As the lights fade in Brooklyn, 58 prospects begin their NBA careers comfortably, with contract signing, the Summer League, and a litany of endorsements in their near future. However, for every name called by Adam Silver and Mark Tatum tonight, there are plenty more still waiting for a phone call. Who just missed the cut in the 2022 Draft, and what could they bring to the NBA?
Here are our top picks for this year's best undrafted players, and what they will use to fight their way into the league.
Sam Basel (@samjuan2878)
Following a bounce back season in which Ohams finished 5th in rebounding nationally (11.6 RPG), the “Mayor of Fordham” is looking to go pro. While his commanding presence down low is no doubt the biggest draw, Ohams’ improvement overall this past season was nothing short of remarkable. Following two seasons in which he struggled with injury, Ohams capped his Fordham career putting up career numbers in scoring (14.8 PPG), assists (1.8 APG), and shooting (50% eFG%). After attending workouts with the Nets and Pacers, I’d be shocked if Ohams doesn’t make a summer league appearance this year.
In a normal year, I think Tyler Burton would have been more of a lock, but with two forfeited picks from Milwaukee and Miami, he just misses the cut. Burton had a tough time in conference play this year with some quiet performances, but turned the dial up to 11 en route to an A-10 Championship, averaging 14.5 ppg, 9.75 rpg in the conference tourney. He’s a smart defender and a menace on the wing. If he can work on his speed, he’ll be a huge pickup for any team in need of a defensive guard.
Jalen Adaway|Guard|St. Bonaventure
Jalen Adaway is living proof that the NIT can really help extend your window for NBA-caliber attention. Last year’s leading scorer at St. Bonaventure (15.3 ppg, 52.5 eFG%) was the focal point of a team full of high quality Atlantic 10 players including Osun Osunniyi and Kyle Lofton. Adaway’s athleticism, along with his high basketball IQ, give him a lot to work with offensively. Watch any of his highlights, and you’ll see a guy who really knows how to change his game up possession to possession to outwork any defender.
Update: Via Woj, Adaway has received a Summer League invite from the Miami Heat.
Julian Champagnie|Guard|St. John's
St. Johns' disappointing finish no doubt hurt Champagnie’s draft stock this year, but in three seasons with the Red Storm, he has built up a reputation as a powerful Big East guard that can shoot the ball at a high level. It's a weird thing to knock a guy coming out of college for, but his size for a guard may confuse coaches who would want to put him at the wing, but his midrange shot would make him a sneaky threat off the bench.
Update (6/24 12:26 AM): Via Zach Braziller, Champagnie has signed a two-way contract with the 76ers.
Phil Dexter (@nchoopsreport)
Dareon Seabron|Guard/Wing|NC State
Seabron is certainly intriguing from a “physical tools” standpoint but has a ways to go in
polishing his offensive repertoire enough to contribute at a high level in the NBA. His
elite ability to get to the rim coupled with his raw athleticism should be enough to get
him a look from teams in the Summer League and training camp.
Lee reportedly injured his ankle/foot in a recent draft workout and will most likely be
out of commission for Summer League and possibly even training camp. Whenever Lee is able to make it back on the court his shooting skills, particularly off the catch, will make him an attractive option for a contender. I could very easily see him playing a Duncan Robinson type of role for a long time.
Williams’ athleticism, or lack thereof, is a concern, particularly on the defensive end but
he makes up for it with a high basketball IQ, uncanny passing vision and grittiness. He
has shown improvement in limited attempts from three point range and if that improves
he will have no problem finding a bench role in the NBA.
Scotty Pippen Jr.|Guard|Vanderbilt
Pippen Jr. was one of the most productive players in the country his last two seasons at
Vanderbilt averaging over 20 points per game. While he lacks his fathers’ height (6‘1 vs.
6’8) Pippen Jr. has shown flashes of similar defensive instincts. He is an average shooter
from three (34%) but that should improve in a lower usage situation in the NBA. It feels
cheap to compare him to another former star’s son but I could see Pippen Jr. carving out
a very similar career to Gary Payton II.
Will Tondo (@wtondo)
One of the most decorated, accomplished, and successful college players in this draft, and he’s considered a fringe 2nd pick at best? Wild. Gillespie has a vast basketball IQ and he’s a reliable scorer from anywhere on the floor. He’s a steady 3 point shooter, a great rebounder for a guard, has formidable defense, and possess a winning mentality. It’s all the tools to be a PG in the league, at least a steady bench option.
Update: Via Woj, Gillespie has signed a 2-way contract with the Denver Nuggets.
Once projected in the top 5, Kofi Cockburn is still an extremely productive scorer. Cockburn has the NBA size, strength, and power to make the next step. It’s tough where the league is eyeing away from big bruisers, but Cockburn will find a home to dominate the paint.
Update: Via Jonathan Givony, Cockburn has agreed to a deal with the Utah Jazz.
Juzang is a proven scorer, who went back to school to improve after an impressive 2021 tournament run to the final four. He has range beyond the NBA 3-point line, but isn’t solely a 3-point shooter. He possesses a quick, high release and a natural touch that can do damage from mid-range and beyond the arc, and also aids his ability to hit shots against contests. Compared to Kevin Huerter and Duncan Robinson, he should find a home in the 2nd round.
Update: Via Woj, Juzang has signed a 2-way contract with the Utah Jazz.
A skilled playmaker, Martin can space the floor and knock down threes. Martin boosted his stock with his production in the tournament and of course by winning the Championship. A borderline 2nd rounder, I think he gets drafted, but if not, you’ll definitely hear him make a tryout.
Tevin Brown|G|Murray State
Murray State produced Ja Morant, who is one the leagues bright stars. Could Brown be a sleeper in this year's draft? He is a phenomenal shooter and scorer. He offers a great combination of scoring ability, court vision, and speed. He also gives good looks to teammates, dishing out at least 75 assists every season. I see Brown as solid bench producer that should be considered in the 2nd round.
One of the names nobody knew in October but everybody found out by March. That’s because he led the entire NCAA in scoring, averaging 25.2 a game. Kiss is an athletic, energetic, and eccentric playmaker. He’s one of those guys who’s annoying to guard, because of his intensity and persona. He’ll likely go undrafted, but expect his name to come up for the G-League or 2-way. The guy has that edge.
Jake Zimmer (@jakezimmer12)
Michael Foster Jr.|PF|G-League Ignite
Foster, a former 5-star recruit and a McDonald’s All American, chose the G League over offers to play with Leonard Hamilton at FSU and Tom Crean at Georgia. And with the star-studded group on Ignite, who can blame him?Foster was originally thought to go top-ten, but now he’ll be lucky to even hear his name drafted after some questions arose. His defensive ability remains to be seen, but I liken his stock to Jonathan Kuminga, who came up in a similar situation…low-risk, high-reward.
Kai Sotto|C|Philippines (Currently at Adelaide 36ers in Australia
This would be a piece of history, as Sotto would be the first full-blooded product of the Philippines to be called on NBA Draft Day. Sotto is a massive 7-foot-2, 235+ bruiser center, and his path was a unique one - he had been signed by G League Ignite, but never appeared in a game as the COVID protocols were still heightened. His lone season playing in Australia in the NBL was underwhelming, but with a bit of grooming, he might be able to give a couple minutes off the bench for a team with no other options.
With the draft over, these players, and plenty more, will look to sign two-way deals, G-League contracts, or go overseas to increase their exposure. With plenty of open spots in this year's Summer League, expect a lot of the above names in action. We'll be updating this article regularly with any news on these incredibly talented players, so keep checking back on House Enterprise for everything you need to know about the NBA Pipeline.