Without picks in the first or second round Thursday, the Nets took an alternate route early Friday, signing five undrafted players —- one of whom will be on a two-way deal.
In the hours after the conclusion of Thursday’s draft, the Nets agreed to a two-way deal with 6’5” Wake Forest combo guard Alondes Williams and Summer League agreements with 6’6” UNLV wingman Donovan Williams.
The Brooklyn Nets and Wake Forest star Alondes Williams have agreed on a two-way NBA contract, a source told @Stockrisers.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) June 24, 2022
UNLV’s Donovan Williams has agreed to a deal with the Brooklyn Nets, a source told @Stockrisers.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) June 24, 2022
Later Adam Zagoria of Zags Blog reported that Harvard’s Noah Kirkwood, a 6’7” shooting guard, will also play for the Nets in Summer League.
Former @HarvardMBB G Noah Kirkwood will play Summer League with the Brooklyn Nets, per league source— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) June 24, 2022
Finally, on Friday, shooting guard Taze Moore of Texas Southern and power forward Brison Gresham of the University of Houston, were signed, per their university’s athletic department.
The two Williams started at a bigger school — Alondes Williams at Oklahoma, Donovan Williams at Texas before transferring ... and thriving in a new environment. Kirkwood was a three-year starter for the Crimson.
Of the two Williams, Alondes is seen as the better prospect. A 23-year-old grad student, Alondes was the ACC Player of the Year and an Honorable Mention All-American. Both The Athletic and ESPN had Alondes in the top 10 of undrafted prospects
Alondes Williams is a big-bodied 6’5 205-lbs. guard who spring boarded onto the NBA radar after a huge breakout season with Wake Forest this past season. He began his college career at Oklahoma, but transferred to Wake Forest before his junior year for a chance at a bigger opportunity on the floor.
He averaged 18 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 2021-22 after averaging just over 6 points in about 18 minutes per game in two seasons for the Sooners. Clearly, the change of scenery has helped develop and boost his play — and therefore his stock in the eyes of the 30 NBA franchises looking to acquire talent through the draft.
The Milwaukee native, while a combo guard, primarily plays the point. His court vision and ability to finish are his calling cards.
He is not a knockdown shooter, hitting only 28 percent of his 3-points shots. He is a good if not impactful defender. Peachtree Hoops noted as well that Alondes has also been troubled by high turnover rate.
On offense, he can look to drive between too many bodies and has racked up turnovers as a result. 3.9 turnovers per 36 minutes is just too many for someone who looks to calmly facilitate a steady offense.
He showed excellent passing skills and used his size and strength to his advantage on both ends, leading to excellent production and a fun-to-watch play style … Still, his lack of a jump shot is cause for concern and jeopardizes his projection as a lead guard at the NBA level, as does his developing feel for actually being a floor general.
Donovan Williams, 21, is a deep shooter and is hyper athletic if slender. The Houston native projects as a 3-and-D player at the NBA level. Donovan was UNLV’s second-leading scorer last year at 12.7 points per game, hitting 43.6 percent of his 3-point attempts. As the Las Vegas Sun reported at the end of the season, he finally fulfilled his high school promise at UNLV.
A former 4-star recruit in the Class of 2019, Williams has long held a ton of potential due to his outstanding length and athleticism. He arrived at UNLV with major questions about his shooting ability, but he put those concerns to rest by nailing 43.6% of his 3-pointers this season, the best mark on the team.
Here’s some of his highlights...
While Alondes is a big guard, Donovan will need to add strength if he is to make it in the NBA, according to more than one scouting report.
Donovan Williams tweeted out his thanks to the Nets organization early Friday.
Kirkwood, 22, was first team All-Ivy League. He averaged 17.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists last season while shooting 35.3 percent from deep. A native of Ottawa, Canada, Kirkwood has played for the Canadian national teams. He is seen as an physically and emotionally mature player, per an ESPN/Draft Express profile.
Polished. Plays with a level of maturity well beyond his years. Tremendous feel for the game. Very under control. Unselfish. Professional approach. Not a dynamic shooter.
Here’s video of his best game last season, a 31-point, 8-rebound game vs. Cornell.
On Friday, there were two other announcements from Texas schools about their players being signed by Brooklyn.
Texas Southern announced that Gresham, its 6’9”, 240-pound shot-blocking center, has agreed to sign a Summer League deal. While not a scorer, Bresson is a solid rebounder and shot blocker. He averaged 7.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. He previously played at the University of Houston. His nickname at both schools was “The Finisher.” Here’s his highlight package...
Then, the University of Houston announced that Moore, a 6’5” shooting guard would be signing with the Nets, also for the Summer League. Moore, called “the most athletic player in college ball,” is 23. At UH, he averaged 10.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists with shooting splits of 44/32/73. But the prior year, at Cal State Bakersfield, he shot 51 percent from deep.
Although he did not get invited to the NBA Draft Combine — and so he didn’t get measured officially, some reports put his max vertical at 50”.
Moore, who will turn 24 Wednesday, has survived five leg surgeries following an accident as a teenager.
The five are all expected to play for the Nets summer league entry starting July 8 in Las Vegas (at Donovan Williams home arena.) In addition, the Nets five draft picks from the 2021 class and last year’s undrafted rookie, David Duke Jr. will travel to Las Vegas. Craig Randall II, who was the star of the Long Island Nets last season, will play for the Trail Blazers in the Summer League.