The call never came for Pitt in this year’s NBA Draft.
Gilbert Brown, Brad Wanamaker and Gary McGhee went unpicked in the two-round draft Thursday night as the Big East matched its lowest draft total in 29 years.
The 6-foot-3, 208-pound Wanamaker was regarded as the most likely to be picked; ESPN.com draft expert Chad Ford had him going late in the late second-round in his final mock draft.
But Wanamaker, a second-team all-Big East selection who had worked out with 10 NBA teams during the past month, didn’t join recent second-rounders Sam Young, DeJuan Blair and Aaron Gray.
There were only three Big East players drafted, all in the first round. Connecticut guard Kemba Walker at No. 9 followed by Providence small forward Marshon Brooks and Marquette shooting guard Jimmy Butler at No. 25 and No. 30, respectively. Just three months after the Big East had a record-11 teams reach the NCAA Tournament, it matched the previous low-water mark of three drafted Big East players drafted in 1998, 2002 and 2004.
Twelve draft-eligible players who earned all-Big East honors last season went undrafted, including Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough of Notre Dame, Rick Jackson of Syracuse and Dwight Hardy of St. John’s.
With the looming NBA lockout set to begin July 1, the undrafted players will find themselves in limbo. The Las Vegas summer league – where undrafted players can try to work their way onto an NBA roster or earn a D-League spot – was cancelled. Many of them will look for work overseas.
Brown’s Los Angeles-based agent T.J. Doyle said the 6-foot-6 Harrisburg native already has an offer to play overseas with an option that will allow him to return to an NBA camp after the lockout ends.
“If you are undrafted, you should not wait because with no summer leagues, they are not going to make a team,” Doyle said on Wednesday. “There’s none of that this year. Instead of waiting around, you might as well go make money and work on your game and stay in shape. That’s why we got the deal early.”
Wanamaker, one of the most productive guards in Pitt history, worked out on Monday with the Los Angeles Lakers, who had four picks between No. 41-58 in the second round. But the bottom portion of the second round was dotted with international players.