If ever the NBA draft could have used a third round, at least in the modern era, it was 2022. With so many underclassmen inexplicably leaving their names in the draft with NIL deals waiting for them at their respective colleges, the depth in this year’s draft was unprecedented. Following one of the most exciting and unpredictable drafts in recent memory, we head into the summer league and take a look at some of the top undrafted players that will have a chance to make teams. it is time to recognize some of the best players who didn’t hear their name called on draft night, but still have a chance to make their presence felt in the league in the coming years.
1. John Butler, Florida State (New Orleans Pelicans)
Butler was the biggest head scratcher to leave his name in the NBA draft at the withdrawal deadline, and now he must find a way to make it in the league the hard way. There were quite a few players that were projected as first round picks, if only they had returned to school. Butler developed a reputation for not always giving his full effort while in high school and during his one year at Florida State. Despite possessing great length, solid agility and long range shooting ability, the fact that he weighed less than 180 lbs and was such a long term project obviously was more than teams were willing to take on. Now it’s up to him to prove that he has the work ethic to develop his body and make himself into a player. Butler will attempt to turn heads and hopefully get signed to a team while playing in Las Vegas playing for the Pelicans in the Summer League.
2. Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers (Toronto Raptors)
It’s clear that Harper doesn’t have elite fluidity or ideal speed for a wing, but his winning reputation and competitive spirit should’ve at least warranted a late-second round pick. He is a talented perimeter shooter and an intangibles kind of guy that you love to have in the practice facility and in the locker room. His intensity alone will raise the level of everyone else on the floor and add to the culture of winning. He’ll get his chance to work from the ground up after the Raptors signed him to a two-way deal once the final pick was made.
3. Iverson Molinar, Mississippi State (Milwaukee Bucks)
The significant drop in his 3-point jumper was too steep to overlook for NBA teams, but make no mistake, this guy can play professional basketball. He just needs the some further development in his feel for the game and the right opportunity. If he can rediscover his perimeter jumper in the summer league and showcase his already polished ball-handling and slashing skills, he could make Milwaukee’s opening day roster.
4. Jamaree Bouyea San Francisco (Miami Heat)
I was probably most surprised that Bouyea was one of the players who wasn’t selected on. As a fifth year, super senior, his draft age isn’t great, but he’s a twitchy and lengthy guard who is NBA ready by every definition of the phrase who put on quite the show in his final collegiate game at the NCAA Tournament in March. He was one of the first guys to sign a summer league deal as he’ll suit up for the Miami Heat.
5. Alondes Williams, Wake Forest (Brooklyn Nets)
The Nets appear to be set for a major shake up of their roster but they can’t afford tear tear things down completely as they don’t own many of their own picks in upcoming years (2023.24.25.26 going to Houston). Williams was one of the top passers in the draft and is an electrifying athlete who was a late bloomer. He saw his younger but perhaps less talented teammate Jake LaRavia go top 20 in the draft, only to not hear his own name called. Williams could end up having the better NBA career despite going undrafted, depending on situational fate.
6. Justin Lewis, Marquette (Chicago Bulls)
Lewis was another head scratcher who seemingly jumped the gun on a pro career. He showed a lot of promise at Marquette but had some obvious holes to his game and really could have used one more season to iron out his deficiencies. He’s a bit of a tweener, but obviously has great length and versatility and likely would have been a draft pick in any other year. He’ll have his chance to prove it with Chicago Bulls this summer, who were quick to scoop him up after the draft.
7. Michael Foster, G-League Ignite (Philadelphia 76ers)
It was a great night for the Ignite who heard three of their four draft-eligible players go in the 2022 NBA Draft. Unfortunately for Foster, the fourth didn’t hear his name called and instead will have to fight the hard way to earn a contract. He is a physically developed stretch-four who plays with good physicality and given his high recruiting rank coming out of high school, it won’t be long before some team takes a chance on him for a summer league spot.
8. Jared Rhoden, Seton Hall (Sacramento Kings)
Rhoden is a steady player who showed improvement throughout his college career but never completely broke out into a star and his age and the number of players cost him getting drafted. he clearly has NBA talent, it’s a matter of him putting in the work, likely over the next few years in the G League to eventually find a role with a team in the NBA. He finds himself in a favorable place to grab a roster spot in Sacramento.
9. Jean Montero, Overtime Elite (New York Knicks)
While the Overtime Elite program is benefiting a ton of high school student athletes looking to pursue their dream, this draft was a warning to all who choose that path. Even a scorer as talented as Jean Montero didn’t get selected in a class that saw so many younger players keep their names in the draft. While it’s unfair to judge the OTE program solely on the draft production in their first year, having no players taken is a tough blow.
10. Orlando Robinson, Fresno State (Miami Heat)
Video killed the radio star and apparently TV ratings killed the traditional bigman with rule changes favoring shooters and guard play in the NBA. Robinson was arguably the most skilled bigman in the draft, but his limitations as a perimeter defender with today’s shift to modern, mobile bigs over size cost him. If he can improve his lateral agility and figure out how to become an adequate rim-protector, he could carve out a place in the league as a floor spacing, rebounding center.
11. Dereon Seabron, NC State (New Orleans Pelicans)
A breakout season for the Wolfpack as an athletic, playmaking wing wasn’t enough to get Seabron into the top-58 of this year’s class. His athleticism, immense growth from last season and playmaking skill showcased at the G-League Elite Camp scrimmages felt like enough to get him into the mid-late second round, but his shooting limitations proved to be a hurdle teams found to big to overlook. So now he’ll need an outstanding showing in the summer league to get himself back on the radar of a team like New Orleans willing to give him a roster spot
12. Jordan Hall, St. Joseph’s (San Antonio Sprus)
There aren’t many 6’7 point forwards with a solid jumper, collegiate production and a triple-double on their resume who aren’t draft worthy. Like Robinson, Hall had some clear physical limitations with his lack of speed, but the thought was that his feel for the game could help to overcome these shortcomings. Hall will look to follow in a similar path as former Spurs player, Kyle Anderson, and carve out a career as a big, slow playmaking point forward.
13. Julian Champagnie, St. John’s (Philadelphia 76ers)
This one doesn’t come as a total surprise considering Julian’s twin brother went undrafted last season as NBA scouts felt Julian needed another season to refine his skills collegiately. Both of the talented Champagnie brothers have now gone undrafted, but Julian inked a two way deal with the Philadelphia 76ers where he will have an opportunity to develop and become a full time member of the team going forward.
14. Aminu Mohammed, Georgetown (Philadelphia 76ers)
Another talented freshman that could have used another season in college to his benefit. Mohammed like a number of players mentioned before him, would have seemed in a great position to earn some NIL money and improve their skill set to ensure they heard their name called on draft night. Every player has a different situation, and for some staying in college just is in not in the cards. He was one of the few bright spots for Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas team that was unable to get a win in Conference play. Muhammed will have to do it the hard way and further develop his skills against better competition now.
15. Johnny Juzang, UCLA (Utah Jazz)
I truly believe the 2021 NBA Draft would’ve been kinder to Juzang as his sensational NCAA Tournament run would be fresh in the minds of scouts looking for a three-level scorer and talented shooter. He didn’t show much improvement as a junior and with an older draft age, no team felt he was worth a selection with who was left on the board. He’ll have an opportunity with the Jazz this summer to prove that he was.
16. Gabe Brown, Michigan State (Oklahoma City Thunder)
It wasn’t a big surprise that Brown wasn’t selected in the draft, but his talent as a shooter both on the move and with his feet set is undeniable. He’s one of the best perimeter shooting wings in this draft with good bounce and solid athleticism. I have confidence that he’ll work his way up to the league at some point, but it’s all about taking advantage of opportunities, which he can do with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
17. Kenneth Lofton, Louisiana Tech (Boston Celtics)
It surprises me that David Roddy with his limitations due to his frame and conditioning ended up as a first-round pick while Lofton didn’t get drafted at all. If a team was able to overlook Roddy’s larger, unorthodox frame, why wouldn’t anyone do the same with a younger, more accomplished player in Lofton who led an extremely talented U19 USA Basketball team in scoring last summer? Lofton will look to prove himself with the Celtics Summer League team.
18. Tevin Brown, Murray State (Indiana Pacers)
Brown is a talented scorer and shooter who averaged double-digits in all four years of his career, including with Ja Morant by his side in the backcourt. The Pacers added him to their summer league team and with a team that seems to be going young, Brown could find his way onto their roster.
19. Yoan Makoundou, France (Cholet)
Plenty of second-round teams, like they always do, looked internationally for talented project players who they can stash and maintain roster space for the upcoming season. Makoundou was considered a possible long shot stash prospect as a lengthy and athletic forward who had found a three point shooting stroke, but it just wasn’t meant to be for the French forward who will be one of the more athletic players in Europe as he continues to develop his skills in order to possibly one day reach the NBA He’ll likely continue to play in the French league with Cholet.
20. Trevion Williams, Purdue (Boston Celtics)
Williams was one of the best passers on the college level last season regardless of position. He willingly came off the bench and was a great team player allowing Goliath Zach Edey to start for the Boilermakers. His physical shortcomings are obvious as he lacks great lift and speed in the open floor, but few players can match his feel for the game and basketball IQ coming out of college.