Day after day, city after city, Romero Osby is traveling the country, trying to get an NBA team — any NBA team — to fall in love with him.
Or at least like the former OU star enough to spend a coveted draft pick on him later this month.
“I've got a lot of teams scheduled,” Osby said, via phone, outside a Sacramento restaurant earlier this week, a day before he was set to workout for the Kings. “So that means there's some type of interest.”
And that interest has led to plenty of positive feedback.
The six-foot-seven forward (“Six-eight with shoes,” Osby said) turned heads during a workout with the Wizards last week and has been gaining momentum, with many draft-focused sites labeling him a possible second-round steal.
He's had other group and individual training sessions with the Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Nets and 76ers, among others. Even had a long and instructive conversation with former OU coach and current Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson after a workout in Houston.
“It's funny how small the basketball world is,” Osby said of his meeting with Sampson. “There's been different teams that really like my game, think I can be an asset. I don't have any promises or anything about getting drafted, but I do have some positive feedback and that's what I'm going off.”
In other major sports, Osby would be an essential lock to get drafted and a strong candidate to make a roster.
The NFL has seven rounds and 53 roster spots per team; 254 players got drafted in 2013. The MLB has 40 rounds and more than 150 spots per organization; 1,216 players got drafted in 2013.
But the NBA only has two rounds. Sixty players get selected. And many of them, especially in the second round, are draft-and-stash selections, with NBA teams taking an international player and storing him overseas for a couple seasons.
It's a harsh reality for fringe second-round picks. Some of college basketball's best players, like Osby, a guy who averaged 16 points and seven boards as an All-Big 12 First Team selection last season at OU, may not find a place in the league.
“That's definitely the toughest part. Teams can only carry up to 15 and some teams don't even carry more than 12,” Osby said. “A third-round pick in the NFL Draft is kind of equivalent to a late first-round pick in the NBA Draft for the simple fact that they'll probably end up making a roster and a team will look forward to having them on their squad. So that's just the most difficult thing (in the NBA). There's just not that many spots.”
“I think a lot of people don't look at it in the right sense. Just thinking, ‘Oh, well he was good in college, so he's definitely getting drafted.' Then a guy goes into these NBA workouts and doesn't do as well as expected and may not get drafted.”
Fortunately for Osby, these workouts seem to have helped his stock.
At a stout 240 pounds, he's always shown an ability to bang inside. And, he says, these sessions have given him a chance to also showcase his perimeter game.
“A lot of people didn't know I can shoot the ball out to NBA range and that's really something I've improved on,” Osby said. “As well as being able to show off my ball handling and proving that I'm a versatile player who can go inside and out, guard small forwards, 2-guards and go down low.”
Another positive, Osby has found, is his maturity. He's 23, well-spoken and settled with a wife and daughter.
“They always like the fact that I have a wife and I have a daughter and, you know, I'm not going to be one of those guys that you're going to have to worry about getting in trouble or being out at the clubs, the scene and maybe getting into that kind of mischief,” he said.
As for draft night, he says, “I'm optimistic, think I got a good chance of going. But then again, it's not about what I think, it's about what these GMs, these coaches think and if I'm worthy enough to get drafted. I'm confident about it.”