The 2021 NBA draft took place on Thursday and neither South Carolina guard AJ Lawson or Clemson forward Aamir Simms were selected in the two round event. So, each has signed a free agent contract hoping to stick in the NBA.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Lawson has agreed to a free agent deal with the Miami Heat. The Canadian played three seasons with the Gamecocks, averaging 16 points and four rebounds per game last season. It appears as if Lawson’s professional career will start in the same manner as former Gamecock Michael Carrera, who went undrafted in 2016 before signing with the Heat and taking part in the NBA’s Summer League. This year’s Summer League starts August 8th in Las Vegas.
After finding his new home, Lawson expressed his gratitude via Twitter.
Meanwhile, Simms has signed an undrafted free agent contract with the New York Knicks. The Palmyra, Virginia native was a two-time All-ACC player after receiving third-team recognition in 2019-20 and second-team honors in 2020-21. He was the only player in the league to lead his team in points, rebounds and assists and did so for the second consecutive season. That feat has been accomplished just six times in ACC history.
Afterwards, Simms seemed to be motivated by the fact he went undrafted.
The Detroit Pistons selected Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham with the first overall selection. The Charlotte Hornets used the 11th overall pick on Connecticut guard James Bouknight. Meantime, the Atlanta Hawks selected Duke swingman Jalen Johnson with the #20 pick in this year’s draft.