Thursday June 26th is a day that is the pinnacle experience for basketball as a whole. This year’s NBA Draft class is rich in promise and potential and with every second that ticks, more speculation arises as to who is going where.
But last year there were fourteen players who weren’t drafted who still spent time in the league.
Phil Pressey and Chris Babb both dipped into the Summer League before being signed by the Celtics. Brandon Davies spent some time with the 76ers before fracturing a finger. Elias Harris was teased by the Los Angeles Lakers for a spell, winding up in multiple assignments with their D-League affiliate the D-Fenders before finally being waived. He signed a two-year contract with a team in Germany.
Matthew Dellavedova was one of the most productive players out of the undrafted, signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers early in the fall and playing 72 games with an average of 4.7 PPG. Dewayne Dedmon also put up productive numbers once he signed with the Orlando Magic with 3.7 PPG n 14.6 minutes in 16 games.
The two biggest succcess stories were on the same team that best utilizes the D-League system. Robert Covington signed a multi-year deal with the Houston Rockets after the Summer League and spent most of the year working with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. In that year with the Vipers he wound up making the D-League All Star Game and was named 2014 D-League Rookie of the Year.
His teammate on the Vipers, Troy Daniels had a rough start to his summer league. He was brought in and waived a couple times by the Bobcats and Rockets before accepting an invitation to join Rio Grande Valley. Once there he was brought up and signed a multi-year deal with the Rockets. With the Rockets, he enjoyed his time in the playoffs, hitting the go-ahead 3 pointer with 11 seconds left to win Game 3 of the playoff round versus the Portland Trailblazers.
The saddest case of the Undraftees is Seth Curry, younger brother of long range shooting maestro, Steph Curry. After backing up Kyrie Irving at Duke, Seth went undrafted in 2013. He was given a non-guaranteed contract by the Golden State Warriors (probably out of good faith to Steph, the Chris Smith contract if you will) but was waived two months after.
Seth Curry signed with the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors and when the Memphis Grizzlies took another jolt to an injury plagued lineup in January, they signed Seth to a 10-day contract. In a trivia making moment, Seth did not get off the bench until January 5th, where he played 4 minutes of garbage time and put up no stats. Later that night he was waived by the Grizzlies.
Curry returned to the Santa Cruz Warriors and in March signed another 10-day contract this time with the Cavaliers. He still only played one game, but his minutes ballooned to 9 and he scored 3 points. He was not offered an additional contract and once again returned to the Santa Cruz Warriors.