Brandon Ashley and T.J. McConnell both went undrafted in the NBA Draft Thursday night. This isn't much of a surprise -- T.J. McConnell barely snagged an invite to the NBA combine, and most mock drafts suggested that neither Ashley nor McConnell would be drafted.
All is not lost, though. Going undrafted does not necessarily mean the NBA dreams are over for McConnell and Ashley. First, both of them will likely get invites to join a Summer League roster-- after all, Kyle Fogg, Brendon Lavender, and Kevin Parrom all played in the Summer League, and Ashley and McConnell are better NBA prospects.
From there, they'll need to perform well in Summer League in order to land a training camp invite. And obviously a training camp invite could lead to a spot on an NBA roster if they continue to impress. One player that has gone down this path that has been compared to T.J. McConnell is Matthew Dellavedova. He was undrafted out of St. Mary's, performed well in Summer League, made the roster, and subsequently played a large role in the Cavaliers' playoff success. Now he's scheduled to be a free agent this offseason, and is expected to get a nice contract and stay in the NBA long term.
Now even if McConnell and Ashley fail to make an NBA team, expect that both T.J. and Brandon will be playing professional basketball somewhere next season, whether it be overseas or in the NBA D-League. And if this is the case, specifically for Ashley, it does not mean that his decision to leave Arizona was a bad one. Making a living playing basketball is his dream, and it can still be accomplished whether he's in the NBA or not.
Good luck, guys.