NBA Draft Results 2011: 10 Surprising Prospects Who Went Unpicked
What were NBA general managers and coaches thinking by not drafting the following players I'll showcase for you this evening? Or morning or midday—depending on where you live.
Who knows what they were thinking? Not me, I'm amazed and baffled.
These 10 amazing players should have been selected in Newark, N.J. They probably feel like the kids who go unpicked in schoolyard games. I hope they're hungry to school NBA types.
Undrafted free agents don't, however, have the NBA Summer League to show off their skills. The league cancelled it due to the possibility of a lockout.
I won't lock you out on the latest news about these free agents. For now, join me in the time of your lives—an entertaining saga about the NBA's most shocking undrafted free agents.
10. Demetri McCamey: The Former Illinois Point Guard Could Help Win NBA Games
A former Illini point guard, McCamey measured at 6'3" in shoes at the combine. He has incredible skill scoring the ball, but he didn't score with a draft pick.
There could have been questions surrounding his attitude and respect for the University of Illinois' basketball coaches. He was often criticized by the local media for not having the proper attitude around the coaches.
McCamey is listed at 204 pounds, so he has an NBA body and is quick enough to score layups. Keep working, Demetri, you could still get to the Promised Land.
9. David Lighty: Evan Turner's Former Running Mate Could Help Win Games
Lighty is probably still in the dark about how teammate John Diebler was drafted and he wasn't. He'll never admit it.
Lighty was a key kog alongside Philadelphia 76ers guard-forward Evan Turner with the Buckeyes. Like the rest of the talented undrafted free agents, David should remember: drafted doesn't mean signed.
Before any Illuminati conspiracy theory starts, or gets signed off on about him—Lighty is just his surname.
8. Jereme Richmond: A Supreme Young Talent, Miami Should Give Him a Look
Richmond, right, played for the University of Illinois last season before declaring for the NBA.
At 6'7" he was an elite prep athlete at Waukegan High School (Ill.), who was highly ranked in the scouting services indexes. Heavily recruited, he landed in Champaign, Ill., and was projected to get picked after averaging 7.6 points as a freshman.
At a fresh 19 years old, though, the Evanston native's future is hanging in the balance like a net.
7. Gregory Smith: Fresno State's NBA Aspirations Became Sudden Devastation
The dog was re-caged after Smith's dreams of making it to the NBA as a former Fresno State Bulldogs center went unrealized.
I'm sure he knew it wouldn't be easy. Fresno is a football school. Smith was measured at 6'9" in shoes at the NBA Combine. Many people took his 6'10" listing in college too seriously, I guess, but he is one rugged interior player at 250 pounds.
6. Willie Reed: The Kansas City Native Expected NBA Teams Would Come Calling
Reed is listed as a 6'10" power forward from Kansas City, Mo., but he didn't have his mo-jo working after he going undrafted.
Sometimes parties go bad, but when the host becomes an unexpected undrafted free agent, it's down right embarrassing. According to an article by the Kansas City Star, Reed experienced such embarrassment.
Oh, well, keep working hard and perhaps your NBA dreams will pan out, Mr. Reed.
5. Rick Jackson: A Syracuse Orange 3-Year Starter Who Has Big East Accolades
As a senior, Jackson led the Big East in rebounds per game (10.3), blocks per game (2.5) and field goal percentage (.588).
The Big East Defensive Player of the Year, Knicks fans clamored for him. The Big East, though, took a beating in the draft—a bite out of the Big Apple.
17 other power forwards were selected before Jackson—seriously.
4. Michael Dunigan: His Basketball Career Isn't Done, I Suspect
Dunigan, right, was a McDonald's All-American and former Oregon Duck. He left the program after his sophomore season to turn pro and play overseas.
Listed at 6'10" in shoes at the NBA Combine, Dunigan has a 7'3" wingspan. He's athletic and was projected by me to go in the second round, or higher.
Dunigan could still get an opportunity to help an NBA team, though. Size is always a much sought after commodity in the league. I suspect Danny Ainge has Dunigan in sight.
3. Jamie Skeen: Scratching My Head Thinking About NBA General Managers
Skeen, left, contests Marcus Morris' shot in the lane during the NCAA Tournament last season. The former North Mecklenburg High baller, Skeen should have been in some NBA general manager's scheme.
A rugged post player, he helped lead VCU to the Final Four, and proved to be a winner who can shoot from three-point range. News of him going undrafted resonated all over Charlotte—his hometown.
I saw his name compared to former NBA big body Rodney Rogers' game. Makes sense. Skeen is LeBron James size and can do it all.
2. LaceDarius Dunn: At 6'4," Former Baylor Bear Point Undrafted After 60 Picks
A former Baylor baller and solid defender, Dunn should have been on some general manager's board. Maybe he was, but no team pulled the trigger. New Orleans in particular
Dunn was projected by some experts to go in the second round. Coming from a now respectable Baylor program, Dunn is a 6'4" guard from Monroe, La. Hornets fans stand up.
A smooth three-point shooter, he may have helped a general manager, or two, shoot themselves in the foot by not picking him. Miami and San Antonio come to mind.
1. Scotty Hopson: The Lakers Could've Used a 6'6" Future Scoring Guard
At the Combine, a former Tennesse Volunteers closer, Hopson measured 6'6" in sneakers. The orange ones he's sporting in this photograph couldn't help him get noticed by the NBA—say, Miami.
He's not as long as Scottie Pippen, but maybe a team will beam Scotty up and give Hopson a second look down the line. Good luck, Mr. Hopson.
I "Hop" you're reading this in Chicago.