Arizona's Trier, Alkins, and Ristic go undrafted

Colorado final-1
Simon Asher | The Daily Wildcat Arizona's Allonzo Trier (35) lays in the ball past Colorado's George King (24) and Lucas Siewert (23) in the second half of the Colorado-Arizona Quarterfinal game at the 2018 Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday, March 8 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Trier had 22 points and three assists in the game.

While Thursday night was huge for Arizona’s Deandre Ayton, who became the first Wildcat to be selected first overall in the NBA draft, fan excitement might have been tempered by the fact Rawle Alkins, Allonzo Trier and Dusan Ristic went undrafted.

Alkins and Trier join a growing list of players (including Brandon Ashley, Kobi Simmons and Chance Comanche) who have left Arizona early under Sean Miller to enter the NBA Draft — only to end up not being picked during the 60-selection modern day circus. 

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Trier signed a “two-way” contract with the New York Knicks, which will allow him to play for New York’s D-League affiliate team and be available for call-up to the Knicks without any contract renegotiations should that call-up occur. 

Dusan Ristic will join the Phoenix Suns for their Summer League festivities, while Rawle Alkins will be playing for the Toronto Raptors in Las Vegas next month, according to multiple reports.

The early jump from college ball has served some well. Kobi Simmons played 32 games with the Memphis Grizzlies during his rookie season this past year. Chance Comanche also found a defined role on the Memphis Grizzlies’ D-League affiliate squad and will look to find his way onto the 15-man roster this next year. 

These two players, both younger than 22, still have time and opportunity to carve out careers in the NBA.

On the flip side, Brandon Ashley never quite recovered from the devastating broken foot he suffered against Cal during his sophomore season – a season that saw Arizona’s Final Four hopes go down in a crumbling heap of despair. Injuries were also a factor for early draft entrants Alkins and Trier.

With both players having a track record of nagging issues, they might be afforded fewer opportunities to impress while they sit on the bench healing. These little opportunities matter at the next level, especially when everybody you are competing against is vying for one roster spot. There is no wiggle room, and injuries can derail careers, as evidenced by Ashley.

Trier will have a shot to show what he can do during the upcoming Summer League in Las Vegas. While Alkins signing with a club is imminent, Ristic finding a club long-term seems like a long shot at this point. 

The Summer League rosters mostly consist of young players trying to impress scouts and GMs who will be keeping close watch on players who they want filling out their rosters. Las Vegas has been good to Trier and Alkins in the past; it remains to be seen if good fortune continues as they look to make the transition to professional basketball.


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