how does a player who has not been called bounce back?

No Sebastiano, drop that bottle of Bacardí and go to training. You weren’t drafted? And then, does your world fall apart? Who said that years of work necessarily resulted in an immediate result? Even if the disappointment is great, you still have so much to accomplish Sebastiano. And then 1m74 for 59 kilos too, it was frankly cheeky.

What happens when you’re not drafted? Well, we don’t play in the NBA. Hop, end of the paper, consider leaving a comment and following us on all networks.

It would have been a bit simple. In four days will take place the 76th NBA draft. This annual event allows 60 prospects to join the National Basketball Association through the main gate. Developed in this way, the sentence is a bit of a France Télé report, but it’s just a matter of contextualizing it well. What happens when a player declared a candidate for the draft – or automatically eligible, if he is in his 22nd year – is not selected by one of the 30 NBA franchises? Does her adventure stop at the gates of her dream? Is he automatically registered in the Gravelines Dunkerque and Cholet Basket newsletter? Should he give up on the moldings of Madison Square Garden? A sporting course is fortunately not linear at this point. All the doors work, you just have to find the key (this sentence is not from Albus Dumbledore).

Signatory of an alternative contract

The undrafted NBA players are a bit like this American scenario, falsely inscribed in common sense of the course of a basketball player. It is extremely rare that a ” knock Knock knock “ at the back door comes a great career. By “great career”we do not necessarily hear “that ends on the Hall of Fame dais”, but who at least puts his butt in the NBA over several seasons, with a real role within a franchise. Examples ? John Starks, Bruce Bowen, Ben Wallace, Connie Hawkins, Brad Miller, Udonis Haslem and Fred VanVleet, for the most glorious among them. But if you had to put together a top 15 of the best undrafted players in history, Wesley Matthews would be one. The player is very nice, but far from the top of the panel to which the expression « top 15 » can make you think. Yes, in the entire history of the NBA, only six undrafted have already participated in an All-Star Game: Connie Hawkins, John Starks, Brad Miller, Ben Wallace et Fred VanVleet. Always the same blazes repeated in a loop, which thus illustrate the essentiality of a draft selection in the success of a player.

But we’re not here to explain that an undrafted player has no chance of succeeding. Once Adam Silver and Mark Tatum have called the names of the 60 little geniuses of their generation, certain franchises make direct contact with players who have been left behind. That’s what the Lakers did in the summer of 2021 by offering two « two-way contracts » to Joel Ayayi and Austin Reaves. Result of this moveAustin Reaves had a pure rookie season with averages of 7.3 points at 46% shooting including 32% from parking, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assist. For Joel Ayayi – flag pride – the story is a bit different. According to Chad Ford of NBA Big Board, the Lakers signed the Frenchman just seconds after Mark Tatum called the 60th and final pick. How to explain this immediacy? Past the 40th choice, his agent would have actively worked to get him out / ejected from the draft by being tougher in negotiations with the franchises. Yes, the Lakers had already sent their two-way contract offer to Joel during the second round. Interested in the possibility of evolving within a workforce “impoverished”, Mister Ayayi thus gave up on the draft to try to impose himself in Los Angeles, with the – very difficult to bear – status of undrafted. Bad luck for him, a month later, Russell Westbrook signed with the Lakers.

Entering the NBA through an alternative contract means adopting a different mentality from that of the guys already in place. We wear NBA uniforms, the franchise gives us access to the facilities, but the ground threatens to slip away at any moment. All it takes is bad training coupled with an internal deal, for the leaders to point the finger at you like a big piece of barbaque: “If not him, we can release him, right? ». Yes, him, they can free him. It is therefore essential to arrive knife between the teeth to display its qualities with regularity and thus seek a place in the workforce which, in the best case, results in a guaranteed contract. Among the most notable examples of « step by step »the freshly titled Gary Payton II, landed in the NBA through a mousehole. In 2016, he was not drafted and Daryl Morey offered him a partially guaranteed three-year contract in Houston. But the following October – and after only six preseason games – The Glove Jr. is already thanked by the Texas franchise. On April 2, 2017, he signed a multi-year contract – again partially guaranteed – in Milwaukee. But the Bucks cut him seven months later, before re-signing him under two-way contract, then to cut it again in stride. Glimmer of hope, he signs a two-way contract with the Lakers, is not kept, signs a new deal in Portland, is cut, then finally pulls the right string in Washington. A simple ten-day contract will allow him to find a second, this time until the end of the season. His performance is not yet great, he will move to the G League to win the title and a nice trophy from DPOY. His reputation is made. Three years later, he is NBA champion with a key role in the workforce of the Warriors.

The takeoff was laborious, but the flight is so smooth.

Europe is not so bad…

Who in college has never pulled out of study hours to go to the CDI? A good time, despite the savagery that some teenagers could show. Word of the editor, once a guy put the blue urinal tablet in his mouth to “prove your power”. In short, if in addition to extricating themselves from hours of study to go to the CDI, some did it to go play “European” on the computer is that we are addressing a certain elite. What is the link with paper? Coming out of the NCAA, many players – a large majority – swear by Cainri basketball. They didn’t know anything else. For many, crossing the Atlantic isn’t even an option, when in reality it’s the only one they have.. Fans of the French championship know the discomfort that this gap can produce when a newcomer arrives in Europe (the link with European, so). It’s not 2004 anymore, eh, most players fit in perfectly and – surprised by the teams’ response – get caught up in the game. But there are still thousands of counter-examples. We remember Isaiah Cousins, a reinforcement from Cholet Basket, who left without warning before the end of the season. “He even lied to one of his partners, so that he took him to the airport confided Philippe Hervé, then the team’s coach. This little anecdote to illustrate that spinning in Europe is not a guarantee of success in NCAA culture. There is money to be made, that’s good, but we are moving away geographically from the NBA.

Ed Cota? He was one of the best point guards in North Carolina history for four seasons – from 1996 to 2000. The university did not win a title under his aegis, but the stats at 10 points for as many assists made him the great maestro of his time: 3rd fastest passer in NCAA history, and 1st in North Carolina. What will we remember of him in the NBA? Waloo. For lack of guarantees on his profile – 1m83 for less than 90 kilos – no NBA franchise has not taken the risk of drafting him. In 2003 and 2004, he was double Lithuanian champion with Zalgiris Kaunas, then won the EuroLeague in 2005 with Dynamo Saint-Petersburg. A real basketball player with a nice track record, but whose name will remain silent by the next generations. Another example is the case of John Linehan. Exemplary professional, nicknamed ” the virus “, he is considered one of the best college defensemen in history. The reason ? An all-time record 385 interceptions in the NCAA, with a game at eleven steals. In 2002, when asked “Who has been the best defender you have met? »Kobe Bryant replied: “This might make you laugh, but it’s a guy named John Linehan”. And yet, double champion of France with Cholet Basket and SLUC Nancy, this leader of 1m75 has never had the right to tread an NBA floor. Perhaps he experienced it badly, but his investment – ​​wherever he went in Europe – suggested the opposite.

… But it goes better after a bit of G League

Unlike the two-way contracts offered by NBA franchises, contact is not established instantly between undrafted players and European clubs. In the sad event that he is not retained Thursday evening, even if Yoan Makoundou probably listens to the proposals of French clubs, his objective remains the NBA. And it’s a bit the same for all those who grew up in the current performance system, and who find it difficult to consider anything other than the Great League or its antechamber (G League). For the majority, it will take them a little while before agreeing to move away geographically from the radar of the NBA. For example, John Linehan spent two years in the G League before joining Paris Basket Racing. Still in the prime of life, we do not necessarily favor the history of CSP Limoges over the opportunities offered by a “sub-franchise”. Is it harmful? Boarf, to each his own dream. The kids of the 70s swore more by the EuroLeague. Today, the NBA takes the light.

In just over 48 hours, Adam Silver and Mark Tatum will forever change the lives of 60 young adults. In the shadow of these lucky little ones, other prospects will seek to bounce back after immense disappointment. Now you know the formula.



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