It’s that time again, the College Championship Final Four tournament is on! The winner will be determined in the final on April 3rd, when the Most Outstanding Player of the game will also be chosen. But not all MOPs become viable players in the NBA.
Star, role player, no NBA career at all. The field is mixed. SPOX takes a look at the last 15 years and shows what has become (or can become) of the MOPs of the last few years.
2008 – Mario Chalmers
Team: Kansas Jayhawks | Position: Guard | NBA Station: Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies
Derrick Rose would go on to be NBA MVP, but in that game, D-Rose showed nerve from the free throw line. This is how he made the Mario Miracle possible. The guard sent the game into overtime where Kansas eventually triumphed. Chalmers was subsequently drafted by the Miami Heat in the second round and won two championships in 2012 and 2013 as a starting point guard alongside LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
“Rio” shone as a dangerous three-point shooter, but was also often verbally attacked by the stars, but was rarely intimidated. Much to the delight of Joakim Noah (MOP from 2006). He is currently in a bad mood himself and made controversial statements about the GOAT debate. “No one fears Bron,” he said on the podcast In Shambles. “People are afraid when they’re next to him, but not before the matchup. If you listen to people from back then how it was against Jordan. That was fear,” said Chalmers.
2009 – Wayne Ellington
Team: North Carolina Tar Heels | Position: Guard | NBA Station: Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks
Ellington became a migratory bird, as he is in the book. The sniper has nine NBA teams on his resume. But defense was never his passion. Stupid that Lakers coach Darvin Ham wanted to see exactly that. This season, no team found a place for the veteran.
2010 – Kyle Singler
Team: Duke Blue Devils | Position: Forward | NBA Station: Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder
Singler always showed good approaches in the NBA. But never made the real breakthrough. But the Thunder believed in the then-solid shooter in 2015 and gave him a $25 million five-year extension.
After the deal, however, the “Kingler’s” shoot dropped significantly and OKC tried to iron out the mistake in 2018. Singler was waived and the salary stretched over several years. In fact, he’s getting his final paycheck from the Thunder this season.
2011 – Kemba Walker
Team: Connecticut Huskies | Position: Guard | NBA-Stationen: Charlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks
Even though Walker’s career took a bit of a hit, it’s fair to say that the point guard had a successful time in the NBA. Four Allstar and one All-NBA Third Team! Kemba is also the Charlotte Hornets’ all-time points leader.
His interlude with the New York Knicks turned into a disaster. The Knicks kicked Walker out of the rotation because of his weak defense. A restart with the Dallas Mavericks also failed. Later there were rumors about a move to Europe to Armani Milan. But in the end there was probably nothing to it.
2012 – Anthony Davis
Team: Kentucky Wildcats | Position: Center | NBA-Stationen: New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers
The biggest star of this list. The “brow” lasted a long time in the small market of the New Orleans Pelicans and had its moments, such as 2018 against Curry and the Warriors. The combination with DeMarcus Cousins and Nikola Mirotic (yes, actually) also looked promising before injuries broke it all up.
The rest is known. AD’s agent requested a trade, best to the Los Angeles Lakers and his other client and childhood friend, LeBron. The Pelicans relented and both teams could still emerge as winners. LA won the title in the bubble and New Orleans got the lottery for Zion Williamson, who (when fit) makes a strong duo with Brandon Ingram.
2013 – Luke Hancock
Team: Louisville Cardinals | Position: Forward | NBA-Stationen: –
A real misfortune. Hancock didn’t become an NBA player, so he tried Paionios in Greece. There, however, his calf muscle tore after six games and he had to end his career. At 24, Hancock is now a financial advisor and also helps autistic children in training camps.
2014 – Shabazz Napier
Team: Connecticut Huskies | Position: Guard | NBA-Stationen: Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, Brooklyn Nets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards
“He’s my favorite player in this draft.” Shabazz Napier had a prominent fan early in his career in LeBron James. The Heat also opted for German international Niels Giffey’s teammate at the time. But Napier was not to play long at Miami.
In Portland and Washington, however, the MOP proved to be a solid reserve guard. From 2021 we went to Zenit St. Petersburg in the Euroleague. The Puerto Rican is currently a fixture in Milan.
2015 – Tyus Jones
Team: Duke Blue Devils | Position: Guard | NBA-Stationen: Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies
Tyus Jones always flew a little under the radar. But the 24th pick of 2015 has emerged as one of the best backup point guards in the league. His good overview and clever playmaking are one reason why Ja Morant’s absence last season (and also this season) could be absorbed.
2016 – Ryan Archdeacon
Team: Villanova Wildcats | Position: Guard | NBA-Stationen: Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers
Arcidiacono only made the jump to the NBA a year after his award. But there it was not enough for a great career. In November 2018 he put up 22 points for the Bulls against the Spurs. It should remain one of the few highlights of his career. He was only released from Portland yesterday, Saturday, where he had hardly seen any playing time before.
2017 – Joel Berry II
Team: North Carolina Tar Heels | Position: Guard | NBA-Stationen: –
Berry tried to find a way into the NBA via the G-League. But without success. In 2020 he joined Besiktas Istanbul for a year, then professional basketball was already over.
2018 – Donte DiVincenzo
Team: Villanova Wildcats | Position: Guard | NBA-Stationen: Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors
As the 17th pick, DiVincenzo came to the Bucks with high expectations. “The Big Ragu” missed most of his rookie season with a foot injury, but then developed into a valuable role player with good shooting and very good defense at times. In 2020 he was even the player with the third highest defensive rating.
However, he did not play a role in the 2021 title again due to injuries. The Sacramento Kings then brought him in for Serge Ibaka, but never really found a role for Donte. He’s currently having a more than solid season with the Warriors.
2019 – Kyle Guy
Team: Virginia Cavaliers | Position: Guard | NBA-Stationen: Sacramento Kings, Miami Heat
Kyle Guy was never able to transfer his strong skills beyond the three-point line to the NBA. After a few stints for the Kings and Heat, they returned to the G-League in 2022.
The game did not take place due to the corona pandemic.
2021 – Jared Butler
Team: Baylor Bears | Position: Guard | NBA Stations: Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder
Jared Butler has not had much playing time so far. The combo guard knows where the basket is, but still needs to improve his athletic skills if he wants a real chance in the NBA. However, the competition in the backcourt is also great for the Thunder. Perhaps next season he will be able to take the decisive development step.
2022 – Broken Black
Team: Kansas Jayhawks | Position: Guard | NBA Station: Utah Jazz
Agbaji, the 14th pick, was part of the trade that brought Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The rookie is used regularly in Utah and has already started 17 games, he cut a solid figure. He could be another interesting NBA player and the Jazz have room for him in their near future.