Although every NBA Draft prospects hopes to hear their name called on Draft night, the unfortunate reality is that many players will get no such honor. With only 60 selections, many collegiate and international players will have to face the tough reality that their path to the NBA will have to go through free agency.
Of course, even though free agency is a scary thought, many players have earned their way onto NBA rosters and has sparkling careers. In fact, Bruce Bowen, Jeremy Lin, Avery Johnson, and Ben Wallace are just some of the names that slipped through the cracks on Draft night and still ended up having fruitful NBA careers.
In light of this, here's a list of the top undrafted mid-major players to watch over the coming weeks. Each has a decent chance to make a roster and their Summer League play should tell a lot about their chances.
Also, it's worth noting that players who have already signed deals at the time of this writing (like Wichita State's Ron Baker and Fred Van Vleet) have not been included in this list.
Top 2016 Undrafted Mid-Major NBA Prospects:
--Stefan Jankovic, Power Forward (Hawaii Rainbow Warriors)
Very few players had a more enjoyable 2015-'16 season than Jankovic. Not only was he the best player on Hawaii's first NCAA Tournament team in 14 seasons, but the Rainbow Warriors also recorded huge wins against Auburn, California, and Northern Iowa as well. It was a banner year for Hawaii's program and thanks in large part to Jankovic's impact over the course of the season.
What makes Jankovic such an intriguing NBA prospect is his unique combination of skills. He not only was one of the Big West's best rebounders (No. 4 in the conference in DReb%), but he was also the most utilized piece of Hawaii's offense, was a decent outside shooter (37.8 percent from deep), and did a great job at getting to the free throw line (No. 3 in the Big West in FTRate). How well all these skills translate is still up for debate, but his diverse skillset is more than enough to make him a top undrafted prospect.
--Derrick Jones, Small Forward (UNLV Runnin' Rebels)
To put things mildly, UNLV has been sort of a mess over the last year. Whether it was an underwhelming season or the unprecedented offseason coaching turnover, things haven't gone well for the Runnin' Rebels. Nonetheless, one of the brighter spots was the play of Jones last season. All told, he played in 30 games, averaging 21.5 minutes, 11.5 points, and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Bucks brought in Kyle Wiltjer, Derrick Jones Jr, Tyrone Wallace, Kyle Collinsworth, Max Landis and Carrington Love for a group workout today— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) June 14, 2016
Admittedly, Jones still has a really raw game. In particular, he still needs to work on his outside shot, his handle, and his shot selection. Nonetheless, he still has quite a bit of length at 6-foot-7, can block shots, and could offer a rebounding boost on the wing. If he can polish up his offensive game, look out.
--Egidijus Mockevicius, Center (Evansville Purple Aces)
Last season, Evansville was quietly one of the better teams in the Missouri Valley Conference. All told, the Purple Aces went 25-9 overall and came up just short against Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. During last season, Mockevicius played in 34 games, averaging 15.7 points and 13.9 rebounds per game.
Evansville center Egidijus Mockevicius will participate in fourth Kings Pre-Draft Workout pic.twitter.com/lxh3nq6pwm— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) June 14, 2016
Mockevicius has some room to grow offensively, but he does have a skillset that could make an impact at the next level. In particular, his ability to drive the hoop (No. 1 in the MVC in FTRate) and his dominance on the boards (No. 1 nationally in DReb%) give him a chance to make a splash in the NBA.
--Stevon Thompson, Center (George Mason Patriots)
Despite only playing two seasons with the Patriots, Thompson made quite an impact for the team. In total, he played in 62 games and averaged 26.4 minutes, 11.2 points, and 11.0 rebounds per game. George Mason wasn't a great team last year, but when the team did have success, Thompson was a big part of it, grabbing double-doubles in George Mason's final five wins last season.
Former George Mason standout Shevon Thompson will work out for Wizards on June 16 and Bulls on June 17, https://t.co/PTYLSG7mGs has learned.— Moke Hamilton (@MokeHamilton) June 14, 2016
Undeniably, the best part of Thompson's game is his rebounding. In fact, he ranked No. 2 nationally in defensive rebounding rate and No. 7 in offensive rebounding rate last season. Matching those stats in the NBA is unlikely, but given his 6-foot-11 size and those rebounding stats, he certainly will get some looks.
--Thomas Walkup, Guard (Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks)
To the disappointment of many across the country, the player who stole America's heart in the 2016 NCAA Tournament went undrafted on Thursday night. Walkup was part of a special Stephen F. Austin team that went 28-6 overall last season and nearly knocked off Notre Dame to make the Sweet 16. He played a huge part in this success and averaged an impressive 18.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.1 steals per game.
Would be cool to see Thomas Walkup drafted. Talked to him about it at the Final Four https://t.co/JZ8qUxGviA— Kyle Kensing (@kensing45) June 24, 2016
Outside of his perimeter shooting, Walkup did everything for Stephen F. Austin last year. After all, there's a reason he came in at No. 9 in KenPom's national player index. However, the question will just be about whether he can have the same success against more difficult competition. But considering what he did in March, he deserves a shot.