Five GTA Players To Watch In The NBA This Year: Cory Joseph


Five GTA Players To Watch In The NBA This Year: Cory Joseph

We have officially reached the half-way point of the list of our top five Toronto-born players to keep an eye on this upcoming NBA season!

After profiling two college standouts from the west end of the city in Nik Stauskas and Tyler Ennis, we now shift our gaze east to Pickering to take a look at this young man entering his fourth year in the NBA.

He is a former Texas Longhorn, and a part of the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, we introduce to you, point guard Cory Joseph.

December 19, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Cory Joseph (5) dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Spurs defeated the Warriors 104-102. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Joseph

Position: PG

Age: 23

Height: 6-2

Weight: 184 pounds

From: Pickering

GTA School: Pickering high school 2006-2007, 2007-2008

Drafted: 2011, 29th overall San Antonio Spurs

A local legend in east Toronto, Cory Joseph has continued to progress in San Antonio under the tutelage of star point guard Tony Parker and head coach Greg Poppovich.

The young guard has already won an NBA championship with his club, and is getting a first-hand lesson on what it takes to be a floor general on a championship caliber team.

However, despite his extremely energetic defense; his offensive development has been almost non-existent over his first three years in the league.

After bouncing up and down from the D-league his first two seasons, he averaged just five points per game despite 19 starts for an injured Tony Parker, accumulating 68 appearances overall.

Joseph also seems to slow down with the ball despite his energy without it, and rarely shoots or even records assists, with 1.7 last season and 1.6 overall in his career.

Feb 12, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Cory Joseph (5) moves past Boston Celtics center and fellow Canuck Kelly Olynyk (41) during the second quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Even when he does shoot, he’s only 28% from the three over his career, and seems to either lack the physical ability or the will to drive to the rim, usually settling for jump shots at the top of the key.

Even with this said, he has shown little improvement in getting aggressively to the basket as the year wound down.

It was never more apparent than his thunderous posterization of Serge Ibaka during the Western Conference finals last year, seen in the video link above.

So if his numbers have been unspectacular and he has almost been a non-factor in the league for his entire career, what makes him so interesting to watch this year?

It has everything to do with his situation.

Come playoff time last year, it was clear as day that Australian guard Patty Mills had taken over the backup point guard role, leaving Joseph third on the depth chart.

But with Mills out for the first four months of the season this year, and with Joseph entering an arbitration year, it will be up to the Pickering native to prove once and for all he still belongs on this roster. If he can’t, Joseph could find himself on a one-way trip to another team, or even Europe.

To put it bluntly, this may very well be Cory Joseph’s last shot at staying in the NBA.

What could be more compelling to watch than someone playing for their professional life and dreams?

We’ve now entered our top two Toronto born players to watch this season in the NBA! Be sure to check back next week when we profile Minnesota big man and Brampton native, Anthony Bennett!