[Editor’s note: since undrafted signings are proceeding fast and furiously, apologies if this piece is out of date quickly -- we’ve been trying to get it up but teams keep signing guys!]
After the adrenaline of drafting the Dallas Mavericks’ point guard of the future Dennis Smith Jr. wears down, Donnie Nelson and the front office have no time to rest.
Yes free agency is barely a week away. But before that, NBA teams immediately start making phone calls to prospects who weren’t drafted last night to sign them to summer league or training camp contracts.
Though it can be a tough road for players taken after the early second round, going undrafted isn’t always a bad thing:
Going undrafted isn't always a bad thing. 19 of the 30 second round picks played in the NBA last year and 22 undrafted guys got run.— CJ Moore (@CJMooreHoops) June 23, 2017
Just ask J.J. Barea, Wesley Matthews, Seth Curry, Yogi Ferrell, Dorian Finney-Smith...you get the idea. If a player is willing to work hard, continues to push themselves to grow, and finds the right situation, they can contribute to a NBA team.
Here are a few players the Mavericks should take a look at, and let us know your favorite prospects in the comment below!
Johnathan Motley, Baylor (PF)
Big XII basketball fans should be familiar with the name and the game. Motley finished up his redshirt junior season on a solid Baylor team and declared for the draft, many projecting him to be picked in the early second round. It appears teams hesitated due to a previous knee injury. But make no mistake, Motley is a powerful, athletic power forward with length and the ability to rebound. He has agility and skill for his size, and deserves the opportunity to prove his worth to Rick Carlisle and the front office.
Andrew White, Syracuse (SG)
White bounced around a bit in college, finishing up a long college career at Syracuse. His potential at the next level is found in his 3 and D potential. Possessing great size (6’7”, 220 pounds), and shooting 40 percent from the three, White is the type of player that NBA teams are constantly looking for. Though Syracuse is known for their zone defense, White showed perimeter defensive ability at his previous schools (Nebraska and Kansas). With a great summer, it’s easy to see White competing for time with guys like Dorian Finney-Smith and Nico Brussino.
Isaac Humphries, Kentucky (C)
Getting caught behind some top level talent at Kentucky, this Australian center decided to pursue professional basketball after his sophomore year. Because he played such limited minutes in college, it’s hard to look at numbers and project what Humphries can be. He has played some time with the Australian national team, so he has some experience with high level talent. And he looks to be a solid rebounder with pro-level size (7’0”, 260 pounds). He’s a traditional block presence that will need to hone his savviness, to make up for athleticism. Even with the evolution of the game, the NBA can always use guys looking to work the block and grab boards.
The Mavericks spent some pre-draft time working out players projected to be late second round or undrafted, so they have some idea of who they want to look at. There should always be low expectations for what they can find, but with their recent success with these crop of players, it’s conceivable that one of these summer signings ends up making the roster in the fall.