Undrafted NBA Free Agents 2013: Prospects Who Must Consider Overseas Options

Ethan GrantAnalyst IJune 28, 2013

Mar 5, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks guard BJ Young (11) shoots a three pointer against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Mizzou Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports
Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Not every NBA draft story is a fairytale ending.

For every 30 picks that end up being first-round selections, there's 30 more that fall to the second round and countless others that have to face the reality that their NBA dreams are going to be much tougher than once expected. 

That doesn't mean all hope is lost. 

Many players have to pursue the NBA Developmental League and/or playing in leagues across the big pond before finding a home in the NBA. Circumstances and projections aren't always ideal, and not everyone gets their shot right away, but you have to believe the basketball gods shine on those who can compete at the highest level. 

While trying to crack a summer league roster and then subsequently making it to training camp will likely be the No. 1 option for the players below, each should take a hard look overseas, where opportunities—and salaries—abound for young American players fresh out of college. 


Matthew Dellavedova, St. Mary's 

Matthew Dellavedova has a lot of talent, as evidenced by his four-year stint at St. Mary's. He averaged 14.2 points and 5.6 assists over the course of his career for the Gaels. 

However, his athletic ability and size come into question when you starting looking at his NBA prospects. Undrafted through the 60 picks of the two-round draft on Thursday night, he'll no doubt get an opportunity to prove himself in summer league action. 

According to U.S. Sports Down Under, that opportunity will come with the Orlando Magic:

His game is suited for the NBA, but his size and athleticism aren't right now. Those aren't things that get solved by going overseas, but proving yourself on a level adjacent to the NBA is a vital part of any overseas trip. 

By taking an opportunity overseas, Dellavedova could work on the aspects of his game that need polishing instead of forcing his game in an attempt to avoid the NBA Developmental League and trying to make a roster before his rookie season begins. 

Shooting the ball more efficiently (40.4 percent as a senior), proving he can run an offense without needless turnovers and learning how to defend better, faster guards despite being physically outmatched will be the main points of emphasis for Dellavedova on an overseas trip, something he should seriously consider after the summer is over. 


B.J. Young, Arkansas

B.J. Young made a bold move by leaving Arkansas. It's a move that did not pay off in the form of a draft selection on Thursday night. 

That being said, he averaged over 15 points per game in each of his first two seasons at Arkansas. He's a proven scorer who finds ways to put the ball in the basket even when hounded by multiple defenders, but he has a tendency to go "hero-ball" more often than not when things aren't working. 

His three-point percentage was down nearly 14 points during his sophomore season, and despite adding nearly two shots per game to his stat line, his per-game average didn't rise the way many thought it would after an efficient freshman season. 

Young is talented, but he's undersized and often volatile in the sense that he has a tendency to get away from himself in the half-court offense. That will fly in the D-League, where scoring 25 points and impressing those in attendance is important, but in Europe, Young will have to keep his act together on and off the court to draw looks from scouts. 

It's clear one more year in college would have benefited this young man, and that it's probably wise that he didn't come out after being a freshman—that end game would have led to "bust" status. 

But there's hope for Young yet if he can be a more willing passer, avoid the big mistakes and learn how to play a role on his team that helps it win on a nightly basis—Arkansas' struggles this year can be traced back to Young's struggles on the road. 

Either way, Young will likely impress a lot of people in the summer league. When it's over and there aren't a lot of opportunities to go be a sixth man somewhere, getting a starting job abroad is Young's best bet to jump-start his career. 


Brandon Davies, BYU

Davies was one of the best mid-major posts in the nation over the past few years, playing second fiddle to Jimmer Fredette a couple of seasons ago before taking on a starring role at BYU in his last two seasons. 

He averaged 17.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game during his senior season for Brigham Young, but scouts who have watched him play consistently point to an underdeveloped defensive post game and lack of strength on the block as reasons why he is not NBA-ready. 

Even so, it looks as if the Los Angeles Clippers are going to give him a shot in their summer league program, via Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune:

If there's one thing we know about European bigs, it's that they are skilled on the block. Toughness and strength aren't added in any gym without hard work, but Davies could really develop his defensive game playing with noted veterans and coaches who know how to get the most out of their big men. 

If you give up ground, get pushed off the block or make a technical mistake against bigs in Europe, they make you look stupid. 

He's got the size (6'9", 235 pounds) to make an impact in the NBA. He also rebounds well and showed improvement over the course of his final two seasons with the Cougars, lending to the idea that he's coachable and motivated enough to recognize a chance when he sees one. 

I think Davies can be an impressive energy guy at the next level who occasionally goes for 15 points if he can clean up his game overseas and get in the weight room. That might be a contradiction based on the stereotypes of European players, but you can't tell me there are no weights to be found in gyms across the pond. 

Like the other two prospects listed above, Davies will quickly be a D-League prospect if he doesn't shine in the summer league. That pressure is intense—rookies don't always do well under pressure. 

If things don't pan out and fewer opportunities are available than these guys think, then taking a stab at consistent playing time, a better salary and a chance to get better as a player—the most important aspect of these scenarios—is the right choice. 


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