Ten Undrafted Rookies Likely to Make an Impact

1. Jeremy Lin – G | Harvard
Lin was the fan favorite in Las Vegas with his underdog background and fearless play style. He clearly has a high basketball IQ, but an offensive flare as well. Lin impressed with his offensive abilities and his willingness to mix it up with other players. We’ll see if his 15 minutes of summer fame can transfer to the pros.

Jeremy has already signed with the Golden State Warriors and could see plenty of court time in their guard-heavy offense. Outside of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, the Warriors lack a lot of depth in the back court. Lin could end up playing backup to Curry for most of the season.

2. Sherron Collins – G | Kansas
The former college star went, surprising to many, undrafted this year. Despite his small size, he has clearly shown over his career that he is a winner, capable of running an offense. He shot incredibly well for Charlotte in the Summer League and had a solid court presence when holding the ball.

After losing Raymond Felton this offseason, the Bobcats are very thin at point guard and could very likely offer Collins an opportunity this season. He can distribute the ball well and spread the court by knocking down jump shots for this team in a backup role.

3. Samardo Samuels – F | Louisville
Samuels probably left college too early and it hurt him on draft night. He was very highly regarded coming out of high school, but struggles and inconsistency at Louisville dropped him out of the draft altogether. That being said, he still has plenty of talent and upside if a team is willing to take a risk.

That team seems to be the Cleveland Cavaliers as they have reportedly signed him to a multi-million dollar contract sometime in the last several days. He’s still young and very much a project at this point, but the Cavaliers’ gamble could pay off if he ever reaches his potential.

4. Matt Janning – G | Northeastern
Janning was one of the pleasant surprises at this year’s Summer League. He’s a deceivingly athletic player with a great basketball IQ. He can hit jumpers for you, but is also capable of getting in the lane and making plays. Averaged around 12 points and 5 rebounds in his 7 games this summer.

The Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics are both interested in Janning since he played for their Summer League teams last month. Phoenix looks like the best fit for him as the combo guard could give them added depth in those positions.

5. DeShawn Sims – F | Michigan
Sims had a great career at Michigan, but didn’t manage to get his name called on draft night. He’s a very talented offensive presence that has the skill set of a wing player, but can bang in the post as well due to playing time at that spot in college.

The Boston Celtics have invited DeShawn to training camp. Their roster is looking nearly full at this point and Sims could be looking at a showdown with fellow Summer League teammate Luke Harangody for that potentially final forward spot on the roster. While they could possibly both make the roster, Sims probably has a little more upside.

6. Brian Zoubek – C | Duke
While he didn’t blow anyone away with his play last month, you know what you’re going to get from him. A solid rebounding and defensive presence in the paint that can keep plays alive for your ball club. If Zoubek can transfer his college game over, that size and consistency is something very valuable to NBA teams and he shouldn’t have a problem staying on a roster.

The New Jersey Nets have given Zoubek a partially guaranteed contract, which will get him into training camp. He can provide this team some added depth in the paint with their front court being mostly inexperienced. He should end up making the roster, but if not other teams will definitely give him a look.

7. Ben Uzoh – G | Tulsa
The talented guard out of Tulsa, while undrafted, should have a great chance at playing in the league. He can shoot the ball well from both mid and long range, something every team would be happy to have. Uzoh is also very capable of getting in the paint when he wants to with his size, speed, and strength.

Like Zoubek, Uzoh has a partially guaranteed contract from the New Jersey Nets and will very likely make their roster. The Nets have players at his position, but it’s possible he could see some time. He could actually end up playing behind fellow undrafted player, Anthony Morrow.

8. Marqus Blakely – F | Vermont
The athletic wing player out of Vermont had a relatively solid effort this summer playing with the Clippers. He was very efficient and active, averaging 7 points on 65 percent shooting with 5 rebounds and 2 steals per game. Blakely can be an exciting player with his both his consistent shooting and athletic finishes at the rim.

Playing for the Clippers over the summer, he will get a shot at making the team with a partially guaranteed contract. While the Clips have solid talent in place, they very much lack depth at this point and could probably use a guy like Blakely who can give a spark off the bench with his athleticism.

9. Jon Scheyer – G | Duke
The college national champion didn’t hear his name on draft night, but he still has the talent and potential to take his game to the next level. A proven winner, Scheyer can both handle the ball and shoot the lights out when he gets on.

Scheyer played with Miami in the Summer League and that could actually be a very good fit for him. They wouldn’t have to pay him much and he could come in and hit open jumpers 10 minutes a night. Although he was injured last month, expect teams to take a long look at him.

10. Miroslav Raduljica – C | Serbia
A great post up center with enough size and strength to be bang down low with NBA quality bigs. While he’s not very athletic or mobile, he makes it up with his offensive touch and sheer presence in the paint. He has also shown signs of a developing mid-range game in addition to his post play that could make him a real valuable asset.

Raduljica is still relatively young and with his size and ability should likely get signed by someone. It was also heard out of his camp that he didn’t even want to be drafted so that he could make more money sooner without the restraints of the guaranteed rookie pay scale.

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