Among my site's top 20 undrafted rookies that were comprised just before the start of the 2014 summer leagues, as the best one so far has been Cavaliers' backup point guard, Matthew Dellavedova, whose strong shooting and playmaking skills, along with his trademark defense have made him a great find for Cleveland in the NBA.
The second time around, I went purely with my gut feeling, and so far, and only 5 of 20 have played in the NBA among those chosen for the 2014 list. One player was on an NBA championship team this year, as that player is James Michael McAdoo of the Golden State Warriors.
But as more players have made it in the first way than the second way, I've decided to revert back to the old formula comprising of 67% from my individual list, and 33% from the consensus top 100 list via True Draft Worth system. The new addendum, is that I will only include players that will be at the summer leagues as of this date, so those that haven't found teams will be on the honorable mention list instead.
1. Christian Wood, F-C, UNLV - Signed with the Houston Rockets' summer league team
Christian Wood is an athletic, 6-11 big man that has the ability to be a defensive stopper in the NBA. He is a fairly solid low post scorer that possesses good scoring skills when he is around the basket, and Wood has a nice shooting touch when he operates as a scorer inside the paint.
Plus, he's a very good rebounder and shot blocker, as he has the length and the range to make many plays on the defensive end. But sometimes, he can be quite inconsistent when he's on the floor, and he can also fade into the background on other occasions.
Wood is going to need to play high motor basketball, and he'll need to show why he was regarded as a potential first round pick in order to have a good showing this summer. Even so, Wood has a great chance to make the NBA, as his potential to be a defensive anchor in the league will likely enable him to find a roster spot in the association.
2. Cliff Alexander, F, Kansas - Signed with the Brooklyn Nets' summer league team
Alexander is a bruising, 6-8 forward that was once considered a potential lottery pick, but his draft stock tumbled after he was suspended towards the end of his freshman season. Alexander is a strong, physical inside player that can get many scores and rebounds when he is inside the paint, as he will often outwork his opponents to garner many buckets and boards around the basket.
He also is a high motor player that can block the occasional shot, as Alexander is a better defender than given credit for. But he'll need to work on his jump shot, and he must also prove that the previous off-the-court troubles that led him to get suspended when he was at Kansas are long past him. If can do that, he could end up having a fairly successful career in the NBA, as he could be a Clarence Weatherspoon-like player in the league if things break his way.
3. Ryan Boatright, G, Connecticut - Signed with the Brooklyn Nets' summer league team
Ryan Boatright is a 6-0 tall point guard that was a member of the 2014 Connecticut Huskies' National Championship team. He is a quick, elusive playmaker that can shoot and score the basketball, and he can get any shot he wants. Boatright has the shiftiness to regularly score off the dribble, and he is a good shooter that can knock down plenty of threes.
He also is a fairly good playmaker and is a good defensive player that can get stops, and can get his hands on balls to rack up many steals in order to start fast breaks the other way. Boatright is also a willing rebounder and can collect his fair share of rebounds.
The only knocks are that he is undersized, and occasionally can run into having bouts of wildness, which can lead to suspect shot selection and decision making at times. But most times, Boatright tends to make the right basketball play, and he has all the skills to make the NBA for the upcoming season.
4. Michael Frazier II, G, Florida - Signed with the Golden State Warriors' summer league team
Michael Frazier II is a 6-4 guard that may arguably be the best undrafted shooter in the entire 2015 NBA Summer League. He's a pure shooter that can knock down a wealth of threes, whether if it's spotting up, pulling up, or running off pin downs to do so.
Frazier is also a savvy basketball player that can pass and handle the ball to notch assists as he can play the point or off the ball, and he is a fairly good rebounding guard that will get after it on the glass.
But his best attribute on the floor is a sharp shooting skills. Frazier made 43% of his threes throughout his collegiate career, and never fell below 38% in a collegiate season. Given that he'll be on a team that will allow him the freedom to be a creative offensive player as well as to be a shooter and a scorer, he'll have a very good shot to make the NBA for the upcoming season.
5. Quinn Cook, G, Duke - Signed with Oklahoma City Thunder's summer league team and with the Cleveland Cavaliers' summer league team
Quinn Cook is a cerebral, 6-2 point guard that really knows how to run a basketball team. He is a smart, high IQ basketball player that possesses a strong ability to shoot, pass, handle the ball, and can just really run a team.
He plays the game with incredible poise, savvy, and know-how, and he has a penchant for making big plays down the stretch time and time again. Plus, Cook is a solid defensive player that will hound opposing ball handlers, and can rack up a ton of steals for his team. He isn't a great athlete, but he has good enough athleticism, and he is a player that combines having solid skills with having a great feel for the game that should enable him to make an NBA roster for the 2015-16 season.
6. Michael Qualls, G-F, Arkansas - Signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder (injured, likely out for the entire summer)
Prior to the knee injury, Qualls seemed to be slated to be a second round pick for the 2015 NBA Draft. The vastly athletic, 6-6 swingman is a stellar scorer on fast breaks, and he is a very good defensive player whose strong ability to defend on the ball, and get blocks and steals could still enable him to be a defensive stopper in the NBA. In fact, Qualls' has a gifted ability to get steals to then turn them into fast break points for his team.
But most of his game is predicated on his athleticism, and suffering a knee injury is a considerable setback for him for the time being. With good doctors though, he can make a full recovery. Qualls needs to be a more dependable shooter and playmaker when he is on the floor, and he must be able to fully heal from the knee injury. If so, he can be a very good player in the NBA, as he and Christian Wood may have the highest upside among all of the players on this list.
7. Treveon Graham, G-F, VCU - Signed with the San Antonio Spurs' summer league team
Treveon Graham is a strong 6-6 swingman that can shoot and score the basketball. He's a savvy basketball player that possesses a high basketball IQ, and he was able to win the MVP award at the 2015 Portsmouth Invitational.
He's also a good decision maker, and he is also a good rebounder and defensive player. He's an above average athlete, but he isn't a great one, which may limit his ceiling to top out as an effective role player in the league. Even so, he has all the skills to be a solid 3 and D player in the NBA.
8. Brandon Ashley, F, Arizona - Signed with the Atlanta Hawks' summer league team
Brandon Ashley is a skilled, 6-9 forward that can do many things on the basketball court. He can post up, score off the dribble, and he can knock down a wealth of jumpers to help his team on the floor.
He has the skills to be a versatile stretch big in the NBA, and he also is an above average rebounder, defender, and shot blocker. Ashley is a smart basketball player that does many things well, but isn't outstanding at any one skill. But definitely, he has the skills and the ability to make it in the NBA for the upcoming season.
9. Robert Upshaw, C, Washington - Signed with the Los Angeles Lakers' summer league team
Definitely, character issues were the main reason why Upshaw ended up going undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft. But the game is also moving away towards teams needing traditional big men, as Upshaw doesn't possess a great jump shot, and struggles to defend stretch bigs, as that may make him a less than stellar fit for playoff basketball in the modern era.
Even so, he's still a talented 7-0 center that can score in the post, rebound, and block shots. Upshaw has the skills to be a good interior defender, as he can protect the paint if he gets to defend traditional low post centers. But he'll definitely need to improve his shooting, playmaking skills, pick and roll defense, and position defense. On the other hand, given that he is an athletic, big bodied center with good mobility that has the ability to be a solid defender in the NBA, Upshaw has a decent shot to make the NBA for the 2015-16 season.
10. T.J. McConnell, G, Arizona - Signed with the Philadelphia 76ers' summer league team
McConnell is a smart, savvy 6-1 point guard that tends to make sound basketball decisions whenever he is on the floor. He is a cerebral floor general that excels as a pick and roll ball handler, and is a strong facilitator that can rack up many assists when he is on the floor.
While he isn't a super athlete, McConnell is crafty enough to get scores off the dribble, and he also is a good enough shooter to keep defenses honest in addition. Plus, he'll get his hands on plenty of balls to garner rebounds, and he is a good defender that will pressure opponents to help his team get stops defensively. McConnell has the skills and the smarts to be a solid backup point guard in the NBA, and he definitely was a good pickup for the 76ers for this year's NBA Summer League.
11. D'Angelo Harrison, G, St. John's - Signed with the Houston Rockets' summer league team
D'Angelo Harrison is a smooth, 6-4 scorer that can play the point or off the ball. He's a smart, skilled basketball player that has a variety of dribble moves, and can maneuver his way into the paint to garner scores. Plus, he is also a very good shooter, and he can knock down a wealth of threes.
But some knocks are that he's not quite a pure point guard, as he doesn't tend to collect many assists for a player his size, and he'll need to improve defensively. Harrison relies on smarts more than pure athletic ability to get his scores, and definitely he is a player that can get buckets. If he can prove that he can ably run the point and defend more athletic guards, he could end up making an NBA team's roster immediately.
12. Dez Wells, G-F, Maryland - Signed with the Washington Wizards' summer league team
Dez Wells is a very athletic, 6-5 guard that excels at attacking the basket to score the basketball. He possesses great speed, strength, and leaping skills to continually get scores off the dribble, and he has worked to improve his jump shot. Wells is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to collect assists, and is a good rebounding guard that will get after it on the glass.
But sometimes he can be a bit careless with the basketball, as that can lead to turnovers offensively when he's on the floor. He'll need to show that he can knock down outside shots and defend, as he may have to adjust to more of a 3 and D role in the NBA. But as a player that can score, pass, and handle the basketball, and as he possesses the potential to be a plus-level defender in the NBA, Dez Wells is a very good player to have on any NBA summer league team, as he will likely have a great shot to make the league for the upcoming season.
13. Jonathan Holmes, F, Texas - Signed with the Boston Celtics' summer league team
Holmes is a 6-8, stretch four that has versatile scoring skills, and is a good rebounder and defender that had a fairly solid senior season at Texas. He can score in the post, and he can knock down threes, as he moves well off the ball, and has the skills to be a good spot up shooter.
He is also a high motor player that will make hustle plays on the defensive end, as he'll snag down tough boards and can block shots to protect the paint. NBA teams love stretch bigs that can shoot the basketball, and Holmes projects to be one that can also rebound and defend. Certainly, Holmes may have a decent chance to make the NBA for the upcoming season.
14. Vince Hunter, F, UTEP - Signed with the Philadelphia 76ers' summer league team
Hunter is an athletic 6-8, combination forward that had a solid sophomore season, and had a good Chicago combine that led many to believe that he could have been a second round pick for the 2015 NBA Draft.
There are pros and cons to his game. For the positives, Hunter attacks the rim relentlessly, and he is a good inside scorer that can draw many free throws to help his team. Plus, he is a good rebounder and is a versatile defender who could be a defensive specialist in the NBA.
On the other hand, Hunter greatly needs to improve his shooting and playmaking skills, as he hasn't shown an ability to knock down jumpers, as he rarely takes a shot outside five feet. In addition, he can be quite turnover and foul prone, as he tends to play too recklessly at times on both ends of the floor.
In general, Vince Hunter is a project player who'll need to show teams that he has refined the weaker parts of his game in order to show that he can make it to the NBA. He must improve his jump shot and playmaking skills, but until then, he may be more likely to spend most of the upcoming season in the D-League in order to hone his craft for the next level.
15. Wesley Saunders, G-F, Harvard - Signed with the Utah Jazz's summer league team
Wesley Saunders capped off a great senior year by having a strong NCAA Tournament, as he really excelled at shooting and scoring the basketball in a second round loss to North Carolina. The 6-5 Harvard guard is a strong, physical specimen that excels at scoring on drives, and has improved his outside shot over time.
He also tends to make smart decisions with the basketball, and plays a calm, steady poise in games. Saunders projects into a 3 and D role if he makes it to the NBA, and he'll need to keep working on that three-point shot to find his niche in the association.
16. Levi Randolph, G-F, Alabama - Will try out for Oklahoma City's summer league team, and will play for Utah Jazz's summer league team
He's a 6-6 athletic swingman that excels at slashing to the basket to score the basketball, and possesses fairly good playmaking and defensive skills. Randolph is an above average shooter that really has improved his rebounding eye to garner more boards, and he had a strong season this season at Alabama.
Randolph is a jack of all trades type of player, but he will need to impress NBA teams and coaches this summer. After having three pedestrian seasons to start his collegiate career, he finally was able to put all of his skills together as a senior, and has the ability to be a good two-way player at the NBA level.
17. Alan Williams, F-C, UC Santa Barbara - Signed with the Charlotte Hornets' summer league team
Williams is a physical, 6-8 bruiser that gets most of his points and rebounds when he is inside the paint. He had a very productive collegiate career, as he averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds per game during his senior year at UC Santa Barbara. He's not a great athlete, but he is a high motor player that operates well in the post, and is relentless in pursuit of grabbing rebounds. Williams will be a fun player to watch, as he could end up being an Udonis Haslem-like player if he makes it to the NBA.
18. Aaron Harrison, G-F, Kentucky - Signed with the Charlotte Hornets' summer league team
Once thought of as a potential first round pick for 2014 and early on this year, Harrison's stock plummeted all the way to the point where he was the only draft-eligible Kentucky player that went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Even so, there's plenty to like about his game. He's a clutch shooter that hit many game winners in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, as Harrison has a lot of promise to become a good three-point shooter and scorer in the NBA. Harrison is a solid playmaker as he is comfortable with having the ball in his hands, and is a 6-6 swingman that can run the point if he's needed to do so.
But to impress NBA teams, he'll need to shoot the ball well here, as he was quite inconsistent as a shooter and scorer during his sophomore season in college. He'll also need to lock down opponents to show that he has what it takes defensively to make it to the next level. But definitely, Harrison still has the ability to be a solid role player in the NBA, as he is a versatile guard whose clutch shooting ability could enable him to find a place in the association.
19. Juwan Staten, G, West Virginia - Signed with the Sacramento Kings' summer league team
Staten is a score-first, 6-1 point guard that had a very productive collegiate career, and he was the best player on a team that went to the Sweet 16 before they eventually lost to Kentucky. Staten is a deceptively quick scorer that excels at driving to the basket to generate scores, and also has a good mid-range jump shot.
He's a gritty, gutty player that can get any shot he wants, and is a good playmaker that will involve his teammates as he can pick up plenty of assists on the floor. Staten's game doesn't jump out at you at first, but he has a knack for continually making plays when he's out there. He'll need to shoot the three ball more, and must have a good showing this summer, but even so, he may have the skills to make an NBA roster.
20. Chasson Randle, G, Stanford - Signed with the Golden State Warriors' summer league team
Chasson Randle is an athletic, agile 6-2 point guard that is a solid shooter, as he possesses a strong outside shot, and he also can score off the dribble. He's a good athlete as he can make plays above the rim, and he possesses adequate playmaking and defensive skills. Randle is a smart, high IQ basketball player that has a penchant for making sound plays when he is on the floor, and he has the skills and the game to make it to the NBA.
Mouhammadou Jaiteh, C, JSF Nanterre (France), Nenad Miljenovic, G, Mega Vizura (Serbia), Mateusz Ponitka, G, Oostende (Poland), Briante Weber, G, VCU, Guillem Vives, G, Valencia Basket (Spain), Chris Walker, F-C, Florida (will try out for the Houston Rockets' summer league team), Shannon Scott, G, Ohio State (will try out for the San Antonio Spurs' summer league team), Wayne Blackshear, G-F, Louisville (will try out for the San Antonio Sours' summer league team), Keifer Sykes, G, Green Bay (will try out for the Cleveland Cavaliers' summer league team), Kenneth "Speedy" Smith, G, Louisiana Tech