Calathes ‘up in the air’

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Two-time Florida assist king Nick Calathes said it’s still up in the air whether he’ll return to Florida for his junior season.

“I think that’s what the workouts are for, to get an idea where I stand,” Calathes said following a Friday workout at IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton.

Calathes already posted an impressive workout in California earlier this week in front of NBA personnel executives. He has private workouts scheduled with the Dallas Mavericks on Monday and the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. Then next Friday, he’ll go to Chicago for the NBA Predraft camp.

Calathes has until June 15 to decide whether to keep his name in the NBA draft and hire an agent or return to UF. He said he’s not looking for a promise or guarantee from an organization that he’ll be picked in the first round. “It’s just going to be a feel thing and I think a lot of that will be based on how I do in the workouts,” Calathes said.

Calathes said that new Florida assistant coach Rick Pitino Jr. called him recently, but didn’t offer a sales pitch to convince him to stay. “It was more of him trying to get a feel for Florida and the area,” Calathes said.

Toronto Raptors executives were at Friday’s workout, though it’s unlikely they were targeting Calathes because the team holds a lottery pick. Calathes is currently projected as a late-first to early second round pick if he keeps his name in the draft. Dallas and San Antonio both hold mid-to-late first round picks.

That could change with some solid workouts. On Friday, Calathes looked more confident shooting the basketball. He’s working on trying to extend his range out past the NBA 3-point line distance (22 feet, nine inches.) Calathes has worked with IMG Sports Academy Director of Pro Development David Thorpe on his shooting mechanics, specifically his balance. He also was getting off his feet more rather than taking set shots.

Calathes acknowledged that not playing in the NCAA Tournament his first two seasons could be a factor that pulls him back. “I’m a winner and I want to win,” Calathes said. “But at the same time it’s been a dream of mine to play in the NBA since I was a kid. I have to find out if this is my time.”