3 Undrafted Free Agents Who are Worth an NBA Chance
A very exciting NBA Draft is in the books.
Headlined by the likes of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Ja Morant, and Jarrett Culver, Thursday night was an important night for the league, as the NBA brought in a fresh new class of rookies. As always, many selected were freshman, but there were also the typical mix international flavour and older collegiate players.
Considered a top heavy draft with a ton of boom-or-bust talent, a ton of kids teams will dream on were selected last night. Projectable and athletic prospects with shooting ability was the theme of the night.
But 60 players heard their names, there were a few highly touted prospects that were left off the board completely. High upside players with talent who will look to catch onto NBA teams as undrafted free agents, hoping to prove their worth in Summer League.
Canadian Luguentz Dort out of Arizona State has already signed on with the Oklahoma City Thunder, while Naz Reid out of LSU, Jalen Leque, and Gonzaga’s Zach Norvell have found new homes as well. Dedric Lawson of Kansas and Marques Bolden of Duke are two other undrafted names who have earned a spot to prove their worth for NBA teams.
Still there are plenty of names that remain unsigned with three players in particular leading the list of prospects who need to be grabbed quick!
Jontay Porter, Missouri
You got to feel for Jontay Porter.
Projected to go in the first round last year, two significant knee injuries have ended his dreams of getting drafted. Nevertheless, the brother of former Denver Nuggets lottery pick Michael Porter Jr. is a gifted big man, standing at 6’10” with some of the highest basketball IQ in the entire class.
Medical concerns aside, his feel for the game and his unbelievable passing ability should get Porter signed by a team sooner rather than later. On the downside, Porter isn’t particularly quick, even before his knee injuries, he was slow and fairly limited offensively. He shot 36.4-percent from three before his most recent knee injury, but otherwise struggles to create space and his own shot.
He is a project, but with his size and feel, a worthwhile low risk investment.
Louis King, Oregon
I can admit, I am not particularly sure how Louis King did not get drafted on Thursday night.
Projected to go somewhere between the late 20’s to the early 40’s, King fell off the board complete and once signed, will prove to 29 other teams that they quite frankly messed up on Draft night. After a slow start on the season for Oregon, it was King’s play that led the Ducks on a torrid run, allowing them to dominate the PAC-12 Tournament and acquire a couple of statement wins as the lower seed in the National Tournament.
At 6’9”, King is strong, long and projectable. He is quick off the dribble and can finish at the rim through contact. Difficult to guard one-on-one, King averaged 13.5 points per game for the Ducks this past season. He is by no means a finished product, but he has a smooth jump shot, is a good athlete, and has solid body control when playing through contract.
Although their were a couple of red flags regarding his maturity, King is only 20 and should turn out okay once he enters the NBA.
Simi Shittu, Vanderbilt
A prospect who probably should have remained in school for at least one more year, the Canadian Simi Shittu will attempt to find a shot with an NBA team in Summer League.
Standing at 6’8” with a 7’1” wingspan, Shittu had the ninth longest wingspan in the entire draft class. While his length did not make him a particularly good rim protector in college, NBA teams love players with length and at the very least, Shittu does project to be a solid defender on the next level.
Despite his size, many scouts can see him turning into a bigger point guard with spectacular passing ability, great court vision, and the ability to ball handler better than most players his size and push the ball down the court. He’s a good screen setter and can score off the pick-n-pop, while also showing the ability to finish at the rim. He remains a little raw offensively, but there are tools there to improve.
The talent is there and he will definitely have the opportunity to show it off.