Aaron Craft was a household name during his long and storied Big Ten career. Unfortunately for the former All-Big Ten guard collegiate success doesn't always correlate into professional success and Craft is facing an uphill battle if he wants to have a chance at making a NBA roster. After a stint in the Orlando Summer League Craft headed out west to participate in the Las Vegas Summer League, joining the Golden State Warrior's team.
Attempting to make the most of his opportunity Craft ended up recording four assists and five steals in his Vegas summer league opener. The performance impressed head coach Steve Kerr, who mentioned that Craft is "just a basketball player, a winner."
While the Ohio native has turned some heads and shown some potential it'll unlikely help him when it comes to making the Warriors' opening day roster. Pretty much everyone that has watched Craft on the court knows what they'll get: stout defense, ability to force turnovers and solid passing skills. The problem with Craft, though, is he's never had much of a shot and his athletic ability pales compared to most opposing players in the NBA. If Craft can't suddenly find a way to develop his offensive game his ceiling is only the D-League, with an international career a more likely bet.
Making it even trickier for Craft is that the Warriors roster likely doesn't have a spot for him, even when you take into consideration that backup point guard has been a major area of concern for the Warriors (and that the production behind Stephen Curry was atrocious last season). However, the team hopes they addressed the issue with the signing of free agent Shaun Livingston. Even more problematic for Craft is the fact that international player Nemanja Nedovic has a guaranteed salary for 2014-15. With three options at the point already on the active roster and Seth Curry (Steph's brother) being another potential option with ties to the organization, Craft seems to be the odd man out.
That being said, that hasn't deterred Craft's effort so far this summer:
Aaron Craft now pesters the PG into an offensive foul and is elated.— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) July 13, 2014
Aaron Craft open 3-pointer goes off side of backboard, and he comes up with the loose ball on the other side of the court.— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) July 13, 2014
While Craft's spot on the Warriors summer-league roster won't benefit him much with Golden State, his ability to impress the coaches and GMs could go a long way. His offensive game is limited but his hustle and defensive ability could help him land a spot in the D-League this fall. At the end of the day if Craft's offensive game doesn't progress, which seems the likely scenario, his options may be limited to heading overseas if he wants a professional career.
So where do you guys think Craft will end up this upcoming season? D-League? Overseas? Eventually crack an active roster? Let us know in the poll/comments below because I know you guys have plenty of love for the former Buckeye.