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Johnathan Motley Goes Undrafted; Knee Injury Likely Culprit

Motley goes undrafted

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-East Regional Practice Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Shockingly, Johnathan Motley was not selected in tonight’s NBA Draft. He was on every mock draft and thought of as a 1st round pick for much of the season.

Motley seems to have fallen because he tore his MCL against South Carolina. Even with that injury, many of us expected he’d still get selected. Based on Jake Fischer’s report and nobody selecting him, it appears that injury may be far more of a long-term issue than we thought.

Motley had a fantastic season last year. He won the Karl Malone Award, given to the best power forward in college basketball. He led the Bears with 17 points and 10 rebounds per game. And he was the best player on a Baylor team that achieved the school’s first No. 1 ranking.

Motley will still have a chance to make a team. He’ll likely get invited to camp with an NBA team, and if he impresses in summer league, he can make it as an undrafted rookie.

The challenge for Motley will be developing his 3-point shot. He hit 27% of his triples as a junior. In the NBA, he’ll need to extend his range. If he can, he has a good chance to stick with a team.

Some will question why Motley came out if he was not selected. But if the knee injury is a concern now, it’s going to be a concern next year. Motley worked out for teams and looked good. The long-term issue will always remain. Motley earned his degree and dominated the college game as an underrated recruit. Now he’ll try to make it in the NBA as an undrafted player. He’s proved people wrong before. Hopefully he can again.