Did you know that three of the top five Mavericks in playoff minutes went undrafted? And so are many more big stars we see playing today, such as Ditto, four of the top-10 Toronto, three of the top 10 for Miami, and three of the top 10 for Utah. But how can you find the best undrafted NBA players?
We’ll start by asking, what happens to those good players when they don’t hear their name called? It’s disheartening at that particular moment as all your heart and mind is there hoping to start making some substantial income.
And this is not the end of their career. It’s just that all these players can’t fit in the little slot of 60. So, the best undrafted NBA players become free agents. That means they can get a chance to play for big teams like Miami or Mavericks, like Alex Caruso, who played along with LeBron James, and Duncan Robinson, who appeared in the Finals.
One of the reasons why there is the rise of undrafted players is the supply and demand of players who want to prove their worth. At the beginning of 2011-12, the active rosters expanded to 13 players. Then in 2017-18, there was an introduction of “two-way” contracts, which added to each team two more players. And these can freely move between its NBA and G League rosters.
As a result, each season now has almost 100 extra NBA players, compared to a decade ago. However, the draft hasn’t changed as it remains with the same size, of 60 deep. But most of the extra players come from the best undrafted NBA players ranks.
For example, in the East, Miami was the 5-seed, and they proceeded to the Finals featuring a few undrafted guys.
Now, searching for the best undrafted NBA players has become a significant part of draft preparation. However, the signing process of undrafted players is entirely different. It involves a backchannel where the agents go up to the draft to find the amenable players who can go towards that route.
Undrafted players become the inverted byproducts of the drafted player. Unfortunately, the draft has turned into an upside play, says a personnel executive, “especially in the first round. “The super-skilled guys end up in a two-way pile of the undrafted side.
Only three international players came from the 20 undrafted players that tallied three-win shares in the 2019/20 season, 15 from college seniors and only two of the 20 came out of college after less than four years. In that win-share cut-off, it means other productive college seniors like Caruso and more aren’t included in that count.
When they understand how biased the draft is, they’ll need to cast a broader net in the pre- draft process to identify the players who might slip through the cracks correctly. For example, another front-office employee said, “they shouldn’t be ranking 60 guys only, but increase the number to 100, to cover all the bases and have a full-list of seniors coming to training camp, or even play for the G League team.
Some of the Best-undrafted Players
Let’s look at this season’s best-undrafted players like Chris, Ingles, and Robinson.
This skinny-6-foot-9 forward of Oregon went undrafted in 2017. However, he made himself a name by becoming the first player to play as the G League MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in 2018/19.
Boucher is now a valuable Toronto Raptors member and a part-time starter. He averages 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in each game and has put up some incredible numbers this season. He shoots 51.7% from the field, 38.3% from beyond the arc in just 23.7 minutes per game. In addition, Chris is one of the best Raptor’s rebounders.
Ingles is one of the best undrafted NBA players who missed in the draft list in 2009. However, the 33-year-old has played for Utah Jazz for the longest and still doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.
Though Ingles hasn’t played much this season compared to the last three years, he’s more efficient. He shoots at 52.1% from the field, second in the league, and 3-point accuracy at 48.7%.
Robinson was one of the diamonds that the Miami Heat found in the rough, which they’ve been doing over the years. Duncan Robinson is one of the best undrafted NBA players who have turned into one of the best 3-point marksmen in the game today. One word that can describe Robinson is a high-volume shooter. Dan attempts 8.5 threes a game, and then he knocks down 3.5 for a 40.8% clip.
He is pretty superb in catch-and-shoot situations and great at coming off screens. In this season, Duncan has brought down five threes in twelve games and gave a high of seven at the New Orleans Pelicans on Christmas Day.
In Conclusion, you must have the knack of finding diamonds in the rough, like all these teams that have seen the best undrafted NBA players. Also, understand the 60-player draft selection is biased, and that’s why you find great players undrafted.