Sometimes going through the draft process is like applying for a job.
For Brandon Paul, he’s qualified in more ways than one.
“I’ve had a job before,” Paul said with a smile. “I had my internship at the I Hotel down near school. I’ve always been able to talk to people and interact in different environments.”
The former University of Illinois guard knows it’ll take more than an internship to get him on a roster. Paul admitted he never really looks at where he’s projected to go but he’s hoping his communication skills will raise his stock.
“I just try and build my name up and show teams that I can play and can improve and continue to improve,” Paul said. “I’m not satisfied with where I’m at right now and I’m going to continue to climb the ladder. The interview process will definitely help my stock as well.”
Paul came into the NBA Draft Combine with a reputation for being a pure scorer. One of the biggest adjustments the six-foot four guard had to make was his shot selection, something he’s focused on lately.
“I can say my shot selection hasn’t been the best but you know that’s something I continue to improve on,” Paul said. “I’ve improved on it during my senior year and coming out here you can’t shoot the ball every time you touch it. That’s not what GMs and coaches want to see.”
Paul also stressed that he must pick up his defensive intensity in order to stick on a NBA roster. He hopes to model his game after a current Chicago Bull and another Windy City native.
“I’m trying to work myself up to guys around my age, Jimmy Butler and Iman Shumpert, who have built a name off defense,” Paul said. “That’s one thing I want to continue to improve. With my length and size I think that could help me out.”
With all the chaos surrounding pre-draft preparations, Paul’s best advice has been simple:
“You can’t come into this thinking ‘Oh, I want to get this over with’,” Paul said. “You got to look forward to it. I was fortunate enough to learn it at a young age… I just wake up with the mindset that I’m going to get better today. If you’re excited to get in the gym, you’re going to get back what you put into the game.”
Paul has scheduled workouts coming up with the Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons as well as interviews with the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers. But there’s one team the Gurnee, Ill. native has his eye on.
“Obviously, I’m a big Bulls fan,” Paul said. “But I’m excited for any team that’s going to put me on the roster. I’m looking to contribute, whether it’s coming off the bench, starting or any position. I’m looking to just help a team in any way that I can.”