host of astronauts made repairs on site to bring the Hubble telescope to full form. Now, if Space Cam can stay in the league for a few years minimum, he won’t be considered a bust. But on the off chance that Oliver is overmatched at the next level, he’d follow suit with a few Nevada alumni who lost their mojo once they made it to the NBA. Unlike the Hubble, Space Cam won’t have a team of astronauts to fix his game if it goes sour.
The year 2007 was an amazing year for Nevada, as star forwards Nick Fazekas and Kevinn Pinkney helped lead the Pack to a Sweet 16 appearance. Both Fazekas and Pinkney went into the 2007 NBA draft, but only one of the two would hear his name called. The Dallas Mavericks went on to select Fazekas as the 34th overall pick in the 2007 draft. Pinkney too waited for a call, but his phone failed to ring that night. Fazekas would not amount to much, as he bounced around for awhile, going from the Mavericks to the Clippers. Following his stay in L.A., he found his way to the Rockies and finally ended up in a green uniform in Boston. Fazekas blew the gold-plated opportunity that Pinkney didn’t get. But Pinkney did not get discouraged, as he went overseas to play in Europe. He then came back to the states to play in the D-League. The only time he’d find his way onto an NBA court was his small stint with the injury riddled Celtics in 2007. Though no bust is truly notable, another let down coming out of Nevada was 2010 2nd round 34th overall pick Arrmon Johnson. Originally drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers, Johnson only played two seasons in the big leagues, splitting time between the Blazers and the, at the time, New Jersey Nets. Hopefully, the second-round plague that seems to be consistent with Nevada players steers clear of Space Cam, and his NBA career is longer than 73 seconds.
I believe just about everyone knows about Apollo 11, the first successful space mission to place humans on the moon. Whether it was a farce or not is a conspiracy theory in itself, but for sake of time, we’ll assume the government should always be trusted in this context.
If Oliver figuratively lands on the moon, he’ll be sitting pretty in the NBA for an extended period of time. His landing on the moon gives him a career of longevity, but solely as a journeyman. Oliver could land on plenty of moons in his career, he’d put up standard numbers for a role player and make a good salary. Although this may be the case, he’d never go down in NBA record books. Nevada has produced NBA-ready players who have had long fruitful careers, but seem to have a ceiling. Or is it a roof?
Whichever you prefer, players such as Luke Babbitt, Ramon Sessions and JaVale McGee fit this role player mold in the NBA. Don’t get me wrong, role players are important! They’re necessary pieces to the game, because without them stars such as Lebron James, Stephen Curry and James Harden couldn’t shine as brightly as they do. Due to Oliver’s competition level during college, and Nevada’s past history of its star-studded players’ college games not translating seamlessly to NBA play, this middle-of-the-Pack mentality looks to be a high possibility for Oliver’s professional fate. While moons are intriguing and necessary, every planet has them, which takes away the ‘wow’ factor that comes with the mysteries of the universe.
Out of this Universe?
Speaking of James, Curry and Harden, let’s say Space Cam blows the already high expectations he has out of the water. Let’s say Oliver hits the ground running and becomes one of the greatest to ever play the game. Sure his team situation will play a role in his success, but landing spots really only help put championship rings on athlete’s fingers. Any player who is looking to be a formidable force within the confines of the NBA should have the skill, willpower and steadfast confidence to be a stat-sheet stuffer on a nightly basis with any given team. If Oliver can become that franchise player on a team, he’d be the first to do so coming out of Nevada, setting the standard for Pack players to come.
If ever there were a bid to be a prospect of the upper echelon of basketball players, Oliver would undoubtedly be on the short list as far as Pack players past and present are concerned.