The lives of 60 college players were forever altered on Thursday night when they made it into the NBA. Unfortunately, many more prospects are still vying for a spot in the pros, and Texas' Myck Kabongo is one of them.
During his sophomore year at Texas, Kabongo averaged 14.6 points, five rebounds and 5.5 assists per contest, but he garnered more attention off the court. The NCAA slapped the 21-year-old Canadian with a 23-game ban after he lied to school officials about receiving improper benefits.
Even though Kabongo only played 11 games in a disappointing season that saw the Longhorns miss the NCAA tournament cut, he still looked poised to be drafted in the second round. A few prognosticators even considered him a potential late first-rounder.
Count ESPN's Chris Broussard among those who expected someone to grab Kabongo during the draft.
On one hand, his game is a work in progress, and he must improve his jump shot to succeed in the NBA. On the other hand, he displays blazing speed with slick ball-handling moves and playmaking ability. If some team is willing to bite on Kabongo, it could gain an explosive reserve point guard for its troubles.
Here are his best potential landing spots after going undrafted.
This came at the cost of Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Reggie Evans, Keith Bogans and essentially any first-round pick they hadn't already dealt to land Deron Williams, so management has a long offseason ahead to fill out the roster.
Their starting five is flooded with All-Star talent, but what about everything else? With so much of the payroll devoted to their starting veterans, they might need newly minted head coach Jason Kidd to pull double duty and log some minutes behind Williams.
Or they could look for talented, cheap options elsewhere, and Kabongo fits the mold.
With all the scorers on this squad, the Nets may not mind Kabongo's lack of a potent jumper. They won't be looking for him to shoot much anyway.
They're going to have to get creative in order to assemble a decent bench. Why not take a shot on a project player with first-round talent?
Or how about the other team from Thursday night's blockbuster trade?
The writing was on the wall after suffering a first-round elimination and shipping Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers, but Boston officially entered rebuilding mode by jettisoning the remaining pieces of its veteran core.
With Rivers and the original Big Three gone, Boston is left with Rajon Rondo, Wallace's crippling contract and a slew of young talent to build around. The roster is deep with young talent alongside a few veterans obtained from Brooklyn, but a gaping hole still remains behind Rondo.
Boston suffered last season when Rondo had to watch from the bench. Left without a capable ball-handler, the Celtics averaged 16.3 turnovers a game to the New York Knicks in the opening round, when an overwhelmed Avery Bradley ran the show.
Even when Rondo returns, he'll need to rest eventually, especially while recovering from a torn ACL. Removing themselves from the title picture won't motivate the Celtics to chase a high-quality veteran for insurance, but how about a young dynamo with a chance to play a role in their future plans?
As long as Rondo returns, Boston would provide Kabongo with a great opportunity to ease into the NBA in a low-pressure situation.
San Antonio Spurs
What better place for a raw talent to go than San Antonio?
Gregg Popovich has a knack for bringing the best out of his young players, who frequently flourish under his tutelage. Perhaps the coaching legend will consider keeping the former Longhorn in Texas to fight for a spot on the Spurs.
The Spurs appreciate a good value, and they also have all the patience in the world when handling prospects. Although Kabongo might not see the court in 2013, he'd learn from the best while working out the kinks in his game.
San Antonio usually seeks crisp shooters to space the floor, but Popovich has experience taking a young point guard with a limited jumper under his wings and turning him into a star.
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