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Utah basketball: David Collette testing NBA Draft waters

Published April 25, 2017 8:34 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The NBA's release of all early entries into the NBA Draft included at least one surprise: Utah forward David Collette.

The 6-foot-10 forward was one of 194 players, according to the NBA, who submitted his paperwork to enter the draft early. So why no announcement?

"Because I'm coming back next year," Collette said in an interview with the Tribune. "Who cares?"

That should be a relief to the fans who were surprised to see the 23-year-old Collette declare for the draft with little warning. He hasn't hired an agent, nor does he plan to. Both Collette and Utah's coaching staff expects him back in the fold for next season.

He'll be needed: He played in 22 games in his first year with Utah, averaged 13.6 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 59.6 percent from the field. Behind Kyle Kuzma, who is also entered into the draft, Collette is the top returning scorer on the roster and a key piece of the front court.

For Collette, it's all about the workouts. Ever since his former Utah State teammate, Jalen Moore, declared last year before returning to school, he's been interested in doing the same.

Collette is not among the DraftExpress.com top 100 prospects, and he doesn't expect the workout process to take him there. He said he simply wants to enjoy it.

"I made this decision, like, last year," he said. "Basically once they said you could enter into the draft with no penalties. It's a resource that we have that you might as well take advantage of."

So Collette gave Utah's coaching staff a heads up a few days ago, telling them his plan. He's not expecting to be invited to the NBA Combine, and if all goes according to his plan, he'll be suited up with the Utes next season with a little more feedback in his pocket.

Some feedback has already come from the Utes themselves. Collette said he's looking at adding weight and getting stronger going into next season. He also hopes that doing NBA workouts could help his visibility for next year, when he's scheduled to graduate.

"I think the other thing too is just getting my name out there, trying to get a little more recognition," he said. "Try to prove to them who you are and what you're capable of. You never know if you're an NBA guy — maybe it could help me get a better contract overseas or something like that. You never know."

Time is of the essence for Collette: He turns 24 next month, after serving an LDS mission and spending two seasons at Utah State.

Looking back over the last season, Collette said the team "moved past it pretty quickly" after losing in the first round of the NIT and closing a 20-12 season that coach Larry Krystkowiak admitted was challenging.

"There's no reason to look back on it, dwell on it," he said. "Going into those workouts, we're looking forward to next year and what are we going to do next year."

Which apparently — despite a few NBA workouts — doesn't seem to include the NBA.

Twitter: @kylegoon






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