The 2010 free agent class is unprecedented in many ways. Never before has a group of athletic mercenaries been so thoroughly dissected, endlessly analyzed, and hotly anticipated. Once the shenanigans begin on July 1st, all sorts of fun will be had, as so many franchises across the league will y be either destroyed or reborn in a cleansing fire.
Now, pay close attention, because while everyone is paying attention to the glitter at the head of the class, plenty of interesting things will be going on at the tail. Players like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are proven and invaluable, but the summer will also yield completely untested prospects: undrafted free agents. In a typical NBA off-season, that doesn’t mean much; occasionally a team may unearth a role player from the undrafted ranks, but even that only happens on the rarest of occasions. Yet the survivors of this year’s draft seem a bit different. There obviously aren’t any earth-shaking talents in the bunch, but there are a number of interesting players that are viable candidates not only for a Summer League roster, but perhaps a spot on the Legends or even more.
Obviously not all of those prospects are going to pick Dallas over all of their other suitors, but the early returns are promising. Despite a mini-report from Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports, a Twitter exchange between St. Mary’s center Omar Samhan and Mark Cuban indicates that Samhan will indeed be a part of the Mavs’ Summer League team. Harvard point guard Jeremy Lin is also tabbed as a part of the fun. That’s a hell of a start, especially since Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones will headline. It should be interesting to see how the rest of the Vegas roster turns out.
Unfortunately, the Mavs have to do without a number of players they had expressed a clear interest in.
- Brian Zoubek is set to play with the Nets for Orlando Summer League, though his Vegas plans are still up in the air.
- Tweety Carter, too, will be playing for New Jersey.
- Jon Scheyer will reportedly lace up for the Miami Heat…or maybe it’s the Washington Wizards. Either way, it’s assuredly not Dallas.
- Virginia’s Sylven Landesberg is set to join a rather promising draft class in Sacramento. Landesberg may have more potential than any of the undrafted free agents, and while Sactown could eventually be a great landing place for him, to see him drifting away is disappointing. Ryan Thompson will tag along.
- Perplexing big man Michael Washington will be a Knick.
- Elijah Millsap will have a run with the Detroit Pistons.
- And plenty of others — Sherron Collins, Art Parakhouski — are taken (in some capacity), too. That doesn’t mean the Mavs won’t be able to make a run at them after Summer League concludes if they’re so inclined, but it likely puts them at a slight disadvantage to the incumbents.
There are plenty of prospects still out there (Mikhail Torrance, Charles Garcia, Mac Koshwal, Aubrey Coleman, etc.), but the demand for these players is clear. By now, I’m sure the appropriate calls have already been placed. That makes the process less of a selection and more of a waiting game. The Summer League roster should be assembled in about a week’s time, which doesn’t leave much time for anticipation. Still, it’s worth keeping tabs on the unclaimed third round draftees over the next few days.