ACC Basketball

Forget the NBA Draft, Former ACC Players Still Aiming For the Next Level

The 2013 NBA draft was last Thursday and teams are scooping up all the undrafted free agents. So what’s happening with the ACC players that were left undrafted?

First up, the Denver Nuggets have shown some love for the ACC. On Thursday they drafted Virginia Tech’s Erick Green in the second round. Now they have signed both Wake Forest’s C.J. Harris and North Carolina State’ Richard Howell.

In my mind, Harris is a long shot. He was an excellent outside shooter last year at Wake, but he’s a tweener. He’s not a good enough ball handler to run an NBA point, but he’s a undersized defender to play the two.

Howell I like a lot. He’s proved to be a monster along the boards in college. However, measured at just 6-7, he just doesn’t have the size to truly compete inside. If he was 6-9 or 6-10, he would have been a first-round pick.

Anyhow, the Nuggets Summer League is held in Las Vegas.

Speaking of a Wolfpack, North Carolina State’ C.J. Leslie has signed to play in the Knicks Summer League.

Arguable the greatest talent to not get picked in this year’s draft, Leslie should have a good opportunity to stick with an old Knicks team. Of course, I also thought Leslie was easily an early second-round pick this year, which just means, this kid has good habit of not achieving what I think he should achieve.

Still, the Knicks front court could really use some athleticism and Leslie has that, plus a 7-4 wingspan. Now let’s see if he can play some defense this summer.

Another Wolfpack to get at shot at the NBA is Scott Wood. This, shocks me.


Wood is an excellent three-point shooter. When his feet are set he simple doesn’t miss. However, he may be the most one-dimensional player leaving the ACC. Now some might argue he could be like J.J. Redick. No, he can’t.

Redick was a one-dimensional player as a freshman in college, but slowly he develop his all-around game. By the time he left school, he could do more than just jack up threes.

Wood can’t penetrate, he can’t create his own shot, he doesn’t make his teammates better and he doesn’t have the quickness to defend.

The San Antonio Spurs have been one of the most successful teams in NBA history. One reason is that they seem to find talent in places no one else dares to look. So if the Spurs invite you to their Summer League, then it’s a compliment.

Miami’s Durand Scott reportedly is headed to Vegas to play for the Spurs Summer League team. I think Scott has a good shot to catch on. Besides being a productive scorer (averaged 13 points per game last year), he’s also a wicked defender on the perimeter.

North Carolina’s Dexter Strickland was not expected to be drafted, but he got invited to enough tryouts for me to feel like he would be given a shot somewhere. That team appears to be the Portland Trailblazers. He’s probably still a long shot to make any NBA roster and will have to spend more time grooming his skills, but he’s a true combo guard who can truly play both guard spots.

As of now, that’s it for former ACC players.

The two biggest names missing are Duke’s Seth Curry and Florida State’s Michael Snaer.

According to Alex Kennedy, Seth Curry has received invites, but because of his shin surgery in April wouldn’t be able to participate in summer league action anyhow. My guess is, once he is healthy, he’ll have to spend a year in the D-League.

As for Michael Snaer, I don’t know what the problem is and I’m not the only one.

I just don’t get it. Would anyone who has watched five minutes of ACC basketball over the last four years take Scott Wood over Michael Snaer? I wouldn’t. Anyhow, I still expect him to get a shot somewhere this summer.

Those are the two names I’m shocked haven’t been invited to a Summer League.

As for Clemson’s Devin Booker, Georgia Tech’s Mfron Udofia and Miami’s Julian Gamble, Reggie Johnson and Trey McKinney Jones…I’m not surprised.






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