Big East Basketball is looking to make its impact on the NBA with five draft picks and several other players signing Summer League deals.
Five former Big East stars – Villanova’s Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo, Omari Spellman, and Jalen Brunson, and Creighton’s Khyri Thomas – heard their names called during the 2018 NBA Draft. Several other Big Easters weren’t so lucky, but still have a shot to crack NBA or G-League rosters come the fall provided they show well in the Summer League and training camp.
Here is a guide to each undrafted signing:
G Trevon Bluiett: New Orleans Pelicans
Bluiett was one of the Big East’s top offensive performers over the past three seasons, topping out at 19.3 points per game as a senior. But, despite his size, Bluiett was a bit of a non-factor defensively at Xavier, which overshadowed his otherwise impressive offensive resume in the eyes of NBA scouts. The former Musketeer has a chance to stick in the NBA in some capacity, but only if he works hard enough on defense to overcome his athleticism issues.
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C Angel Delgado: Los Angeles Clippers
Delgado – L.A.’s newly-signed two-way player – will look to crack the Clippers’ roster this summer, which could look a lot different by the start of the season. After drafting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson in the lottery, L.A. is a trade waiting to happen now that it has at least six quality guards are on the roster. DeAndre Jordan could also opt out of the final year of his contract, Montrezl Harrell is a restricted free agent, and the Clips have been kicked around as a potential Kawhi Leonard destination. Delgado – a double-double machine at Seton Hall – could be one of the few players left standing if he plays well next month.
F Marcus Derrickson: Golden State Warriors
Derrickson was a surprise NBA Draft entry after a solid junior campaign at Georgetown. He will be hard-pressed to make the Warriors’ roster, but if he proves capable as a 3-and-D wing, Golden State may give him a look. Expect the defending champs to try and acquire as much perimeter depth as possible this summer.
G Marcus Foster: Sacramento Kings
Foster inked a summer league deal with the Kings, who have an odd mix of aging veterans and inexperienced youth dotting the roster. Foster’s potential fit on any NBA team is unclear at the moment though. At 6-foot-3, he is too small to play shooting guard at the NBA level, but did not always display the requisite point guard skills at Creighton. He’ll need time to work through some ball handling kinks; unfortunately, he turned 23 earlier this month. The NBA might not be willing to wait out his development.
F Kaiser Gates: Chicago Bulls
Gates posted career-highs across the board as a junior, but still left Xavier fans wanting more. The Bulls took a flier on the 6-foot-8 forward as they fully dive into their rebuilding process, but Gates still has a long way to go before he makes an NBA roster, let alone cracks a rotation. He ranked just 60th in the Big East in usage rate last season with the Musketeers.
F Kelan Martin: Utah Jazz
Martin was a highly-coveted signing after the draft, with reported interest from Boston, Utah, and Orlando. The former Butler star ultimately signed with the Jazz, where he has a chance to fit into Quin Snyder’s superior system. Athleticism questions prevented an NBA team from selecting Martin in the second round, but he has the smarts and the game to dominate this summer and earn a spot with the Utah organization.
G Desi Rodriguez: Los Angeles Clippers
Rodriguez will join his former Seton Hall teammate Delgado with the Clippers this summer. As mentioned, L.A. already has a bounty of guards in tow, but that could change quickly if Jerry West decides to shake things up with another trade.
G Andrew Rowsey: Toronto Raptors
The Marquette sharpshooter could be going north of the border with a productive showing this summer. Rowsey was arguably the best shooter in the draft this year, and along with his excellent ball handling and creative passing skills, he will undoubtedly light up the Summer League scoreboard. But the obvious question remains: will he show enough defensive effort to overcome his overwhelming size deficiencies?