The NBAís Newest Players (and how they got here)
by: Jonathan Givony - President
October 30, 2007
The NBAís Newest Players (and how they got here)

NBA teams submitted their rosters for the 2007-08 regular season today, giving us a chance to take a look at some of the new names that have made the league through the front or the back door. What this list does more than anything is reiterate the fact that there are many ways to make the NBA, and that just because a player goes undrafted, doesnít mean that he canít still play in the league eventually. Letís take a deeper look.

Complete List of 2007-08 Opening Day Rosters

Available Roster Spots: 450 (30 teams X 15 max roster spots)
Roster Spots Occupied: 439 (8 teams not full)

Amount of Rookie NBA Players, by Team:

Atlanta: 3 (draft picks + Mario West)
Boston: 3 (draft picks + Brandon Wallace)
Charlotte: 2 (draft picks)
Chicago: 4 (draft picks + Thomas Gardner)
Cleveland: 2 (draft picks + Anthony Tolliver)
Dallas: 1 (draft pick)
Denver: 0
Detroit: 3 (draft picks + former draft pick Cheick Samb)
Golden State: 4 (draft picks + former draft pick Kosta Perovic)
Houston: 3 (draft picks + former draft pick Luis Scola)
Indiana: 1 (Courtney Sims)
L.A. Clippers: 1 (draft pick)
L.A. Lakers 2 (draft pick + Coby Karl)
Memphis: 2 (draft pick + former draft pick Juan Carlos Navarro)
Miami: 2 (draft pick + Joel Anthony)
Milwaukee: 2 (draft picks)
Minnesota: 2 (draft picks)
New Jersey: 1 (draft pick)
New Orleans: 1 (draft pick)
New York: 1 (draft pick)
Orlando: 1 (former draft pick Marcin Gortat)
Philadelphia: 3 (draft picks)
Phoenix: 2 (draft picks)
Portland: 3 (draft picks)
Sacramento: 3 (draft pick+Darryl Watkins+Mustafa Shakur)
San Antonio: 1 (Darius Washington)
Seattle: 2 (draft picks)
Toronto: 1 (Jamario Moon)
Utah: 2 (draft picks)
Washington: 3 (draft picks + former draft pick Oleksiy Pecherov)
___________________________________________________
Total: 61

Undrafted Rookie Free Agents: 8

Darryl Watkins- 6-11 athletic marvel with legit shot-blocking skills. Lacks serious offensive polish, and doesn't always play as tough and aggressive as he looks.

Mustafa Shakur- Top high school recruit underachieved badly at Arizona with a four year roller coaster, but still has plenty of upside thanks to his physical tools and natural instincts.

Courtney Sims- Athletic center with good size and poor offensive skills. Always considered soft and somewhat of an underachiever after never making NCAA tournament.

Joel Anthony- Left-handed shot-blocker who is still learning the game at age 25. Only played 18 minutes a game as a senior.

Coby Karl- Son of Denver Head coach George Karl. Combo guard with a superb feel for the game, excellent perimeter shooting skills, and nice passing ability. Average athlete who impressed mightily in NBA pre-draft camp and summer league. Perfect fit for triangle offense.

Anthony Tolliver- 6-9 big man who can rebound and knock down 3-pointers. Average athlete, but an very intelligent player.

Brandon Wallace - Skinny, but athletic power forward who is attempting to make the transition to the 3. Solid rebounder and shot-blocker.

Mario West- Former walk-on at Georgia Tech, averaged less than 5 points per game as a senior. Defensive oriented hustling type. Severely limited offensively. The Atlanta Hawks strike again.

-Making the NBA as an undrafted free rookie straight out of college is a difficult task. For comparison, last year, 9 players accomplished that feat, while the year before, 15 did. The real test might be, how many of them stick? Letís take a look:

2006-07 Undrafted Rookie Free Agents on Opening Day Rosters

Cedric Bozeman
Allan Ray
Jose Juan Barea*
Pops Mensah-Bonsu
Tarence Kinsey*
Chris Quinn*
Robert Hite
Chris McCray
Steven Smith

-As you can see by the ones marked with an asterisk, only three players from that class of undrafted rookies in 06-07 are still in the league one year later. For comparison, letís take a look at the year before:

2005-06 Undrafted Rookie Free Agents on Opening Day Rosters:

Esteban Batista (international, undrafted in draft-eligible year as 1983 born prospect)
Alan Anderson
Eddie Basden
Rawle Marshall
Aaron Miles
Devin Green
Anthony Roberson
Matt Walsh
Sean Banks
Deng Gai
Shavlik Randolph*
Lucas Tischer (international, undrafted in draft-eligible year as 1983 born prospect)
Ronnie Price*
Andre Owens*
Donell Taylor

-This class has fared similarly thus far. 3 of the 15 are still in the NBA. Players still in the league as of today are again marked with an asterisk. Ronne Price has secured himself a multi-year contract for above the minimum.

Making the NBA as an undrafted free agent straight out of college isnít the only way to make the league, though. Some players donít stick after making the NBA initially out of college, but end up returning States-side after a year or two of seasoning overseas.

Returning free agents from overseas:

Kareem Rush- Played in Lithuania for Lietuvos Rytas
Casey Jacobsen- Played in Germany for Bamberg
Awvee Storey- Played in Germany for Braunschweig
Ryan Bowen- Played briefly in Israel for Nahariya
Darius Washington- Played in Greece with PAOK and Czech Republic with Nymburk

Rookie free agents from overseas:

Jamario Moon- Played in CBA and briefly in Mexico
Thomas Gardner- Played in Belgium with Verviers Pepinster

Returning free agents from D-League:

Andre Owens
Stephen Graham

Returning from Retirement:

Penny Hardaway
 
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Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com .

 

Mario West
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 06/19/1984
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Douglas County
Previous Team: Sionista Parana , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
9.8 Pts, 4.1 Rebs, 1.3 Asts


Brandon Wallace
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 203 lbs.
Birthday: 03/14/1985
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Silver Bluff
Previous Team: South Carolina , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
8.1 Pts, 6.5 Rebs, 1.2 Asts


Thomas Gardner
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 213 lbs.
Birthday: 02/08/1985
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Jefferson
Previous Team: Missouri , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
12.4 Pts, 2.3 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Anthony Tolliver
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 242 lbs.
Birthday: 06/01/1985
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Kickapoo
Previous Team: Kings , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
2.8 Pts, 2.0 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Cheick Samb
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 1"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthday: 10/22/1984
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Barcelona , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #21 in 2006 Draft
by the Lakers
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
6.0 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Kosta Perovic
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 2"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Birthday: 02/19/1985
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Partizan , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #8 in 2006 Draft
by the Warriors
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
3.1 Pts, 2.1 Rebs, 0.1 Asts


Luis Scola
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 245 lbs.
Birthday: 04/30/1980
36 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Nets , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #27 in 2002 Draft
by the Spurs
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
4.8 Pts, 4.1 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Courtney Sims
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Birthday: 10/22/1983
33 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Noble and Greenough School
Previous Team: Sonic Boom KT , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
17.1 Pts, 11.0 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Coby Karl
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 209 lbs.
Birthday: 03/06/1983
33 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Homestead
Previous Team: Reno , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
7.9 Pts, 2.7 Rebs, 2.7 Asts


Juan Carlos Navarro
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birthday: 06/13/1980
36 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Barcelona , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #11 in 2002 Draft
by the Wizards
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
7.0 Pts, 0.5 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Joel Anthony
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 260 lbs.
Birthday: 08/09/1982
34 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Dawson
Previous Team: Pistons , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
4.2 Pts, 3.3 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Marcin Gortat
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 02/18/1984
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Wizards , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #27 in 2005 Draft
by the Suns
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
11.8 Pts, 12.1 Rebs, 1.6 Asts


Darryl Watkins
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 241 lbs.
Birthday: 11/09/1984
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Paterson Catholic
Previous Team: Villeurbanne , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
9.6 Pts, 7.1 Rebs, 1.2 Asts


Mustafa Shakur
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 183 lbs.
Birthday: 08/19/1984
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Friends Central
Previous Team: Afyonkarahisar , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
10.8 Pts, 2.8 Rebs, 5.3 Asts