10 Best Undrafted NBA Players of All Time

10 Best Undrafted NBA Players of All Time

Wanna know about the top 10 Best Undrafted NBA Players of All Time who defied the odds and made basketball history?

Best Undrafted Players Of NBA

Witness the resilience and tenacity of these ultimate competitors who defied the odds of going undrafted to secure their place among the 10 Best Undrafted NBA Players of All Time history. Join us as we delve into their remarkable careers.

1. Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace was a big deal in basketball during the 2000s, especially with the Detroit Pistons. They played in six Eastern Conference finals in a row and won the 2004 NBA Finals. He’s special because he wasn’t picked in the NBA draft but still made it big. He scored over 6,000 points, grabbed more than 10,000 rebounds, and blocked over 2,000 shots in his career. In 2021, he became the first undrafted player ever to enter the Basketball Hall of Fame. He’s known for his amazing blocks on the court.

In 2006, he was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time, a record. He’s also unique because he’s the only player with more blocks than personal fouls and more steals than turnovers. Overall, Ben Wallace is one of the top 10 undrafted NBA players ever.

2. John Starks

John Starks was overlooked in the 1988 NBA draft, but he turned out to be one of the greatest undrafted players in NBA history. He played a pivotal role in some of the biggest NBA rivalries of all time, particularly between the Knicks and the Bulls, where he often went head-to-head with the legendary Michael Jordan.

Throughout his career, Starks scored over 10,000 points, dished out more than 3,000 assists, and grabbed over 2,000 rebounds. He earned a spot in the NBA All-Star game in 1994. Starks’ determination to win and his impact in the playoffs helped him leave a lasting legacy, making him one of the most revered Knicks players of all time.

3. Connie Hawkins

Connie Hawkins didn’t get picked in the 1964 NBA draft and faced a setback when he was banned due to a point-shaving scandal at Iowa. Although he was never arrested or indicted for it, he didn’t play his first NBA game until 1969.

Hawkins was known for his athleticism, flashy style, and impressive skills. He spent four years with the Harlem Globetrotters before making his mark in the NBA. He was a great scorer and passer, averaging 18.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. Despite the challenges, he became a four-time All-Star and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

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4. Fred VanVleet

Fred VanVleet wasn’t picked in the 2016 NBA draft, but the Raptors decided to give him a chance and sent him to the G League. He quickly proved himself as a valuable player with excellent scoring, playmaking, and defensive abilities.

VanVleet played a crucial role in the Raptors’ championship-winning team in 2018-19. In 2020, he made history by signing the largest contract ever for an undrafted player, a four-year, $85 million deal. The following year, he set a record for the Raptors and undrafted players by scoring 54 points in a single game. In 2021, he became just the fourth undrafted player to be selected for the All-Star game.

5. Bruce Bowen

Bruce Bowen rose from being undrafted in 1993 to becoming one of the top 10 undrafted NBA players ever. Throughout his career, he scored 5,290 points, grabbed 2,428 rebounds, and dished out 1,089 assists. But where he truly shone was on defense, earning a reputation as one of the greatest perimeter lockdown defenders in the game’s history.

His time with the San Antonio Spurs was especially fruitful, as he helped secure three NBA championships during his eight seasons there. Bowen’s defensive prowess earned him a remarkable eight selections to the All-Defensive teams. His jersey number, #12, was retired by the Spurs in 2012, a testament to his impact on the team and the game.

6. Udonis Haslem

Udonis Haslem was overlooked in the 2002 NBA Draft due to his smaller size. He didn’t let that stop him though. After a season playing in France, he joined his hometown team, the Miami Heat. By 2004, he had cemented himself as a key starter and went on to have an incredible career spanning 20 consecutive seasons with the Heat.

Throughout his time in Miami, Haslem was a crucial part of three NBA championship-winning teams. He earned a reputation for his toughness, rebounding skills, and defensive prowess, along with his knack for hitting mid-range jump shots.

7. Brad Miller

In the 1998 NBA draft, teams passed over Brad Miller, but he proved himself as one of the top 10 undrafted NBA players of all time. His skills earned him back-to-back All-Star nods in 2003 and 2004. What set Miller apart was his versatility as a center. He was an adept passer, shooting an impressive 33% from beyond the arc, and racked up 9,724 points and 6,199 rebounds throughout his career.

Miller’s presence on the court was felt not just in offense but also in defense. Despite not fitting the typical mold of a center, he used his size and strength effectively. Known for his shot-blocking and rim protection, he was a force to be reckoned with in the paint. His solid post defense, coupled with his physicality and footwork, made him a formidable opponent for anyone driving to the basket.

8. Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson stands as one of the greatest undrafted NBA players, tallying 8,817 points and 5,846 assists throughout his career. Despite not being selected in the 1988 draft, he rose to prominence and clinched an NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999, teaming up with the legendary power forward Tim Duncan.

Johnson’s impact was evident in the 1999 NBA Finals, where he sealed the championship with a crucial go-ahead shot against the Knicks. Renowned for his playmaking skills and defensive prowess, he was instrumental in setting up his teammates and disrupting opponents’ offenses. In honor of his contributions, the Spurs retired his jersey number, #6, in 2007.

9. Wesley Matthews

Although the 2009 NBA Draft passed over Wesley Matthews, he firmly established himself as one of the top 10 undrafted NBA players of all time. Starting with the Utah Jazz, he showcased his talents across various teams including the Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Lakers.

Matthews is renowned for his consistency and versatility on both offense and defense. With a strong work ethic and toughness, he’s a standout perimeter defender, often tasked with shutting down the opposing team’s best player. Additionally, Matthews is more than just a defensive ace; he’s also a reliable shooter, making him a valuable asset on any team.

10. Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin, a standout among the top undrafted NBA players, showcased his basketball prowess over nine seasons. Renowned for his lightning-fast moves, exceptional ball handling, and relentless drives to the basket, Lin left his mark on the court while playing for eight different teams. However, it was his unforgettable tenure with the Knicks that truly solidified his legacy.

Despite going undrafted in 2010, Lin’s meteoric rise during the 2011-12 season sparked a global phenomenon known as “Linsanity.” Lin’s extraordinary performances on consecutive nights, despite the possibility of being cut, propelled him to the forefront of NBA headlines, cementing his status as one of the top undrafted players in league history.

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The journey of these 10 Best Undrafted NBA Players of All Time showcases the resilience, determination, and talent that transcend the boundaries of draft selections. From Ben Wallace’s dominant presence in the paint to Jeremy Lin’s meteoric rise and global phenomenon of “Linsanity,” each player’s story is a testament to their unwavering commitment to the game. Despite facing initial setbacks, they defied the odds, leaving an indelible mark on basketball history. Their accomplishments serve as inspiration for aspiring athletes everywhere, proving that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible on the court.

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