Note: This piece is a relaunch of a series entitled “Undrafted Treasures” that Ridiculous Upside started back in the 2017 offseason where we examine some overlooked prospects that fans should keep their eyes on. To start things out, Dakota Schmidt takes a look at former Seton Hall center Angel Delgado.
After the Dallas Mavericks ended the 2018 NBA Draft by selecting Kostas Antetokounmpo with the 60th overall pick, each team spent the rest of their night combing through the list of undrafted prospects in an attempt to find a “diamond in the rough”. While that task can be difficult due to vast array of available players, there a lot of recent success stories. Just last year, we saw undrafted rookies like Antonio Blakeney, Johnathan Motley and Luke Kornet all have solid games at the NBA level.
The singular thing that trio had in common was how they stood as two-way prospects, which gave them more money to play on the G League level while also giving them some chances to compete in the NBA. While those NBA opportunities were limited, as they could only spend 45 days at that level, those players will still able to take advantage and produce.
A recent undrafted prospect that will look to follow in the footsteps of those players is former Seton Hall center Angel Delgado, who averaged a double-double during both his junior and senior season. While those numbers didn’t push a team to select him during the NBA Draft, they were good enough to get the LA Clippers to reportedly sign him to a two-way deal.
When it comes to his strengths, the first avenue that you have to look at is his work on the offensive end as Delgado stood as a double-double machine with Seton Hall. As a senior, he averaged 13.6 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game on 50% from the field. A lot of that solid production was due to his versatility as he could shine in these traits: offensive rebounding, post-up threat, mid-range shooter and facilitator.
His rebounding probably stands as his best trait, especially when it comes to his production on the offensive glass. As a senior, Delgado snagged four offensive boards per game, which stood as the highest average in the Big East. His success is due to two factors: size and effort.
Standing at 6’10 and 245 pounds, he was regularly able to use his strong frame to just out-muscle the opposition as they battle in the paint. Combined with his strong frame, Delgado definitely hustles for every rebound, whether he’s fighting against one opponent or three. After snagging that offensive board, he regularly did a great job of deciding whether to try to get an easy bucket or throw it out to a teammate.
Another way that Delgado can shine near the paint is as a post-up threat. Whether he’s working on the left or right block, he exudes this sense of confidence no matter who he’s going against. That self-assurance is due to how he knows that he can use smooth footwork and a strong frame to get that advantage on the opposition in the low-post.
Both traits work hand-in-hand as his strength allows him to push his way closer to the rim while footwork gives Delgado a better view of the basket or an opportunity to create separation from his opponent. After utilizing those two trait to get that advantage, he can use either hand to put up a pretty little hook shot. Unlike most bigs, he doesn’t seem to have a preference as Delgado has a soft touch with both his left or right hand.
A pretty underrated skill-set of Delgado’s offensive game is definitely his facilitating. During his senior season, he averaged 2.8 assists per game which stood as the highest average among Big East centers. His great poise in the low-post is actually a big reason behind that solid average as his relaxed nature allows him to survey the court and make the necessary read. No matter where that teammate might be, he does a nice job of being able to throw hard and precise passes that puts them in the best situation to score.
While solid in that area, the low-post isn’t the only spot where he can show his prowess as a facilitator. In fact, Delgado may be better when he works in the high post, an area that he moves to after working as a screener in the pick-and-roll. After receiving the pass from the pick-and-roll partner, he does a good job of quickly spotting his target and throwing a solid little jump pass to his teammate.
Lastly, he showed himself to be a solid mid-range shooter. According to The Stepien’s shot chart, Delgado shot 42% on shots from the long mid-range (13 feet to 3-point line) on 71 total attempts. Although his shooting stroke is definitely on the slow side and doesn’t look smooth at all, it didn’t matter as he still maintained a solid shooting percentage
While he stands as a pretty solid and versatile player on offense, it would be kind to say that Delgado is a work in progress on defense. As a senior, he only averaged .7 blocks and .8 steals in 31 minutes per game. That extremely blocking average is primarily due to the tentative that he shows as a defender as Delgado doesn’t really seem comfortable with moving his feet to stop a driving guard or forward from around the rim. He’s also lackadaisical when it comes to closing out on a mid-range shooter. Although he is decent as a post-up defender, those other clear flaws make me weary of his work on that end of the court.
Despite his clear struggles on the defensive end, Angel Delgado is still an intriguing prospect. Due to his reported role as a two-way prospect, most of those chances will come in the G League where he’ll play with the Agua Caliente Clippers.
This situation should be a great opportunity for Delgado as he’ll receive significant playing time and have an opportunity to work under Casey Hill, who led the Santa Cruz Warriors to a G League title back in 2015. Getting major minutes and working under a great head coach will give him a great chance to improve his lackluster defense.
An area that should be good to go is offense as his well-rounded arsenal should allow the 6’10, 245 big to impress in a G League dominated by guards and wings. If he makes some defensive improvements and shines on offense, then there may be a chance for him to spend significant time with the LA Clippers. With the departure of DeAndre Jordan, the team needs some front-court help, as Marcin Gortat and Boban Marjanovic currently stand as their only options at center.
No matter how that rookie year may go, Angel Delgado stands as a prospect that fans should keep their eyes on when the 2018-19 season begins this fall.