Getting your name called on draft night is every basketball players dream, and only 60 people a year have their dream come true. Getting drafted into the NBA isn’t the only way to make it to the league however, there are several undrafted players that have been highly successful in the NBA. With the 2022 NBA draft coming to a close, lets look at some of the biggest 2022 prospects that didn’t get their name called by Adam Silver. (Click here to view the 2022 NBA draft board)
Ron Harper Jr.
Rutgers forward Ron Harper Jr., averaged 15.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists for the Scarlet Knights last season. He helped the Knights win a bid to the 2021 and 2022 NCAA tournament, after missing the tournament for 30 consecutive years. It’s safe to say Ron helped fundamentally change the culture at Rutgers, earning second team All-Big Ten selection by the league’s coaches and media at the end of his final season.
Ron was projected to be picked deep in the 2nd round by several expert mock drafts but ended up not hearing his name on draft night.
Harper Jr. was known as the go-to guy at Rutgers in crunch time, never afraid to score in the big moment. Ron is an excellent rebounder likely due to his strong 6’5 240 pound frame and can space the floor on the offensive end shooting 39.8% from 3 in his final season with Rutgers.
Ron was likely not selected due to concerns about his athleticism, recording a 14.5% body fat (3rd highest) at the NBA combine. He will likely have to sacrifice some of his strength and slim down if he wants to have the foot speed to guard the NBA’s elite wings.
Ron Harper Jr. may not win 5 NBA championships like his father Ron Harper but he has a chance to show he has what it takes, signing a two-way deal with the Raptors after the draft.
Purdue forward Trevion Williams, averaged 12 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3 assists for the Boilermakers last season. Purdue had an excellent (29-8) season lead by the #5 2022 drat pick Jaden Ivey, their tournament hopes were cut short by the infamous St. Peters Cinderella team in the sweet 16. Trevion was a significant part of their success, being their go-to low block scorer/playmaker and rebounding machine.
Trevion had an incredibly productive career at Purdue, known for his rebounding, low post scoring/playmaking, and strength. 20-30 years ago, Trevion might of been a 1st round pick but the NBA is starting value his biggest strengths less and less every year. Big men are now being asked to guard the perimeter and space the floor, both being a weakness for Williams.
After going undrafted, Williams has a chance to show he belongs in the NBA. The 6-8 forward signed a contract shortly after the draft to play on the Celtic’s summer league team and prove he can contribute in todays NBA. You could argue Trevion is the best rebounder in the draft, he definitely has a chance to make it into the NBA after the summer league.
Dominick Barlow is taking the road less traveled to the NBA. After high school, Dominick signed with Overtime Elite and bypassed college. During his only season with Team Overtime he averaged 14.8 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists playing against several other overtime teams and other high level programs.
Barlow is a 19 year old combo forward with a tremendous ceiling. He is a excellent athlete with a high motor, uses his 6’10 220 pound frame to get to the basket. Plays hard on defense, showing his potential versatility to guard multiple positions in the NBA.
He was likely not picked in the draft because he is still very much a raw prospect. There has also speculation that the overtime league doesn’t matchup with college basketball’s physicality and talent.
Dom will have a chance to show he is ready for the league, signing a two-way contract with Spurs after draft night. If Dom does pan out to be a solid contributor in the NBA, more young prospects will likely consider the overtime league over college basketball in the future.