Former Cal basketball player David Kravish saw his professional future take a potential turn for the positive Thursday after the disappointment he experienced when he went undrafted in last week’s NBA Draft. The reigning champion Golden State Warriors announced that Kravish will be joining their Las Vegas NBA Summer League team.
On the team, Kravish, the Bears’ all-time leader in blocks, will be looking to prove to one of the 30 NBA teams that he deserves a chance at joining one of their regular-season rosters.
Las Vegas’ summer league, which is set to span from July 10-20, will feature rosters from 23 NBA teams. The rosters are primarily made up of three kinds of players: the rookies who got drafted and are looking to get some important in-game experience with their new team’s style of play; veterans who are out of the league looking to prove themselves worthy of getting another shot in the NBA; and players such as Kravish, who went undrafted and want to get a team to fall in love with them and take a flier on keeping them.
Just about every single major executive in the NBA attends the games and finds young diamonds in the rough whom they may have overlooked in the past. One player who famously put his name on the map at summer league was Jeremy Lin. Kravish would surely be happy coming close to following in Lin’s footsteps. To do so, he must prove that he can successfully translate his skills to the NBA.
Kravish, Cal’s all-time leader in games played, certainly has a lot of things he’ll need to improve on and show he can do before he can play in the NBA. If not to the NBA, Kravish could still prove himself to executives for leagues around the world — such as those in Europe or the NBA’s Developmental League — in these games.
He possesses a set of solid skills, but nothing that particularly stands out as something that he can bring to an NBA team right away. Kravish has proven himself to be a smart, able team defender, and at 6-foot-10, his talent of knowing what position to be in at the right time is valuable and may portend a solid future as a rim protector. He does lack the athleticism and strength to do much more than that, but if he is able to have some sort of effect on offense, he could carve out a role as a bench big in the NBA.
If Kravish hopes to reach the NBA and avoid a fate in the D-League or having to play overseas, he will have to work on developing his offensive game. He may likely never be the type of player to whom a team can simply throw the ball when it’s looking for buckets because of his struggles against Pac-12 defenses.
As a senior, Kravish shot 48.6 percent from 2-point range — a number that needs to be a lot higher to compare with NBA-level bigs. As a reference, Kentucky’s Dakari Johnson, who was drafted 48th, shot 53.7 percent on twos during his two years in college. Because of the unlikelihood that Kravish will be a prolific post player, he will need to develop a 3-point shot to have staying power in the league. He shot 28.6 percent from the shorter college 3-point line, but this was on only 14 shots. His 73.3 percent free-throw percentage in the last two seasons is great number for a big man. This means Kravish has a good shooting touch that could help him stretch the floor at the next level.
Though the dawn of Kravish’s professional basketball career will happen in Vegas, he will look to develop and improve his skills to make sure it doesn’t just stay in Vegas.