« Pinto's Points

What Are The Odds

by Dan Gunderson

Former North Dakota State University guard Taylor Braun knows what it is liked to be ignored. He was ignored by every school in his home state of Oregon. He was ignored by nearly every Division I school out there, save for NDSU. Now, Braun maybe ignored by the NBA.

As the draft fast approaches, Thursday, June 26 to be exact, Braun may not get picked by any of the 30 NBA teams. Odds are against the 6'7" guard. Of course, they have always been against him so nothing is new in that category.

My thought is Braun will not be selected but instead get a chance from a team as an undrafted free agent. There is too much potential there for Braun to be ignored. He has the skill set to make it in the NBA. He has length, size and is not afraid to score by either driving or shooting.

He is a solid defender because of that length and proved he could be a point guard when he was needed. He was versatile for the Bison, leading them in points, rebounds, assists and steals as a senior. He can offer so many things to a team. The problem is, he is not great at one thing.

He wasn't a great scorer, like Ben Woodside or Nate Wolters. He did not have an explosive first step and he couldn't destroy you with his shooting. While he was a solid defender, he wasn't even the best defender on his own team.

As a 6'7" guard, he created problems for teams in the Summit League that didn't have the size at the 2 position. In the NBA, his size will not be that great of an advantage.

While he was the team's leading rebounder, I always felt that Lawrence Alexander was the better rebounding guard for NDSU. Also, he sometimes had the same length as some power forwards in the Summit League. Won't be the same in the NBA.

I think despite all of this, Braun still had an outside shot at getting drafted. I say had because his performance in the NCAA Tournament left a lot to be desired. In two games on a national stage, Braun shot 5-25 (20%) scoring a total of 18 points in 79 total minutes played.

I think Braun finds a team that likes his potential enough to give him a shot with their D-League team. However, they may never expect him to turn into anything more than just a bench warmer at the NBA level, if even that.

That is okay for Braun. They guy was ignored by nearly every Division I college to begin his career. He seemed to turn out just fine.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called The Pinto and White Shadow Show. Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.