Checking In On 2019’s Unsigned Draft Picks

The 2019 NBA draft took place less than a month ago, but the majority of the players selected on the night of June 20 have already signed their first NBA contracts. That includes all but one of the 30 players drafted in the first round, as well as more than half of 2019’s second-rounders.

The following players have not yet signed contracts with their new NBA teams:

  1. Orlando Magic: Chuma Okeke, F (Auburn)
  2. New Orleans Pelicans: Didi Louzada, G/F (Brazil)
  3. Charlotte Hornets: Cody Martin, F (Nevada)
  4. Detroit Pistons: Deividas Sirvydis, G/F (Lithuania)
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jaylen Nowell, G (Washington)
  6. Denver Nuggets: Bol Bol, C (Oregon)
  7. Dallas Mavericks: Isaiah Roby, F (Nebraska)
  8. Utah Jazz: Jarrell Brantley, F (Charleston)
  9. Boston Celtics: Tremont Waters, G (LSU)
  10. Charlotte Hornets: Jalen McDaniels, F (San Diego State)
  11. Utah Jazz: Justin Wright-Foreman, G (Hofstra)
  12. Brooklyn Nets: Jaylen Hands, G (UCLA)
  13. Sacramento Kings: Vanja Marinkovic, G (Serbia)

Louzada will reportedly spend the 2019/20 season in Australia, so we can safely remove his name from this list — he won’t be signing an NBA contract this offseason. I’d expect Marinkovic to remain overseas too, and it sounds like Sirvydis is a draft-and-stash candidate as well. Waters, meanwhile, has reportedly agreed to terms on a two-way contract with Boston, though it’s not yet official.

That would leave just nine players from 2019’s draft class who still seem likely to sign at some point. Of those nine players, Okeke is the most interesting. He tore his ACL in March and is expected to miss a good chunk – if not all – of his rookie season. It may just be a coincidence that he’s the last first-round pick to sign a contract, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the Magic were exploring possible alternatives to the traditional 120% of the rookie scale for him.

The Hornets (Martin), Timberwolves (Nowell), Nuggets (Bol), and Mavericks (Roby) all have fewer than 15 guaranteed contracts on their books and a portion of their mid-level exceptions available, so those other top-45 draftees look like good bets to sign multiyear deals at some point.

The players selected in the 50s may be candidates for two-way contracts. Not counting Waters, four players selected in the 49-57 range have already signed two-way deals. Hands, in particular, makes sense in a two-way slot, since the Nets currently project to have a full 15-man roster.

[RELATED: 2019/20 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

The outlook for McDaniels (Hornets), Brantley (Jazz), and Wright-Foreman (Jazz) is cloudier. Charlotte has an open two-way slot and Utah has two, but those clubs also have multiple potential openings on their 15-man rosters, so it remains to be seen what the future holds for these late second-rounders. We should find out in the coming weeks.

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