You've probably heard of Aaron Craft before. The lil, rosy-cheeked goofball from Ohio State? Well, if your favorite NBA teams are either the Golden State Warriors or the Philadelphia 76ers, you're in luck! They just signed him to their Summer League rosters! Let us rejoice!
But be careful: expect little to nothing from Craft on the offensive end. He never averaged more than 10 points a game at Ohio State, even though he played around 32 minutes each night. That does not bode well against NBA point guards. The majority of his collegiate offensive output came from drives to the hoop because he never developed a steady jumper. Although he could often scoot around his defenders and drive in college, I don't think he can do the same thing in the pros. He's more athletic than people give him credit for, but that aspect of his game won't translate.
Craft only became a worse three-point shooter during his four years at Ohio State, so that's another issue. Most draft prospects that struggle offensively can sometimes shoot it well from deep. Not Craft. He only shot 30% from three last season, making him quite the offensive liability. Is this making you nervous? Would you rather your team have signed some mystery Eastern European dude?
Don't fear. Aaron Craft's defense will be his calling card in the pros. If you've followed Big Ten basketball in any capacity over the past four years, you've definitely heard some announcer gush over Craft's perimeter defense. Craft has an exceptional ability to use his hands and body to disrupt opposing point guards. He averaged almost 3 steals a game last season, which would be useful for any NBA team, regardless of their backcourt situation.
But can he defend at an NBA level? He has decent size and strength at 6'2", 192 lbs, but he only has a 6'1" inch wingspan. Point guards are only getting taller, longer, and quicker, and Craft could struggle against the Dante Exums and Michael Carter-Williams of the world. But regardless of his physical deficiencies, I do believe Craft can find his way onto an NBA roster solely for his defense. He'll never be asked to do much more, but I can see a team taking a flyer on him, whether that be in the late second round or just an invite to the Summer League.
If your team signs Aaron Craft, you should be pleased. It's incredibly unlikely that anything comes from undrafted free agents, so take solace in the fact that you just signed a hard-working and team-oriented player. Craft has an attitude that coaches and teammates will love. Chemistry will never be a problem for Craft in the pros - he just has to find his spot on a roster.
The Warriors and the Sixers seem to be ideal fits. Both teams are young, highly analytical, and are willing to give unproven players a shot. I'd be surprised if he makes their regular season lineup, but he has two golden opportunities this summer. Just keep those expectations low and enjoy some B1G in your life.