After a 135-game career at SMU, Ben Moore will get a chance to prove himself as an NBA player.
Moore is signing a partially guaranteed contract with the Indiana Pacers as an undrafted free agent, according to Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo.
Moore scored 1,214 points in his four years at SMU, which ranks 25th in school history. He ranks second in wins (108), eighth in blocks (125) and ninth in rebounds (780). The 6-foot-8 forward and Bolingbrook, Ill. native was also a second-team all-American Athletic Conference selection as a senior in 2016-17, averaging 11.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 35 games. After the season, he played in the Reese's College All-Star game during Final Four weekend and the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
The Pacers were one of seven known teams who brought him in for a pre-draft workout. The others: the Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.
"I want to show a lot of energy," Moore said after his Pacers workout in May. "I want to show I can be a hustle guy, offensive rebound, play defense, things of that nature."
Moore's defensive versatility and ball-handling at his size are his best assets. NBA Draft analysts agreed that Moore wold help his chances of sticking on a team by improving his jump shot. The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, who ranked Moore 46th in his top 60 prospects, describes Moore as a "hustling machine who can defend multiple positions and handle the ball, though it’s pivotal that his jumper improves."
According to Synergy Sports, Moore shot 20-for-57 (35 percent) on jumpers in the half-court offense last season. In his four years, he shot 66 percent from the foul line. He didn't have much range on his shot, attempting only five career 3-pointers in four years at SMU (making one). All five attempts came in 2016-17.
"I'm always trying to improve on shooting," Moore said in May. "That's something I have to work on and am going to continue working on."
Partially guaranteed contracts mean that a player will get money and an invitation to the team's training camp. It does not guarantee an NBA roster spot. After the 2015 draft, 26 undrafted players signed contracts that included any amount of guaranteed money. Those 26 players earned a total of $2.5 million in guarantees, with the most frequent individual amounts being $50,000 and $75,000.
Two of Moore's SMU teammates, Semi Ojeleye and Sterling Brown, were the No. 37 and 46 picks in the draft, respectively. The Boston Celtics took Ojeleye, while the Milwaukee Bucks are in the process of acquiring the draft rights to Brown from the Philadelphia 76ers.