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The 10 Best Players The NBA Draft Missed

Even with 60 players selected, there were a lot of interesting prospects that didn't hear their names called at the 2012 NBA Draft. Who are the best remaining ones of the bunch?

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Even with 60 picks in the 2012 NBA Draft, there's enough players out there that one or two can still slip through the cracks of the process.

Last year, an undrafted free agent point guard from Harvard became the biggest story in sports for almost a month. And while very few undrafted free agents ever get the chance Jeremy Lin got in New York, a few do end up sticking on NBA rosters every year.

For players like Marquis Daniels, Wesley Matthews and Raja Bell, the difference between making the league and playing overseas can come down to being at the right place at the right time. In a way, then, being undrafted can be a blessing in disguise, especially compared to players taken in the 50's who show up to camp competing against a full roster.

Here's a look at the 10 undrafted free agents whom, in my opinion, have the best shot at cracking a team's roster in 2012:

1. Scott Machado (Iona)

I'm not sure what UNC's Kendall Marshall did, besides have much better teammates, to be viewed as such a better prospect than Machado. At 6'1'' and 205 pounds, Machado is athletic enough to be an NBA PG while putting up absolutely absurd statistics in college: 13.6 points on 49.5-percent shooting and 40.4-percent from deep, 4.9 rebounds and 9.9 assists on 2.6 turnovers a game.

He's a pure point guard who did a magnificent job running Iona's uptempo offense. Last year was a good year for lightly regarded young point guards (Jeremy Lin, Isaiah Thomas). Machado, if given the right opportunity, could follow in their footsteps.

2. Drew Gordon (New Mexico)

Gordon and Kevin Jones were my two draft sleepers who didn't end up being selected. Gordon, a UCLA transfer, has two things going for him when it comes to making a roster: a legitimate skill (rebounding) and an NBA position as an athletic 6'9, 240 power forward.

3. Kevin Jones (West Virginia)

Jones' low shooting percentages from deep last year (27 percent) probably doomed his chances of being drafted, but if you dig a little deeper, they could be a little misleading. When he was a sophomore on a Final Four-bound team, playing as a role player instead of a featured contributor, he shot 40 percent from deep. If he can regain his stroke, he has a rare combination of long distance shooting and offensive rebounding (4.3 a game as a senior).

4. Henry Sims (Georgetown)

I have a soft spot for big men who can pass the basketball, and Sims, like many of the products of John Thompson III's Princeton offense, can pass the hell out of the ball. He's 6'10'' and 250 pounds with a 7'4 wingspan, and he averaged 3.5 assists a game! There's value in that.

5. William Buford (Ohio State)

A jack-of-all-trades but a master of none, Buford is a reasonably athletic 6'6'', 215-pound wing who can shoot from the perimeter (36 percent) and handle the ball without embarrassing himself. He reminds me of San Antonio's Danny Green, another role-playing wing who was somewhat overshadowed on a high profile college team.

6. Terrell Stoglin (Maryland)

Stoglin is undersized at 6', 185 pounds, but he's a natural scorer with a deadly pull-up jumper who can effectively create shots for himself off the bounce. He was also a much better distributor as a freshman (3.3 assists on 2.3 turnovers) as opposed to a sophomore (1.9 assists on 2.2 turnovers), when there was less talent around him.

7. Hollis Thompson (Georgetown)

He's got the size (6'8'', 205 pounds) and the stroke (43 percent) to be a replacement-level small forward. He's a better prospect, in my mind, than Syracuse SF Kris Joseph, who went in the second round.

8. JaMychal Green (Alabama)

There isn't one thing Green does exceptionally well, but he's an NBA caliber athlete at 6'8'', 220 pounds. However, teams prefer for their backup power forwards to be either a 3/4 or a 4/5 hybrid. Green doesn't offer nearly that type of defensive versatility.

9. Reggie Johnson (Miami)

If you watched Johnson brutalize Duke's centers (14 points, 8-10 from the foul line, eight rebounds) at the front of the rim in Miami's 77-74 loss to the Blue Devils in March, you would have a hard time believing Miles Plumlee would be drafted, in the first round no less, and Johnson wouldn't. He reminds me of Miami's Dexter Pittman.

Editor's Note: Johnson is actually returning to school and will be eligible for the 2013 NBA Draft. We regret the error.

10. Wesley Witherspoon (Memphis)

The last of John Calipari's recruits at Memphis, Witherspoon has got interesting size for a SF at 6'9'' and 205 pounds. He's long, athletic and he's not a bad three-point shooter (37 percent last year), but he never put it all together in his four years at Memphis.

Missed the cut: Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin), J'Covan Brown (Texas), Tu Holloway (Xavier), Xavier Gibson (Florida State), Renardo Sidney (Mississippi State)


Do you guys like videos about the NBA Draft? Sure! We all do! So let's watch some, including a fashion analysis from the man himself, Walt Frazier: