Byars Traded to Philadelphia after Second Round Selection by Portland
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. - Former Vanderbilt swingman Derrick Byars was taken by the Portland Trailblazers as the 42nd overall pick in the second round of the NBA Draft on Thursday. Byars was immediately traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Petteri Koponen, the 30th pick.
Byars, a 6-7, 230-pound native of Memphis, is the 32nd player in VU history to be chosen in the Draft and the first since forward Matt Freije was picked by the Miami Heat in the second round (53rd overall selection) of the 2004 Draft.
"Philadelphia needed a player with his skill set," said Byars' agent Robert Fayne. "Derrick is a player who can defend on the wing, a player who can shoot from 3-point range, and a player who is a leader. I think Derrick Byars is an NBA player who will enjoy a long and productive career."
Byars becomes the third Commodore chosen in the Draft since 2000 that has played for current Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. Byars joins Freije and Dan Langhi, who was taken by Dallas in the second round (31st pick overall) of the 2000 Draft. Langhi's pick was then traded to Houston.
Twice named the SEC Player of the Week, Byars led the Commodores in scoring in 17 games during the 2006-07 season, including 14 of the team's final 20 contests. He often performed well against nationally ranked foes, averaging 20.2 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range in 10 such games.
Byars earned his degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Vanderbilt in May.