The 2018 NBA Draft has come to a close, and as always, there’s plenty of talent left on the board. We’ve seen Wesley Matthews, Jeremy Lin, Yogi Ferrell, J.J. Barea and so many others find a niche, or even a starting spot in the NBA without hearing their name called on draft night.
Teams will try their hand at these talents in the following weeks and at summer league, and someone’s bound to make the team. These guys have a tough road ahead. They’ll have to prove themselves even more than they did before the draft.
Working out against the draft’s top picks and returning players, nothing will come easy. And the center of attention won’t be on them unless they find reason for it to be.
Here’s a list of the best talents who weren’t selected on Thursday, with analysis from our SB Nation team site bloggers.
LiAngelo Ball, Somewhere in Lithuania
Hahahaha. Just kidding.
Malik Newman, guard, Kansas
After being up and down (and occasionally sluggish) through most of the season, Newman caught fire in March, scorching the nets for 72 points (24 ppg) in the Big 12 Tournament, followed by 108 points (21.6 ppg) in the Big Dance. During that time, he shot 30-56 (53.6%) from beyond the three point line. Not a bad impression to make as he goes to a league that values shooting above all else.
Update: Newman has signed a two-way contract with the Lakers.
Rawle Alkins, guard, Arizona
Alkins is definitely a scorer first and foremost. More than capable of hitting his shot from anywhere on the floor, he excels at driving into the lane and using his powerful frame to bully his way down low. Alkins is also an adequate three point shooter, although his percentage from deep was down slightly from his freshman season. He excels at scoring off the dribble and plays an attacking style that excels at putting pressure on the defense.
Update: Rawle Alkins has signed a training camp deal with the Raptors.
Isaac Haas, center, Purdue
From Casey Bartley, Hammer and Rails
For a big man with such size, Haas has soft touch around the basket with either hand. He has a bevy of post moves that are nearly impossible to get to. He’s consistently shown improvement in this area each year.
He’s drastically improved his free throw percentage. His freshman year he shot .547% from the line. His sophomore year he jumped up .714%. He finished his senior year shooting .758% on 190 attempts.
Efficient scorer. While he doesn’t stretch the floor on offense, Haas takes up the paint and is too large to be moved from his spot. He shot .617% from the floor on 300 field goal attempts.
Draws a ton of fouls. Haas never averaged less than 7 fouls drawn for 40 minutes. Shoots a lot of free throws.
Brandon McCoy, center, UNLV
From Kyle Cajerlo, Mid-Major Madness
All things considered, McCoy is talented. If a team wants to commit to his long-term development, then McCoy could either be an intriguing late-first rounder or a second round steal. With youth on his side (McCoy turns 20 next week) and his raw talent, McCoy might not stick in the NBA right away, but he’ll find his niche in time.
Update: Brandon McCoy signed with the Bucks.
Keenan Evans, guard, Texas Tech
True Point Guard Ability - Keenan Evans has proved himself as a worthy floor general in his career at Texas Tech University. In his last two seasons with the Red Raiders, Evans averaged about 3 assists and and one steal a game and served as the center of Chris Beard’s offense.
Shot Creation - Evans was Texas Tech’s go-to scorer. When we needed a bucket Keenan was ready to make it happen. Evans has a knack for being able to get by the first defender, drive to the bucket, and get two points. Evans led the team averaging 17.6 points a game in his senior season.
Free Throws - As a player who drives the lane on a regular basis, Evans tends to draw a lot of fouls. Evans was second in the Big 12 in free throw attempts per game, getting to the line 6.7 times per game last season. Evans shot 82% from the free throw line last season.