San Antonio Spurs Free Agency

San Antonio Spurs: Jock Landale is the steal of free agency

Jock Landale - Men's Basketball Medal Ceremony: Day 15
Jock Landale - Men's Basketball Medal Ceremony: Day 15 / Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
2 of 3
Next Slide

Jock Landale should have been in the NBA years ago

For those looking for a dose of what Landale is like as a person, the six-minute clip above of his interview with ESPN Australia is a must-watch. Essentially, though, if he makes anything unequivocally clear, it's that he thinks his chance in the NBA is long overdue.

To add some perspective to Landale's feeling of a "filthy taste in his mouth," he was originally bound for the league back in the 2018 NBA Draft, but ultimately ended up going undrafted. While he received offers to play for the Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets, and Milwaukee Bucks after playing for the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Summer League, he opted to play overseas instead for the sake of job stability and development. This is a move that he seems to regret in retrospect.

Despite playing four years at St. Mary's (the same school Patty Mills attended) and scoring just over 21 points per game in his senior year, according to scouting reports, he lacked a translatable NBA skill that would be necessary for his success in the league. At the time of the 2018 Draft, Landale wasn't particularly athletic, didn't shoot the three-ball well, and showed no improvement as a shot-blocker. His outstanding scoring efficiency is all he really had going for him.

While signing internationally seemed like a good career move at the time, his contract with Zalgiris (which was considered "team-friendly" by one Lithuanian journalist) was actually hindering his chances of being signed by an NBA team. His contract had a particularly bad buyout clause that eliminated any chance of an NBA team taking a flier on him. If it weren't for Melbourne United negotiating with his former team to get him out, he very well could still be trapped in Europe.

Essentially, Landale was unable to play in the NBA for reasons totally outside of his control. Based on skill and production alone, he has probably been well-deserving of a shot in the NBA since his impressive season with Zalgiris, if not earlier.