Philly Hoops Talk author, Christian Hetrick also writes for the news blog, “Taking the Ride.” In his latest post for TTR, Hetrick talks to NBA undrafted free-agent, Xavier Silas on the struggles an undrafted free agent faces eith the NBA in a lockout.
Xavier Silas watched it all unfold from his home in Austin, Texas.
With family and friends by his side, the former Northern Illinois guard watched pick, after pick, after pick go by in June’s NBA Draft. Silas was expecting to be picked; in just the month of June alone, Silas worked out for the Nets, Celtics, Sixers, Bulls, and Warriors. But when draft day came on June 23rd, and went on June 24th, all thirty teams passed him up.”There were multiple teams interested, but they all went in other directions” Silas said.
Despite not being drafted, there was still plenty of optimism in the Silas household. “The Sixers called my agent during the last pick and told him they didn’t want me to go to Europe or anything. They said they wanted me to come into their camp because they really liked me. There picks were [big men], so I knew they weren’t just blowing smoke. They gave me an official camp invite two seconds after the draft. I had no time to be sad” Silas said.
For undrafted free agents, the road to the NBA is a difficult one. No contracts, no promises, no guarantees; just a try out. Undrafted free agents, like Silas, have to beat out players that a team may have already made a commitment to –players who have either been drafted or signed to a contract. It’s not impossible though, especially for Silas. Silas was the leading scorer for the Huskies, averaging 22.3 points per game during his senior season at Northern Illinois. He is a natural scorer, scoring at least 20 points seventeen times last year, and scoring at least 30 points seven times. He is easily one of the best undrafted free agents on the market, and if the NBA has a season this year, Silas certainly won’t stay on the market too long.
But the “if” in that last sentence is what makes Silas’ already difficult road to the NBA even more rigid.