It’s never easy on a NBA draft prospect to not have his named called on draft night, but it doesn't necessarily mean the end of a career.
The NBA draft is limited to just 60 selections and unfortunately, everyone doesn’t go home happy. Those players that go undrafted shouldn’t give up, as there are still opportunities to continue playing professional basketball.
Plenty of players will get offers to come to camp and participate in the NBA Summer League. This gives team executives a chance to look at more players who could serve to be beneficial to their roster. It isn’t easy to make the team, but it’s an opportunity.
There are several great college players that went undrafted. Here are five that have a very good shot at landing on an NBA roster come the season opener in the fall.
Height/Weight: 6'8'', 206 lbs.
Hollis Thompson improved every year that he played at Georgetown, going from averaging 4.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in his freshman season to 12.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in his junior and final season.
He's a good jump shooter but does struggle from the charity stripe. DraftExpress.com projected that Thompson would be the second-to-last pick in the draft but that never happened and he will become an undrafted free agent.
Thompson's shooting ability should earn him some playing time over the summer, and if he can improve defensively and become a more complete small forward, he could find himself on an NBA roster in the fall.
Height/Weight: 6’9’’, 260 lbs.
Yancy Gates wasn’t expected to be taken in the NBA draft, according to DraftExpress.com, but he still has a good chance at making an NBA roster.
Gates is a big power forward who is a good rebounder and can score on the low post. In his senior season with Cincinnati, he averaged 12.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.
His physicality should at least get him a chance to show teams he’s capable at playing at an NBA-caliber level. Teams that are looking for a big man who isn’t afraid to take a hit in the paint or go up for a rebound should keep an eye on Gates.
Height/Weight: 6’0’’, 187 lbs.
Tu Holloway should get some looks as an undrafted free agent because he has the ability to play the point and shooting guard positions. As a Xavier senior, he averaged 17 points and 5.1 assists per game.
His disadvantage is that he is too big to be a regular point guard but too small to be a regular shooting guard. He’s in the middle of both positions.
Holloway entered the draft last year but eventually returned to school for his senior season. It seems as if that could’ve cost him a job in the NBA, but it isn’t time to give up just yet.
Holloway’s solid offensive game, as well as his ability to play well defensively, could earn him a bench role on an NBA roster.
Height/Weight: 6’9’’, 239 lbs.
Drew Gordon was the best big man left on the board. He was an All-Mountain West selection last year after averaging 13.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
Gordon is a rebounding machine and for that reason alone could end up on a NBA roster. He grabbed 273 boards in his junior year and then easily surpassed that when he pulled in 388 the following season.
Gordon is a big kid who deserves a shot. He is above average in nearly every facet of the game and could be very valuable as a bench player.
There’s no doubt that he has to get accustomed to better opponents, but he has the potential to be a pretty good player.
Height/Weight: 6'2'', 206 lbs.
It could’ve been predicted that the previous four players would go undrafted but I was very surprised that no one took Scott Machado.
DraftExpress.com thought he would be the No. 54 pick in the draft and wasn’t really expected to go undrafted at all.
Machado is an explosive point guard who knows how to score but really flourishes when he passes to his teammates. As a senior, he averaged 13.6 points and 9.9 assists per game.
There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll sign with a team and come off the bench next season.