Duke basketball product Matthew Hurt is hoping to find some NBA permanence.
After going undrafted in late July following two seasons as a Duke basketball player, Matthew Hurt looked to be in a relatively ideal situation to set in motion his pro career.
Until this week, that is.
In early August, the Houston Rockets signed the 6-foot-9, 235-pound stretch-four to a two-way contract. It meant — or so it seemed at the time — that Hurt would have the opportunity to continue honing his craft via valuable G League experience. He’d have done so while holding on to a reasonable chance at seeing considerable playing time on the main stage as an NBA rookie.
A change in plans for Duke basketball’s All-ACC performer
On Friday, Houston Rockets insider Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic was the first to report that the franchise waived Matthew Hurt.
Therefore, the 2020-21 ACC Most Improved Player will not participate in this week’s training camp, at least not as a member of the Rockets. No, despite his productive sophomore campaign as a Blue Devil in addition to his brief two-way status, which is the equivalent of being an NBA team’s “16th or 17th man,” Hurt is now in search of a new “starter home” in the league.
At this point, several NBA insiders seem to believe the 21-year-old Minnesota native’s best bet right now as an aspiring professional is probably somewhere overseas.
Unfortunately, the only way to change that narrative might be for Hurt to magically discover a method to boost his quickness considerably and instantly. After all, remember that he had one of the slowest three-quarter sprint times and one of the highest body fat percentages at this summer’s NBA Combine.
On the other hand, Hurt’s positive attitude and pure shooting stroke are admirable. Only time will tell, though, if his total package proves worthy of a full-time job in the NBA.