FILE - Iowa's Peter Jok shakes hands after a men's basketball game against Indiana in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Jok plays for the Pelicans’ in New Orleans during the NBA summer league. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan, file)

Jok waits in the summer of maybe

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With the NBA Draft in the rear-view mirror, former Hawkeye Peter Jok tries to make the most of his time in the NBA Summer League.

By Jordan Zuniga

jordan-zuniga@uiowa.edu

For former Hawkeye basketball sharpshooter Peter Jok, this summer has been a whirlwind.

It started off on a disappointing note on June 22, the night of the NBA Draft, when Jok heard 60 names called, none being his.

This surprised Jok and the many Hawkeye fans who know what he can do on the court. But the disappointment didn’t last long for Jok; it morphed into determination.

Shortly after the draft concluded, Jok announced via twitter that New Orleans had offered him a spot on the Summer League team.

The Pelicans’ grabbing Jok was not a surprise to most; the previous year, the Pelicans had worked out Jok before he decided to return to Iowa for his senior season.

With the Pelicans having traded away starting shooting guard Buddy Hield to the Kings last season, it seemed as though Jok would have a great shot at playing some solid minutes this summer, especially with the similarities between Hield’s game and Jok’s.

RELATED: Jok to head for NBA combine 

Unfortunately for Jok, that was not the case; the NBA Summer League began July 7 for the Pelicans, and up until July 14, they have played five games with Jok appearing in only one.

In his lone appearance, Jok came off the bench, playing 15 minutes while scoring 5 points.

Jok’s luck changed July 14, when he got his first Summer League start. The 23-year-old went 7-of-16 from the field, including an impressive 5-of-10 from deep to give him a team-leading 22 points.

These are numbers Iowa fans are used to seeing from Jok, especially last season.

Though he had a great start, it his only one, and his performance came in the Pelicans’ last Summer League game.

This will mean that Jok will have to hope that an NBA franchise saw enough from him in that game to give him a training camp invitation.

The biggest knock against the former Hawkeye is his defense; his perceived lack of that was a major reason he fell out of the draft in June.

Even though he had a decent summer offensively, Jok was still a bit of a defensive liability.

If he gets another shot, he will have to prove that he can defend at an elite level in order to become a highly valued two-way guard.

If he doesn’t catch a call, he can follow in the footsteps of former Hawkeyes before him and play in the NBA’s G-league (formally known as the D-League).

Former Hawkeye Jarrod Uthoff is a great example of how a year in the G-League can pay off.

Uthoff spent the 2016 summer in the Summer League and turned that into a G-League contract with the Raptors, later earning a 10-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

This summer Uthoff is trying to earn a permanent roster spot with the Houston Rockets.

Hopefully, Jok can experience some of the success his former teammate had last year, and maybe in the near future, the Hawkeyes can lay claim to two current NBA basketball players.

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