The NBA Draft has concluded and UNC’s Theo Pinson and Joel Berry II were not drafted. It’s always unfortunate to see two beloved and productive players fail to hear their names called on draft night, even if it was a long shot. Fortunately in today’s NBA, they’ll have their opportunities to eventually earn a roster spot.
Carolina fans have to look no further than last year’s undrafted Tar Heels for examples of NBA success. Isaiah Hicks used summer league performances to catch the eye of the New York Knicks who signed him to a 2-way contract with their G-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. In February he made his NBA debut finishing the year with 18 appearances.
He’s not the only success story. Kennedy Meeks also latched onto the Raptors 905, the Toronto Raptors’ affiliate. Of course, former Tar Heel James Michael McAdoo is now a two-time NBA champion despite going undrafted in 2014.
As he repeatedly displayed at UNC, Berry is not a man to disregard and toss aside. His intangibles and unwillingness to lose will catch the eye of some NBA front offices. An eternal optimist may even argue that in an ever evolving league that continues to put an emphasis on pick-n-rolls and three point attempts, Berry’s ability to score might compensate for some of perceived deficiencies.
Another man that is not to be counted out just yet is Theo Pinson. He is a gifted athlete and has strong playmaking ability. He has excellent vision, is a very good passer, can defend just about every position, and can create shots at the rim. The biggest con of Pinson’s game is his jump shot, but one can only hope that he has been working hard on that this summer and is ready to prove that he belongs if a team should pick him up for the summer league.
Regardless of where his career takes them, there is one inarguable fact about both Pinson and Berry. They leave Chapel Hill as modern day legends and NCAA champions. As far as fans are concerned, everything else is just icing on the cake.