3 former local players hoping to be picked up on NBA’s regular season roster
6/30/2017, 6:47 a.m.
Three undrafted pro basketball prospects with local ties are hoping to get lucky in Las Vegas. They will be among free agents shooting for high stakes in the desert.
• Devin Robinson of Manchester High School in Chesterfield County and the University of Florida has hooked up with the Washington Wizards for the NBA Summer League from July 7 through 17 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The 6-foot-8 Robinson, who is the nephew of former Henrico High and Virginia Commonwealth University basketball player Bruce Robinson, is leaving Florida following his junior season. Robinson helped the Gators to the NCAA East Region finals before the team fell to the University of South Carolina.
• Andrew White III of Thomas Dale High School in Chesterfield County and Syracuse University will join the Cleveland Cavaliers in Las Vegas. The 6-foot-6 White hit 112 3-pointers this past season for the Orange, breaking Gerry McNamara’s university record.
• And native Tennessean JeQuan Lewis of Virginia Commonwealth University will suit up with the Milwaukee Bucks in Las Vegas. The 6-foot guard averaged 15 points for the Rams while hitting 37 percent behind the arc.
White, having played previously at Kansas and Nebraska, and the Rams’ speedy Lewis were seniors this past season.
Most Vegas games will be televised on NBA-TV and the various ESPN channels.
A mixture of drafted and undrafted rookies, as well as some second-year NBA and international players, generally tangle in Las Vegas with the hopes of being signed for the regular season. There are no guarantees for second-round picks or free agents.
More realistically, free agents are assigned to the Gatorade League (G-League), formerly know as the NBA’s Developmental League (D-League). Another more lucrative option is signing a pro contract overseas.
A glowing success story is undrafted, former VCU star Troy Daniels, who parlayed the Summer League and a stint in the D-League into becoming an NBA veteran. Daniels has now played six seasons in the NBA, this past year with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Freshmen and the ACC were the marquee attractions in the NBA talent grab in Brooklyn.
The first five players chosen — starting with Markelle Fultz by the Philadelphia 76ers — had just completed their freshmen collegiate seasons.
There were 16 freshmen chosen among the 30 first round picks. That snaps the previous record of 13 freshmen chosen in the 2015 NBA draft’s first round.
The lone non-freshmen among the first 10 picks was 18-year-old Frank Ntilikina, a Belgium native plucked from the French Pro A League, who was chosen No. 8 overall by the New York Knicks. Ntilikina’s parents are Rwandan.
From a conference standout, 14 ACC players were selected in the draft, including 10 in the first round. The first ACC player chosen was Duke University’s Jayson Tatum, third overall, by the Boston Celtics.
The Pac-12 also had 14 draftees, with six in the first round. The Atlantic 10 Conference, with VCU and the University of Richmond as members, was shut out. St. Joseph’s DeAndre Bembry was taken 21st overall last year by Atlanta.
NBA scouts are clearly intrigued by the Mega Leks professional team in Belgrade, Serbia.