What are the chances of Michigan basketball standouts Mike Smith and Chaundee Brown sticking in the NBA?
Michigan basketball is putting together a really impressive draft record, which continued on Thursday night as Franz Wagner went eighth to the Magic, while Isaiah Livers went in the second round to the Detroit Pistons.
However, they weren’t the only Wolverines who were given a shot in the NBA as Chaundee Brown signed an exhibit-10 contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Mike Smith also signed to play for the Milwaukee Bucks Summer League team.
If you don’t know what an exhibit-10 contract is, you probably aren’t alone. Essentially, it gives the player a chance to make the NBA team in training camp, and then if the player is cut and designated to the G-League, it allows the team to retain his rights. Here’s an explanation from Hoops Rumors:
“Let’s say an undrafted rookie signs an Exhibit 10 contract with the Knicks that includes a $50K bonus. He attends camp with the Knicks, but is waived before the regular season begins, with New York designating him an affiliate player in order to retain his G League rights. In that scenario, if the rookie elects to play in the G League for the Westchester Knicks and remains with the club for 60 days, he’d be entitled to his full $50K bonus.”
Brown feels like he has a solid shot of sticking, at least in the G-League for now. He’s the definition of a three-and-D wing. He connected on 41 percent of his 3-point attempts last season and as Michigan basketball fans know, is a top-notch defender.
Brown’s path to the NBA could be similar to that of Duncan Robinson. Duncan earned his way through the G-League after signing a two-way contract with the Miami Heat and a two-way deal is the next goal for Brown because it guarantees you playing in some NBA games.
However, he would really need to impress over the summer and during camp to make the Lakers roster. But if he goes to the G-League, as long as he continues to shot 41 percent from 3-point range, he’s got a good shot of making it to the NBA.
Even though he was a sixth man Michigan, Robinson also made it to the league after spending time as the Wolverines sixth man. But it shows that Brown can fit that role as a backup wing with a 3-point shot.
As far as Smith, his path to the league will be a little more difficult. The Summer League will be a huge opportunity for him to show what he can do. Getting to the G-League next season would be a win for Smith, a 5-foot-10 point guard who could also play in Europe.
Just like Brown, Smith is going to have to shoot really well. He can distribute but the defense will be an issue for him due to his size.