It is a lofty dream for all aspiring young basketball players to hear their name called at the NBA Draft, and while there are varying levels of disappointment within the draft itself, it is incredibly difficult to have declared eligibility only to watch as all 60 picks go by without hearing your name called. So while the announcers focus on the last highly touted prospect to remain in the green room as he slides down the draft board, there are a whole host of others who have declared for the draft but must find their way to the pros through a much more difficult route.
In some ways it is better to go undrafted than to be picked at the end of the second round, as undrafted players become free agents and can choose the team that presents the best opportunity for landing a roster spot. Even with this small bit of upside, making an NBA roster as an undrafted free agent is incredibly difficult, and very few have the wherewithal to deal with the trials and tribulations that are inherent for any undrafted player.
That is not to say that it is impossible for an undrafted player to make it in the league. There are countless examples currently on NBA rosters, and quite a few have had long and lucrative careers. So while there are a number of players toiling on ten-day contracts and hoping to get a guaranteed deal someplace, there are also many established NBA players who went through an entire draft without getting picked. A lot of those players are now being compensated very well, and what follows are the top 15 highest-paid undrafted NBA players.
15 T14. Udonis Haslem, Miami Heat - $2,732,000
14 T14. Brian Roberts, Charlotte Hornets - $2,732,000
13 Anthony Tolliver, Detroit Pistons - $3,000,000
12 Chris Copeland, Indiana Pacers - $3,135,000
11 Anthony Morrow, Oklahoma City Thunder - $3,200,000
10 Gary Neal, Charlotte Hornets - $3,250,000
9 Alexey Shved, Houston Rockets - $3,282,056
8 Mirza Teletovic, Brooklyn Nets - $3,368,100
7 Joel Anthony, Detroit Pistons - $3,800,000
6 Timofey Mozgov, Cleveland Cavaliers - $4,650,000
5 Chris Andersen, Miami Heat - $5,375,000
4 Chuck Hayes, Toronto Raptors - $5,958,750
3 Jose Calderon, New York Knicks - $7,097,191
2 Wesley Matthews, Portland Trail Blazers - $7,245,640
1 Jeremy Lin, Los Angeles Lakers - $8,374,646
Lin’s unlikely path to the NBA has been well documented. An outstanding high school player in California, he was not offered any Division-I scholarships and wound up playing at Harvard for four years. After starring in the Ivy League, Lin went undrafted and received just a single offer to join a Summer League squad. After a successful summer in which he showed up John Wall head-to-head, Lin was signed by the Golden State Warriors, though he only played sparingly during the 2010-2011 season. He was waived twice before being picked up by the New York Knicks, who enjoyed a half-season of “Linsanity” before allowing the point guard to leave via restricted free agency to the Houston Rockets. He was traded to the Lakers this offseason and has yet to live up to the lofty expectations thrust upon him after his outstanding 26-game run with the Knicks.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!