While Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and the rest of the highly selected players were the primary attractions during Thursday’s NBA draft, all hope is not lost for those who were not picked.
After all, players such as Udonis Haslem, Avery Johnson, Bruce Bowen, Brad Miller, John Starks and Ben Wallace all turned in impressive careers at the NBA level despite not hearing their names called on their respective draft days.
Writer CJ Moore provided more reason for optimism for those who weren’t selected Thursday:
With that in mind, here is a look at the latest news regarding the undrafted players from the 2017 draft.
Latest News on Undrafted Prospects
Villanova’s Kris Jenkins will forever be remembered as a college basketball hero for drilling the game-winning three-pointer in the 2016 NCAA title game against North Carolina, but that didn’t help him Thursday.
David Aldridge of NBA.com reported he will attend the Washington Wizards’ camp. Aldridge also noted another connection to that title game when he cited a source saying North Carolina’s Isaiah Hicks will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.
He also reported Notre Dame’s V.J. Beachem will sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Elsewhere, Shams Charania of The Vertical reported Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr. will have to start trusting the process after agreeing to a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Charania also reported the Golden State Warriors signed Oregon’s Chris Boucher following the draft.
What’s more, Haynes noted Central Michigan’s Marcus Keene will lace it up for the Washington Wizards during NBA Summer League. Keene led the nation in scoring with 30 points a night in his final collegiate campaign.
Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders reported the Wizards agreed to a summer league contract with Florida’s Devin Robinson after he scored 11.1 points a night on 39.1 percent shooting from three-point range in 2016-17.
Scotto also noted the Miami Heat reached a Summer League deal with Virginia’s London Perrantes.
Other Notable Undrafted Names
While some of the undrafted prospects have already agreed to new deals and are looking to take the next step in their basketball careers, others stand out based on their name recognition after notable college careers.
Baylor’s Johnathan Motley was arguably the most surprising name not to be called Thursday after he earned second-team All-American status behind 17.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game in his final season with the Bears.
However, Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated pointed out “Motley was also medically red-flagged by several teams due to a concerning knee injury.”
Jason King of Bleacher Report reacted to the snub:
South Carolina’s PJ Dozier also stands out after he helped lead the Gamecocks to the Final Four as a Cinderella story. He entered college as a 5-star recruit in the class of 2015, per Scout, but will hope to enter the NBA as an overlooked prospect.
Arizona’s Kobi Simmons also arrived at the college level as a highly regarded recruit. He was a 4-star prospect in the class of 2016, per Scout, but averaged just 8.8 points per game in his one season with the Wildcats and wasn’t picked Thursday.
ESPN’s Jay Bilas said, via Adam Zagoria, “I think he made a mistake coming out,” while Dan Wolken of USA Today echoed a similar sentiment:
A duo of Big Ten playmakers also jumps out, as Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes and Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr. went undrafted despite being recognizable stars to college hoops fans.
Many of these players will always have their accolades in the college game to fall back on, but NBA glory could still await some if they take advantage of opportunities during summer league and training camps as the 2017-18 season approaches.
Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com