NBA Draft 2019: 5 undrafted players to watch

This year’s NBA Draft has come to a close, but there are still plenty of talented players available.

Some prospects lacked prototypical size, speed, strength, health or were simply raw to begin with. That likely caused teams to pass on picking on them.

But quite a few will get a chance to earn a roster spot in 2019-20 or later on.

Here are five undrafted players you should keep an eye on:

Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John’s

Ponds exploded onto the national scene in 2017-18. The New York native went on a historic tear in which he led the Red Storm to victories over two top-five teams in the same week.

The crafty guard played 40 minutes in back-to-back games which helped St. John’s top Villanova (No. 1) and Duke (No. 4). He then helped his team top Marquette and Depaul during a stint where he didn’t sub out for five straight contests.

Ponds tested the NBA Draft waters in 2018 but ultimately returned to school to average 19.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists during his junior season. At 6-1 and 180 pounds, he isn’t the most physically imposing guard.

But he knows how to use angles and can fill it up in a hurry. Ponds will reportedly play summer-league ball with the Rockets. If that doesn’t work out, other teams will surely take a look at him.

Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy

It appears like Jalen Lecque got some bad advice. The 19-year old combo guard was committed to play at NC State in 2019-20 but instead elected to enter the draft. There was speculation he’d received a promise from a team when he left the draft combine early, but obviously that wasn’t the case.

Lecque, another New York native, attended prep school instead of playing college ball last season, and his measurables were off the charts at the combine. He’s 6-4 with a 6-8 wingspan and recorded the highest maximum vertical jump of any player at the event — 43 inches to be exact.

But he appeared to be out of rhythm going full speed in drills when handling the ball alongside other top talent. Nevertheless, he has freakish athleticism and agreed to a four-year deal with the Suns, who drastically need a point guard.

It could take some time for Lecque to arrive, but he could be worth waiting for.

Tacko Fall, C, Cental Florida

Believe it or not a 7-6 player with an 8-2 wingspan and 10-2 standing reach wasn’t selected on Thursday.

Fall, who played center at UCF this past season is unnaturally big and has potential to be a serious asset. The concerns with him are mostly about his mobility. He’ll likely be primarily used as a rim protector, but today’s NBA focuses heavily on the pick-and-roll.  He could be a serious liability when switching onto guards that can willingly blow by him. He also has a lot of room for growth on the offensive end.

You simply can’t find a human this massive easily, and the Celtics will get first crack at developing this 23-year-old project. It can’t hurt to at least experiment with a player this rare.

Fletcher Magee, G, Wofford

You might remember this guy as the person who broke Stephen Curry’s collegiate 3-point shooting record. Yes, Magee made 509 shots from behind the arc at a surprisingly efficient 46.8 percent during his four-year career with a very good Wofford team.

The 6-4 guard was essentially allowed to shoot wherever and whenever he wanted in college but did utilize other serviceable shooters around him. Magee simply won’t be afforded this luxury in the NBA, as there are frankly too many players better than him.

Magee has to prove he can compete against top-flight athletes, defend and contribute more than just long-range shooting. He likely won’t be a primary ball handler, so it makes sense a team like the Bucks would take a look at him.

Giannis Antetokounmpo absorbs so much attention that Magee could make himself a deadly long range sniper on wide-open kick outs. But of course he’ll have to beat out his competition first.

Jontay Porter, C, Missouri

Porter, younger brother of the Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr., definitely has first-round talent. He’s simply been plagued by injuries.

The 6-11 big man has torn the same ACL on two separate occasions and didn’t play at all in his sophomore season in 2018-19. But it’s good his ability doesn’t rely on explosiveness.

Porter is a very skilled stretch 5 that is an able and willing passer with tremendous shooting touch. Teams just have to be ready to deal with a lengthy recover process, as his most recent ACL tear occurred in March.

If it weren’t for his injury history, he’d likely be a lottery prospect. Denver probably has a lead on other suitors though, as he could be interested in playing with his brother because injuries limited their time together in college.