When Usman Garuba officially signed his rookie contract with Houston earlier this week, he became the 30th and final first-round pick from the 2021 draft to sign his first NBA deal. There will be no draft-and-stash players among this year’s first-rounders — they’re all now officially on NBA rosters.
As our tracker shows, another 23 second-rounders from this year’s draft class have also signed their first NBA contracts or – in Joe Wieskamp‘s case – agreed to a deal that should be officially completed soon.
That leaves just seven prospects from 2021’s 60-player draft class who have yet to be signed. They are as follows:
- New York Knicks: Rokas Jokubaitis, G, Lithuania
- Boston Celtics: Juhann Begarin, G, France
- Brooklyn Nets: Marcus Zegarowski, G, Creighton
- Philadelphia 76ers: Filip Petrusev, F, Serbia
- Philadelphia 76ers: Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky
- Detroit Pistons: Balsa Koprivica, C, Florida State
- Brooklyn Nets: RaiQuan Gray, F, Florida State
Of these seven players, at least three appear on track to spend the 2021/22 season in Europe. Jokubaitis returned to his team in Barcelona following his Summer League stint with the Knicks, while Petrusev signed with Turkish team Anadolu Efes after playing for the Sixers in Summer League. Begarin, who also played in Summer League for the Celtics, will likely end up heading back overseas to France
That leaves just four true unsigned second-round picks, including a pair of Nets. It will be interesting to see what Brooklyn’s plans are for Zegarowski and Gray. The team currently has 13 players on guaranteed contracts and one on a two-way deal, so there could conceivably be room for Zegarowski on the 15-man squad, with Gray getting the other two-way deal.
However, DeAndre’ Bembry has a partially guaranteed contract and looks like a good bet to make the Nets’ regular-season roster, and Reggie Perry (free agent) and David Duke (Exhibit 10) are among the other candidates to get a two-way deal from the team. It’s also not clear if Brooklyn intends to carry a full 15-man roster to start the season, since leaving a roster spot open would create major tax savings for the franchise.
I could envision a scenario in which Zegarowski signs a two-way contract and Gray signs a G League deal to play for the Long Island Nets, but that’s just my speculation. There are still a number of ways the Nets could go.
Meanwhile, prospects drafted in the 50s like Bassey (No. 53) and Koprivica (No. 57) are generally good candidates for two-way deals, but the Sixers and Pistons have recently filled both of their two-way openings. Perhaps Philadelphia envisions Bassey taking Anthony Tolliver‘s spot on the 15-man roster, since Tolliver is on a non-guaranteed contract.
It’ll be trickier for Detroit to find a roster spot for Koprivica. The Pistons already have 15 players on guaranteed contracts and still may re-sign restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo. Stashing Koprivica overseas or in the G League could be the plan. Koprivica was born and raised in Serbia, so he might be more comfortable spending a season overseas than a typical NCAA draftee would be.