Each year there's a number of prospects that become heavily coveted as undrafted free agents. It seems as if this year, we saw an intriguing amount of talented prospects end up undrafted. As recent history has shown us, the "undrafted" tag might not be as bad as you think. Here's a look at where some of the notable names are heading.
Kris Wilkes, F, UCLA (Two-Way contract)
- You'll find Wilkes as one of the undrafted prospects that didn't get a lot of attention this year after playing for an underachieving UCLA team. Wilkes returned for his Sophomore year for the Bruins and had to carry a lot of the load offensively. He's still got some rawness to his game, and he could be a diamond in the rough. Wilkes has good size and has shown an ability to get hot from deep but will need some consistency to take the next leap forward in his game.
Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State (Two-Way contract)
- It's a little bit of a surprise that Dort didn't hear his name called on draft night, but the Thunder were wise to give the powerful wing a shot. Dort was a scorching hot name around NBA circles in the first half of the collegiate season in College Hoops last year but cooled off as the year progressed. He's a passionate player that draws a lot of comparisons to Boston Celtics Marcus Smart, but Dort will need to develop a consistent outside shot and some overall patience in his offensive game.
Louis King, F, Oregon (Two-Way contract)
- One of my favorite fits out of the Undrafted Class and I think this could turn out to be gold for the Detroit Pistons organization. King had a rough first year at Oregon. He missed the majority of his freshman year recovering from an injury suffered late in his Senior Year of High School but showed plenty of flashes in the NCAA tournament. King is a bit behind on his development, but
Naz Reid, F/C, LSU (Two-Way contract)
- I'm a big believer in Naz Reid and his overall game. It should translate well in the modern NBA and I was surprised to see a team didn't take a chance on Reid in the 2nd round. Reid is a huge body, and some teams might want him to lose some weight, but he's a shockingly impressive ball handler for someone with his size. If Reid can get things to click early, he could find himself making an NBA roster. Expect a motivated Reid to look to prove himself during Summer League.
Tyus Battle, G, Syracuse
- Tyus Battle is an intriguing sleeper. It's not a surprise to me that he went Undrafted, but I do believe there's some serious potential for Battle to blossom in the G-League. He was relied on to carry the load offensively at Syracuse, but Battle has the ability to turn into a valuable role player if he can work on his shot selection.
Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas
- Remember this move, because it has the potential to be a sneaky good add for a Golden State Warriors team that could find themselves needing depth in the biggest way. Lawson was a very productive transfer from the University of Memphis and I believed deserved to hear his name called on draft night. He's a bit undersized at 6'9", but Lawson can score in bunches from all-around. Lawson averaged 19.4 PTS and 10.3 REB for Kansas last year.
Zach Norvell, G, Gonzaga
- It's going to be an interesting offseason for the Lakers as they will most likely swing for another big name Free Agent. If that happens, expect the Lakers to try to find a couple of depth pieces and Norvell could be an intriguing option. The former Gonzaga Bulldog has the ability to be a 3 and D player and I believe his best basketball is ahead of him.
Brian Bowen, F, Sydney Kings
Brian Bowen has had a bit of a wild ride to get to the NBA but he's in good hands with the Indiana Pacers who do a good job of developing their young talent. Bowen spent his last year playing for the NBL in Australia, and he should see some serious time in the G-League as he continues to develop his raw game. Plenty of talent, keep an eye on this one.
DaQuan Jeffries, G/F, Tulsa
- I am a bit shocked that Tulsa phenom DaQuan Jeffries didn't hear his name on Draft Night and I believe the Magic might have found an absolute steal in UDFA. Jeffries has good size, length and plays the game with a chip on his shoulder. ESPECIALLY on the defensive side of the ball. Don't be surprised if Jeffries flashes in Summer League and makes this roster.
Shamorie Ponds, G, St. Johns
- Another prospect that I was a little surprised didn't hear his name on Draft Night. Ponds has plenty of traits that you want in a floor general and he was one of the most prolific clutch shot makers in college basketball the last couple of years. Some might be scared of Ponds' ball-dominant approach, as he carried a MASSIVE load of the scoring punch for St. Johns, but Ponds is a vastly underrated playmaker. This system could make Ponds explode.
Simi Shittu, F, Vanderbilt
A tough process for Simi Shittu, who was once a highly touted High School prospect. Shittu was recovering from an ACL tear in HS and surprisingly recovered in time for the College Basketball season. His explosiveness didn't seem all the way back and this could have some serious diamond in the rough potential. Simi will most likely spend his first year in the G-League but he's an intriguing flier for the Grizzlies.
Tacko Fall, C, UCF (Exhibit 10)
We have to give the Big man some love here. Tacko Fall is getting an Exhibit 10 contract with the Boston Celtics, which basically means that Fall will be in line to earn a bonus if he makes the Celtics G-League roster in so many words. We all know the story, and Fall will draw a crowd with his play this Summer.
Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy HS
- Phoenix needs a point guard in the worst of ways, that's no secret. Ty Jerome will be an intriguing option for the Suns immediately, but keep a close eye on Jalen Lecque. The raw prospect, who is coming straight out of High School, will need some serious time in the G-League this year.
Robert Franks, F, Washington State (Two-Way)
- Franks can shoot the rock from outside and has a great chance to carve out a roll with this Charlotte Hornets team. The former Washington State product agreed to a Two-Way deal with the Hornets and should be someone to keep an eye on during Summer League action.
Marques Bolden, C, Duke
- Cleveland has had quite the "under the radar" offseason so far, adding a lot of talent throughout the draft process. Marques Bolden is another player that should be an intriguing prospect. Bolden was a solid defensive piece for the Blue Devils and could find himself carving out a spot on the Cavs roster with an impressive summer.
Zylan Chetham, F, Arizona State
- There seemed to be some serious momentum for Cheatham heading into the draft in which I was a bit shocked to not hear his name called on Draft Night. Cheatham will land in the perfect opportunity and should have some serious potential to make the Pelicans roster as a role player.
Jaylen Hoard, F, Wake Forest
- Jaylen Hoard was a dark horse favorite in NBA circles before last years because of his intriguing tools and his previous play overseas. He didn't show as much consistency as you would like at Wake Forest, but some time in the G-League should help him in a big way.
Justin Robinson, G, Virginia Tech
- Justin Robinson was a scrappy scoring option for Virginia Tech who missed a majority of last season recovering from an injury. He should spend some time for the Wizards G-League team but has a chance to stick with the Wizards current state.
Lindell Wigginton, G, Iowa State
Wigginton went undrafted after a bit of an up and down two years at Iowa State. He's going to need to continue to work on his ability as a playmaker as he's a bit of a score-first mentality. Toronto has a recent history of doing wonders with projects in their G-League...Lindell might be next in line.