With the 2015 NBA D-League Draft officially behind us and training camp getting underway this week, teams will undoubtedly look to see if their risks paid off. Which draftees will flourish into minor league stars, immediate impact players? Which under the radar selections will stick, and who will fall just short of the mark following camp? That all remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, here's a look at ten quality players who flew under the radar, allowing smart teams to scoop them up in the late goings of the draft ---- RidiculousUpside.com's top ten draft day steals.
***Additional reporting by Dakota Schmidt***
1) Rysheed Jordan, Delaware 76ers, 1st round, 5th pick
It may be difficult to justify a first round pick as a designated "steal," but Delaware got lucky when Jordan fell into their lap as the other teams in the top five opted to target veteran players instead. Jordan will be NBA Draft eligible in 2016, which allows the affiliated 76ers to explore another prospect, much like they have done over the last two years as well. Jordan is a good point guard who likes to play an uptempo style. His game could use a bit more refinement, but he has great energy and solid instincts.
2) Patrick Miller, Texas Legends (via the OKC Blue), 2nd round, 9th pick
Depending on what kind of role Texas allows Miller to have, he has the potential to be the best first-year D-Leaguer from this draft class. Miller had an excellent collegiate career at Tennessee State and is able to score in bunches by doing so in a number of different ways. He's a very versatile player, that, although he can make the right pass, his strength undoubtedly lies in him taking it to the basket himself. Miller is explosive.
3) Ronnie Brewer, Santa Cruz Warriors, 2nd round, 11th pick
Brewer was arguably the most well known NBA veteran, surprisingly, a part of this year's D-League Draft class. He's competed for playoff contenders like the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder, and isn't afraid of defending some of the league's better players. He's an upbeat guy and a great teammate in the locker room. It'll be interesting to see if Brewer all also be a more potent offensive player, needing to prove his versatility in the D-League.
4) Mark Tyndale, Reno Bighorns, 3rd round, 4th pick.
Tyndale is a well known D-League veteran, and at this point in the draft, was hands down the most versatile player. Tyndale is 29 years old, so he's certainly no longer a prospect. Alas, he's a quality player. Tyndale is a very good passer and a strong rebounder for a player his size. He has the versatility to defend multiple positions. It'll be interesting to see how he fits in with run and gun Reno, but the vet did shoot a D-League career-high 37% from deep in 2012-13, his last minor league campaign.
5) Joel Wright, Iowa Energy, 3rd round, 6th pick
The Energy had one of the best drafts, and the plucking of Wright was simply another reason why. The forward averaged 16.6 points on 54% from the field and nearly 7 rebounds in 37 games for the Stampede before getting traded to Delaware. Those are big time numbers, and at 25 years old, he's still worth exploring. How Iowa integrates him into their system and rotation will be key.
6) Ian Chiles, OKC Blue, (via the Los Angeles D-Fenders), 3rd round, 12th pick
In a league that's so dominated by dynamic guards, it would seem obvious for a team to pursue a huge inside presence if one was available. However, that thought wasn't evident during the 2015 NBA D-League draft, as former Morgan State standout Ian Chiles wasn't picked until the LA D-Fenders selected him in the 3rd round. Later dealt to the OKC Blue, Chiles is the perfect example of a player from a bygone era. Despite what he may want you to believe, Chiles is a real back-to-the-basket player that likes to slow the game down and punish the opposing big. Shooting 66% from around the rim during his senior season (according to hoop-math), the 7'2 big does his work from the right block through a series of pretty hook shots. Averaging 2.4 offensive boards and 2.9 blocks per game, Chiles could give the OKC Blue a gigantic weapon that could push them to getting closer to an NBADL title.
7) Juvonte Reddic, Canton Charge, 3rd round, 15th pick
In the D-League draft that's filled with a large ocean of unknown prospects, it was a shocker that it took until the third round for former VCU forward Juvonte Reddic to get picked. Among the players picked, Reddic has one of the more acclaimed college players (All-A10 2nd team in 2012-13 and 2013-14) while also having success in the bright lights of the NCAA Tournament. During his junior season, Reddic had an awesome 16 point on 7-11 shooting performance in a Round of 32 defeat against Michigan. That performance showed the world of how versatile Reddic is. The 6'8 forward is as solid with cutting and shooting mid-range jumpers from the pinch post as he is with working the offensive glass (averaged 3.5 offensive boards during his senior season). While it's nearly impossible to correctly predict how a player performs in the NBADL, Reddic has the potential to become this year's version of Jerrelle Benimon.
8) Ruben Guillandeaux, Austin Spurs, 4th round, 16th pick
Much like Tyndale, Guillandeaux is a basketball journeyman who boasts great experience. He may be a little bit older than most players, but he comes in also boasting more maturity. Guillandeaux has the size and strength necessary to bother opposing floor generals on the defensive end. He's a smart player; consistency and good decision-making is something teams could use off the bench.
9) Thomas Bropleh, Texas Legends, 5th round, 6th pick
Finding diamonds in the rough is more or less a crapshoot this late in the draft, but Bropleh is a solid shooter, and by all accounts, a tireless worker. Texas lucked out snagging him this late in the selection process, because he's certainly a player. He knows his strengths and could easily find his niche, which makes him a perfect candidate to actually stick around past training camp. He'll contribute for the Legends.
10) Michael Craig, Reno Bighorns, 6th round, 3rd pick
Craig is one hell of an athlete. He's built like a tank (and actually explored a pro football career briefly heading to the D-League), but at the same time, is very athletic and boasts lateral quickness. The swingman knows how to use his physicality to his advantage. Not sure how he fits with Reno, but it's worth exploring. The Bighorns didn't have many picks this year, but made the most of what they did have. Very solid draft.