We break down our picks for five important undrafted players who could make a mark in the league despite getting no love in the NBA Draft.
Around the 50th pick in the NBA draft, it looked like we were on pace for an incredibly undrafted free agent class. Names like Grant Riller, Reggie Perry, and Paul Reed were still sitting on the board, and that would’ve presented a set of potential undrafted guys who were just outright stronger prospects than the back five of the first round. But even once those guys went with the No. 56, No. 57, and No. 58 picks, there were still a lot of valuable players left in the undrafted pool like last year. Here we’ll break down the top vi e undrafted players from this draft:
5. Nate Hinton, Houston
Nate Hinton is a 3-and-D player out of Houston who is a favorite of some statistical models. He’s a little bit physically slow, but overall he processes the game at an extremely high level, which is a huge deal for a role player. Add in shooting 38.7 percent from 3, albeit with a slow release that may struggle to translate at first, and you have a ready-made role player, even if he’s probably not going to be elite at those role player traits from day one. For example, a guy like Treveon Graham, who Hinton is likely better than as both a 3-point shooter and a defender, has carved out a nice low-end career in the league when he’s not injured, and Graham is nowhere near as effective as Hinton could be because of his ability to process the floor.
But Nate Hinton’s best trait is his rebounding, which is unparalleled in this class. Despite being a 6-foot-5 guard, he’s averaging 8.7 rebounds per game. His ability to track long rebounds is outlier good, consistently reacting to the path of the ball before it comes off of the basket, and while that’s not the highest value skill, when you add it on top of the 3-and-D base that’s more than enough to make him valuable from the undrafted guys, so it’s not surprising that the Mavericks laid claim to him quickly.