|Jerome Carpenter/Capitol Broadcasting Company|
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
With the NBA Draft complete there are some surprising names still available for teams to pick up as undrafted free agents. Some are players coming from smaller colleges, while others were once hotshot prospects that have since fallen out of favor with NBA teams. It will be tough to stick in the NBA as an undrafted free agent, much like a second round pick, but they do have an advantage that second round picks don’t; they will be able to choose which team they want to try out and play for. Here is the best of the rest remaining players that were not drafted.
C.J. Leslie, Power Forward, N.C. State: It was a surprise to many that Leslie went undrafted Thursday night. The big-time athlete from N.C. State is super athletic with outstanding leaping ability. He puts on shows with big finishes above the rim and can run the floor like a guard even though he stands at 6”9” tall and 209 pounds. He is showing improvements in his perimeter game and can handle the ball well for someone his size to go with surprising quickness. He can also bring it on the defensive end in terms of blocks, showing great potential as a help defender. Where he needs to improve, and why teams may have shied away from him, is his strength and low post. He has no real post offense and scored a lot in college because he was more athletic than most opposing players.
**According to Yahoo! Sports NBA Columnist Adrian Wojnarowski, Leslie has agreed to a free agent deal with the New York Knicks.
Myck Kabongo, Point Guard, Texas: Kabongo was a big-time prospect heading into Texas as a freshman but scouts have cooled off on him considerably. He missed time at Texas this past season because of eligibility issues but it would be surprising if that was the sole reason for him falling out of the draft all together. Kabongo is a pure point guard though and has everything you would want from a floor leader with excellent court vision and leadership qualities. He has range out to the three point line and is a good shooter overall that has a quick first step going to the basket. He also will not disappoint you on the defensive end as he is a committed defender there. He is a big undersized, weighing only 180 pounds, but he looks like an NBA player and it is surprising he free fell like he did. He will be a solid pickup to whichever team gives him a chance.
Jackie Carmichael, Power Forward, Illinois State: Carmichael is the type of player you expect teams to scoop up in the second round that could add something to the end of your bench. Surprisingly, he was passed over and became a free agent. He is a strong, physical power forward that will bang in the paint. He is an excellent rebounder and finishes above the rim thanks to his great leaping ability and athleticism. Those things coupled with his motor that is always running also help on defense, where Carmichael is a good shot blocker. His basketball IQ is above average as well, making it even more of a curiosity how no one brought him in. He does lack a perimeter game and some offensive skills and is a bit old for his class, but that didn’t turn teams away from taking players like Gorgui Deign in the first round.
Phil Pressey, Point Guard, Missouri: Pressey was his own worst enemy throughout his time at Missouri. He is an excellent point guard, one of the best in the draft, but killed his stock because he got away from that and took too many bad jump shots. People thought that played him out of the discussion as a first round pick, but not out of the draft as was the result. Pressey is a pass first guard by accounts but falsely falls under the belief he is a scorer. When he does what he is supposed to very few in this class do it better. He is super quick with a motor that never slows. Conditioning should not a problem for him as Missouri played an up-tempo pace that he led. Pressey is very confident in himself and is an excellent leader on the court, qualities that should get him plenty of looks as a free agent.
**According to Yahoo! Sports NBA Columnist Adrian Wojnarowski, Pressey has agreed to a free agent deal with the Boston Celtics.
B.J. Young, Point Guard, Arkansas: Young may have seen his stock fall more than any player that declared for the draft. Coming into his sophomore year he looked like a surefire lottery pick; teams were enamored with his size, athleticism and scoring abilities he showed during his freshman year at Arkansas. Young struggled to live up to those expectations though, as his numbers across the board were virtually the same but his shooting percentages plummeted and he didn’t even finish the season in the starting lineup. He attacks the basket well because of a quick first step and his speed with the ball. Once he is the lane he as an array of moves including a great floater to put the ball in the basket. He is explosive and can see the floor well, but needs to improve on his jump shot and cut down on the mistakes if he is to stick with a team.