Similar to the Class of 2011 when the Pitt basketball program saw Brad Wanamaker, Gary McGee and Gilbert Brown exit the program, but go undrafted in the NBA, the same happened this year to guard Ashton Gibbs.
Yet while the NBA draft spurned four of the winningiest players in Panthers history, that doesn’t mean the NBA dream is over for them as several former Pitt players will attempt to open the eyes of NBA general managers in an attempt to earn an invitation to training camp and possibly the opportunity to earn a spot on an NBA roster for the 2012-13 season.
Wanamaker nearly made an NBA roster in 2012 and ended up playing well in winning the D-League championship for the Austin Toros. Wanamaker will be playing in Summer League action as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.
Gibbs went undrafted but will be playing for the Brooklyn Nets. If he has a good showing, Gibbs may have a chance to make the Brooklyn team as if the Nets acquire Dwight Howard, they may be forced to look at cheaper options to come off the bench. Despite his size, Gibbs can play the game and would be an asset for any team.
Former Pitt center Gary McGhee played in Turkey last season and is with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Coming out of Pitt, McGhee was starting to turn the corner as a player and had some work to do on his offensive game. But he can bang, play defense and rebound, all qualities NBA teams are looking for.
With a record 24 teams set to begin play on July 13, the 2012 NBA Summer League could prove as a springboard to reach their dreams of becoming an NBA player.