Ranking NBA's Top Undrafted Prospects at Summer League

Jonathan WassermanJuly 6, 2022

Ranking NBA's Top Undrafted Prospects at Summer League

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    NBA teams had potential undrafted prospects in mind before draft night even started.

    Summer league is where the overlooked players start to surface as steals. Everyone is looking for the next Jose Alvarado.

    A handful of prospects who were on Bleacher Report's board didn't get picked. If we were to hold a draft that included only players whose names weren't called, the following is the order we'd take them in.

Nos. 20-16

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    AP Photo/Michael Allio

    20. Buddy Boeheim, Detroit Pistons SG/SF

    With 309 career threes for Syracuse, Boeheim will be auditioning for a shot-making specialist role, though it's shot-making versatility (77 made pull-ups, 44 made shots off screens) that gives him a chance over more one-dimensional shooters. Detroit was a favorable landing spot for Boeheim, considering the Pistons ranked No. 29 in three-point percentage and their star lottery picks (Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren) won't help much in the shooting department.

    19. Iverson Molinar, Milwaukee Bucks PG

    Molinar's off shooting year (25.2 percent 3PT) for Mississippi State may have been fluky, considering he shot 43.6 percent last year and 83.1 percent from the free-throw line for his career. He also made an incredible 41 of 81 floaters, another promising touch indicator.

    18. Lester Quinones, Golden State Warriors SG/SF

    Though Quinones never generated much draft buzz at Memphis, he may check the right boxes for a particular role. Three-point shooting (39.4 percent last two seasons), transition offense and defensive quickness could eventually earn him a three-and-D gig.

    17. Kofi Cockburn, Utah Jazz C

    At 293 pounds, Cockburn would be the NBA's heaviest—and perhaps strongest—rookie. The Jazz could see a specialist player whose value revolves around overpowering bigs around the low block and inhaling rebounds with his 7'4" wingspan.

    16. Orlando Robinson, Miami Heat C

    Robinson's athletic limitations were exposed during testing and scrimmages at the NBA combine. But skill-wise, he's super sharp, with the ability to create for himself around the key and knock down rhythm jumpers. He also finished second in the nation in assists thrown from the post in 2021-22 for Fresno State.

Nos. 15-11

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    15. Johnny Juzang, Utah Jazz SF

    Consistent shot-making could help offset Juzang's lack of versatility and athletic abilities. He'll have one job if given a chance: Make jumpers. And he's shown he can hit them off the catch or dribble.

    14. Jordan Hall, San Antonio Spurs SG/SF

    After averaging 14.1 points, 6.7 boards, 5.8 assists and 2.3 threes for St. Joseph's in 2021-22, Hall feels too productive and versatile to write off. His shot-making and passing could be enough to earn him a roster spot, even if he struggles to create separation or blow by anyone.

    13. Julian Champagnie, Philadelphia 76ers SF/PF

    Champagnie's three-point percentage dropping last season didn't help him make any new NBA fans. However, he's the only player on record to finish a season with 60 threes, 25 dunks and a steal rate above 3.0 percent. He could stick as a spot-up scorer and off-screen shooter.

    12. Keon Ellis, Sacramento Kings SG/SF

    Ellis earned the three-and-D label at Alabama, though being an impactful NBA wing defender at 167 pounds will be a challenge. Still, he graded in the 90th percentile in 2021-22 as a spot-up player, and he even made 14 of 30 pull-ups, a sign he could still pose a threat if run off the line.

    11. Ron Harper Jr., Toronto Raptors SF

    Athletic question marks kept scouts from buying Harper, but having shot 39.8 percent from three in 2021-22 should give him a chance. Shot-making and intangibles could be enough for the 22-year-old wing to earn a role. The Raptors figure to value his maturity and adaptable game.

10. Tevin Brown, Indiana Pacers SG

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    Teams overlooked Tevin Brown, an elite catch-and-shooter and effective ball-screen weapon.

    At 175 pounds, he'll be challenged physically. But the career (125 games) 38.6 percent marksman from three at Murray State led the nation in points per game off screens in 2021-22. The Indiana Pacers could see see value in his ability to shoot off movement and spot up from deep.

    Off-ball shot-making will be Brown's ticket to the league, though he also graded in the 81st percentile as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, showing passing IQ and pacing/timing attacking the rim.

9. Kenny Lofton Jr., Memphis Grizzlies PF

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    Traditional scouting logic works against Kenny Lofton Jr., a 280-pound post player. But high-level skill, IQ and energy create tempting outlier potential, which the Memphis Grizzlies were quick to chase after the draft.

    Strength, footwork, instincts and coordination make Lofton an outstanding back-to-the-basket player, both as a scorer and passer. He has counter moves, patience, touch and an ability to play through contact. He even dished out 45 assists from the post for Louisiana Tech in 2021-22, with teammates having shot 53.6 percent off his passes.

    Despite a game that now values bigs who can shoot and face up, the Grizzlies could still find use for his interior offense, toughness and competitiveness. And between the brief flashes of shooting and his age (19), there is some room for optimism that Lofton can eventually add a threatening jump shot.

8. Aminu Mohammed, Philadelphia 76ers SG/SF

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    Buying Aminu Mohammed means ignoring the numbers, traditional scouting logic and questions about fit/position. He's a sleeper candidate to stick and crack a rotation by giving a team physical, pesky defense and energy that translates to off-ball buckets at the rim.

    Becoming a three-point threat would obviously improve Mohammed's chances of earning minutes. He did look capable when left open (18 threes in 31 games at Georgetown), though NBA shooting coaches will want to take his shot mechanics to the lab. The hope would be for the strong, 6'5" wing to mirror Luguentz Dort's development/rise.

    Regardless, with a 6'11" wingspan, 2.9 steal rate, quick hands and constant motor, Mohammed possesses defensive playmaking and lockdown potential guarding ball-handlers and both wing spots.

7. Dominick Barlow, San Antonio Spurs PF

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    Dominick Barlow had built some momentum entering the draft, but his play at the NBA combine wasn't enough. He's far away, and the upside tied to his game isn't super exciting.

    But with the San Antonio Spurs initiating a complete rebuild following the Dejounte Murray trade, Barlow should have a decent chance to earn minutes and the freedom to play through mistakes.

    The draw to the 19-year-old initially stems from his movement for a 221-pound big with a 7'3" wingspan. Barlow can beat defenses down the floor and slide his feet guarding forwards and wings.

    Offensively, he's still limited, but he does show he can improvise or finish at tough angles and make open jumpers. He has nice touch from the free-throw line, and given his limitations as a creator, shooting will be a key swing skill for Barlow to build NBA value.

6. Alondes Williams, Brooklyn Nets PG

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    Shooting limitations and decision-making issues cast a cloud on Alondes Williams' production at Wake Forest. There are valid reasons to question how well his scoring will translate, or if he could be a full-time point guard for 25-plus minutes. But his explosiveness and passing skills should still translate to transition/downhill offense and playmaking.

    He averaged 5.2 assists and recorded 25 dunks as a ball-handler in 2021-22. Williams make things happen off the dribble, and in the right, reduced role, it's worth seeing if he could provide a spark of penetration and live-dribble passing.

    And though he isn't a great spot-up shooter, the fact that he used his athleticism to convert 25 of 32 cuts does alleviate some concern about his effectiveness off the ball.

    Depending on how the Brooklyn Nets look once the dust settles from the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving drama, there could be an early opportunity for Williams.

5. Trevion Williams, Boston Celtics PF/C

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    Scouts have had trouble picturing a fit with Trevion Williams, a 265-pound big who doesn't shoot or offer much defensive value. Instead, it's worth picturing a specialist player who carves out a role with his own unorthodox, signature offense.

    The ability to pass and score from the post may be enough for Williams to stick. He processes at an extremely quick level, both off short rolls and back-to-the-basket possessions. The Boston Celtics will value his IQ for setting up teammates from the key.

    But he also made 98 field goals out of the post and converted 15 of 23 isolation chances. He has over-the-shoulder touch and counter moves, plus surprising wiggle in shorter face-up situations. Though passing separates Williams from other bigs, he can still be used as a scoring option (and an offensive rebounder) in the half court.

4. Dereon Seabron, New Orleans Pelicans SG/SF

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    Scoring more than any prospect during NBA combine scrimmages didn't help Dereon Seabron win over NBA teams. Some scouts still saw a second-round pick, even though his shooting does pose an issue.

    There is value in playmaking wings, and at 6'6" in shoes, Seabron logged 220 pick-and-roll ball-handling possessions in 2021-22 for NC State. He recorded 29 grab-and-go baskets in transition. Despite poor finishing numbers, he attempted 258 shots at the basket, a giant number for a perimeter player. Seabron puts heavy pressure on the rim with his ability to navigate through gaps. And he also averaged 3.2 assists. Second units without strong point guard play could use him as a secondary setup man.

    His size, creation into penetration and live-dribble passing could work in a lineup that surrounds him with shooters.

3. Justin Lewis, Chicago Bulls SF/PF

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    Justin Lewis' improved shooting wasn't enough to win over NBA teams. It will give him a chance with the Chicago Bulls, who have room to upgrade their frontcourt depth.

    A 235-pound frame and 7'2½" wingspan still separate Lewis from most wings or forwards. They served him best playing through contact downhill, particularly in transition.

    But Lewis went from making 11 half-court jumpers as a true freshman to 71 this past season. Though he struggled in creation situations, he had encouraging success spotting up—catch-and-shooting, driving past closeouts and hitting one-dribble pull-ups.

    His role for Chicago would be defined and limited to spotting up and finishing fast-break buckets. Earning a regular role will come down to Lewis' defense, which wasn't as effective as his tools suggest it could have been. Physically, he is built incredibly similar to Jae Crowder (6'6", 235 lbs). Improving his defensive reads and concentration could ultimately be Lewis' swing skills.

2. Michael Foster Jr., Philadelphia 76ers PF/C

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    NBA scouts may have nitpicked Michael Foster Jr. too hard. On paper, it's easy to question why poor three-point shooting and suspect defense are problematic for his fit.

    At 6'9" (in shoes) and 237 pounds with a 7'0" wingspan, he produced in the G League with standout tools and a high skill level that feel translatable inside the arc. Open-floor ball-handling/body control, self-creation around the post/short corners, tough shot-making and physical finishing led to 15.6 points per game on 46.3 percent, and he did this spending some of the season at 18 years old.

    He also appeared in good shape at the NBA combine, having registered 6.2 percent body fat. Foster blocked 1.9 shots per game as well, and it may be worth thinking of him as a small-ball, offensive-minded center.

    And he did shoot well from the free-throw line (76.9 percent). Between his age and confidence (40 three-point attempts), there are enough reasons to bet on Foster eventually hitting threes on a more consistent basis.

1. Jean Montero, New York Knicks PG

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    While NBA scouts gradually started selling stock in Jean Montero, we still saw fringe first-round value.

    He caught an unlucky break at the combine in Chicago, where an injury knocked him out of scrimmages just a few minutes in. NBA teams questioned his 172-pound frame and inconsistent shooting with Overtime, but there is still a good chance Montero's quickness off the bounce, handle and pacing and passing skills translate to creation and playmaking.

    And though his three-point percentages have never been super convincing, he possesses clear shot-making skill, which he showed at the Nike Hoop Summit with four made threes.

    There are obvious concerns about his finishing and defense, but Montero's ability to set teammates up and make jumpers, even if it's in spurts, could be enough for the Dominican guard to stick in a bench spark role.

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