Many players don’t realize how difficult it is to make it to the NBA as a free agent.
If a player was not drafted out of college, there is a reason for that. The NBA scouts evaluate every player in college, and there are no secrets or hidden talents.
If a college player doesn’t get drafted, it is usually because he lacks the size, strength, or athleticism for the NBA. Those things are not likely to change.
If a player was not drafted, it is doubtful that an NBA team will sign him anyway and then admit that they made a mistake by not drafting him.
That will not happen because too many people in that NBA organization would then see their jobs in jeopardy.
The few exceptions to the rule usually sign short-term, minimum contracts and don’t last longer than one season on the bench.
From 1991 to 2006, there were 29 undrafted players who played at least 100 NBA games and averaged at least 20 minutes per contest. In other words, about two players were undrafted each year and went on to become regular members of a team’s rotation. But that is the average over a 15-year period. It was much easier for an undrafted rookie to make it in the early nineties than now.
These 29 players represent only 2,6 % of all the players who made their NBA debut in the above period.
Undrafted players and free agents who do manage to become regular members of an NBA team’s rotation usually have to go overseas first. Their NBA chances are the lowest in the year they graduate from college and the highest after 2-5 seasons overseas. It’s all about timing.