"But," Monter added, that does not always translate to an NBA draft pick."
For Chuck Hayes, while a 1st or 2nd round draft pick may be uncertain, if not unlikely, that doesn't mean Hayes could not make a roster, "Many years, half the players in the second round don't make a roster," Monter added, "and there are many cases where a player would be better off not drafted at all, rather than drafted deep in the second round. Monter believes Hayes may be one of those players.
Monter cited an instance where Blake Stepp, the former Gonzaga sharpshooter, was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that had six pretty good guards already, "Stepp was the best player available at the time, so the T-Wolves took him. He could have later been part of a trade or just made the team."
The problem, however, was that Stepp was drafted, and was tied to that one team, and making that team was virtually impossible for Stepp. "Had Stepp not been drafted, he might have shopped around for a team that really needed a player of his skill set, but by the time Stepp got cut from the roster, most of the available jobs dried up. There is no guaranteed contract for a second round pick."
"In Chuck's case," Monter continued, "he is smallish for a power forward. He doesn't shoot well enough for a small forward. He's a great rebounder but this is on a college team. In the NBA Chuck would have to go up against 6-foot-9 to 6-foot-11 players that are as strong and fast as he. Or he would have to develop into a competent small forward."
That's not an easy thing to do. But Chuck does have one advantage – he plays for Kentucky. "That means a lot," Monter said, "NBA scouts see Chuck on national television frequently, and Chuck generally comes through with a big game. Who knows? Maybe he can end up like Ben Wallace. Wallace was not taken in the draft but found a team and developed into a superstar."
But what might be more likely the case, would be for Chuck to find a team that needed a strong rebounding presence at the small forward position, and to find a niche that way, "Chuck will most certainly be invited to the Portsmouth Invitational NBA Camp in Portsmouth, Virginia," Monter said. "Some players won't go. The first round ‘locks' won't go and the players that ‘think' they are first round locks won't go. But Chuck should go. I hope those who are close to him advise him of this. Chuck is the kind of player that can play his way into the heart of some scout and then you never know what happens."
In addition, there is the NBA camp in Chicago in June, where scouts from the NBA, CBA, NBDL and International leagues are present, "Chuck may or may not make an NBA roster," Monter said, "but there are plenty of other options for a player like Chuck. Some of these guys earn a very good living playing outside the NBA. Some even earn their way into the NBA later."