Aaron Craft Realizes NBA Dream, Signs with Warriors

By DJ Byrnes on September 3, 2014 at 4:09p
68 Comments

Hard work pays off, folks.

Ohio State's Aaron Craft went undrafted earlier this year, but was able to secure two Summer League stints with the Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors.

With the Warriors Summer League team, Craft averaged 7.4 points, a team-leading 2.4 assists, a team-leading 2.60 steals and 22 minutes per game during the five game stretch.

Craft's work earned the praise of Steve Kerr, Golden State's new coach. Kerr backed that praise up with an invite to Warrior's training camp. 

Craft, forward James McAdoo and forward Mitchell Watt — all three members of Golden State's Summer League team — signed with the Golden State Warriors, according to NBA.com.

While the contract details are unknown at this time, a congratulations are in order for Craft. He said before the draft he'd travel whatever road needed to play professional basketball, and it looks like he's done just that.

68 Comments

Comments

apack614's picture

Awesome news, great work Craft! Glad to see you made it.

"If we worked half as hard as our band, we'd be champions." - Woody Hayes

+6 HS
rosycheeks's picture

They won't regret this.

+13 HS
vitaminB's picture

This time last year no one would have guessed that Q would be in Europe and Craft would be backing up one of the premier point guards in the game.  Well done, heart craft, well done.

+5 HS
d5k's picture

But I think a lot of people might have guessed that Q would be in Europe and Craft would be in a position where he has a shot to beat out the backup to the backup of one of the premier point guards in the NBA.  He still has a lot of work to do.

+6 HS
irishfury's picture

There is always a place in the league for people like Craft.  Hard workers that play great D and can come in off the bench and play great D.  John Berry for the pistons was huge on the champ squad.  He come in off the bench and hit a few big shots and bring high energy.

+2 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

I thought so but yes the majority didn't. I thought Q was limited with defense and the ability to post up for a tweener forward. His handles were suspect too much to be a SF. I didn't think Europe but I thought developmental league. Craft has multiple decent skills, just that his one flaw is a major one, he can't shoot from outside.

but on a team with Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, then need a guy like Craft who can get them the ball to do their work and stop the opposing PG.

I didn't think it would happen this year but I have said that Craft will be a backup PG in the NBA for a long time. He has skills that many NBA PGs don't have. I can easily see Craft coming in off the bench to shut down a hot scoring guard. At least pester them to throw them off and give some fouls. Steve Kerr knows, Craft is not like his other guards.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

jbirmmd's picture

Awesome!

Best news of the day.
His type of work ethic and commitment are harder and harder to find these days.

+3 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

#Swoon.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

+14 HS
BuckNKY's picture

Your sig.  Is there a pop culture reference there that I am missing, or just something that you came up with?

Don't get me wrong, it is awesome either way.  Just curious...

Thinking Natural Born Killers or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

A quote from a friend on our trip to Pasadena.  The Hangover had just come out that previous year I think.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

osu07asu10's picture

Well don't leave us hanging. Did you find strippers or blow? And most importantly did it take less than 35 hours?

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+2 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

These's no crying in Basketball

+1 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

It took us 35 hours to drive from Columbus to Pasadena.  We only stopped for food, gas, and toilet.  I don't think you want to spend time with desert strippers unless you head north to Vegas.  As for the blow, I left that for Johnny Depp.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

+2 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

I don't wanna rain on the parade here, but this doesn't mean Craft is on the Warriors. This just means they liked him enough from what he showed them in Summer League to invite him to their training camp, similar to NFL guys coming to camp to try to make the roster.

CBSSports.com had a similar write-up on Craft's signing but aren't too high on Craft's chances of actually making the team:

Ohio State standout guard, and all-around scrappy-do Aaron Craft was picked up by the Warriors Tuesday, the team announced...

None of the players are likely to make roster. Steve Kerr is fond of Craft but he's simply not athletic enough to handle NBA speed...

+5 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

He can handle Victor Oladipo, one of the most athletic guards in the game.  He can handle the NBA.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

+8 HS
sb97's picture

What is important here is that he is getting the shot.  To be honest, I think most NBA fans (and quite a few Buckeye fans) are surprised he even made it this far. 

+5 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

Yeah. Craft is the kind of kid that will work as hard as he can to be successful at whatever he does. And I'm rooting for him to make his NBA dreams come true, just trying to point out the reality of the situation. He has a chance to make an NBA roster, which is pretty freakin' awesome. But nothing is guaranteed right now.

+1 HS
Buckeye1996's picture

WOW. Craft's best gift is his lateral quickness which is a major trait needed to play BB. He also has a quick mind, is a leader, and an overall great team player. Not saying he will stick but to point speed out as a flaw is just plain ingnorant.

Sometimes I'm ashamed of what is said amongst the so called experts.

You know what? Right now, he is already one among the very few people who even get an opportunity to leave skin on an NBA floor.

I say good for him!

+5 HS
I_Run_The_Dave's picture

Kyrie Irving must not be NBA Speed....

+4 HS
ToetotheFace's picture

And Irving is LEGIT one on one. If you've watched team USA, where Irving was the tourney MVP, you can see just how lethal he is offensively. With a better roster around him, and a MUUUCH better offensive coach, Irving will probably be around the top 5 at PG if not 5th. He has a higher on ball 3pt percentage than Curry or Durant, and his dribble moves are sick; some of the best in the nba.

Now I think this was at a camp or something similar, so it is likely Irving would have turned it up more in a nba situation, but it shows to me the way Craft could impact the game game off the bench with defense and energy. He may not be great athletically but his lateral quickness is exceptional and I think it will allow him to guard NBA SGs/PGs.

The Rill Dill's picture

Same thing(s) they have said all along.  I guess he'll have to set them straight-----again.

+1 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

He has a real chance to get 8-10 mins of playing time/game. If he gets some regular minutes, I could see him making an impact. Steve Kerr is already proving to be an excellent decision maker!!

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+2 HS
MauricXe's picture

I was hoping cleveland would pick him up lol

loooooong shot I know...but who else to spark a defensive energy in that team?

woooo good news for craft!!!

+3 HS
BROSEPH's picture

but who else to spark a defensive energy in that team?

The one and only Aussie GOAT: Matthew Dellavedova.  

+1 HS
ToetotheFace's picture

uuuhhh LeBron James.....Marion.....Varejoa....Dellavedova(back PG this season). People are really exaggerating their weakness on that side of the ball, the only big piece they lack that could hold them back in the ECF or the Finals against the vicious WC, is a rim protector. They really, really badly need a rim protector, if they don't get one it could be their undoing.

However, Kevin Love is actually positive(DWS doesn't describe it all by any means, but he actually is very high in that stat) on defense between his ridiculous defensive rebounding and top 5 post defense(he is VERY strong). He only gets that reputation because of media misrepresentation and lack of vertical jumping ability. Look up some articles on it and become informed, Love was the top PF in the game last year and his all around statistics were pretty incredible. Kyrie Irving will be better with an emphasis on effort, he clearly has the skill to be at least an average defender if you watched how he played for team USA.

The thing is though neither Love or Varejoa can protect the rim(not to be confused with bad defenders, because it is much more complex than that and both are positive on that end). However when guys get past the perimeter defense they won't have much protection. Now the offense has a chance to be historic(think Nash Phoenix Suns, or some of the Nowitzki Mavs teams), so hopefully that will allow them to be successful until they either have someone pan out for rim protection or trade for it.  

Tanner's picture

Welcome to the Bay, kid

+1 HS
jedkat's picture

The rosy cheek assassin does it the only way he knows how....scrappily

“The teams that don’t respect their coaches and don’t trust their coaches are the teams that go .500"
~Zach Boren

+6 HS
RubixTube's picture

Kids, pay attention to this story.  Dads, make your kids pay attention to this story.  A true testament to hard work & relentless effort.

Never before in the history of man have lives less lived been more chronicled. - Dennis Miller

+2 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I'm not meaning to go against your point but he has amazing talent too.  He has some of the quickest hands and feet I've ever seen with great hand-eye coordination.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

+2 HS
cdub4's picture

Also, not sure how this story should be paid attention by kids and Dads than any other story. LeBron James, Michael Jordan, a lot of other players are a testament to hard work and relentless effort.

I hope Craft makes the team.

-1 HS
The Rill Dill's picture

Because 6' white guys that can't shoot, and STILL make it to an NBA squad are rare. It took Craft a HELL OF A LOT more effort than a gifted/superior athlete like MJ or LeBron.  

+2 HS
d5k's picture

I'm not sure this is anything different than what already was reported.  It is the same 1 year not fully guaranteed deal back in early August afaik.  Training camp has not happened yet.

+1 HS
Earle's picture

Nice for Aaron to get a shot, but he has a long way to go in order to make the team.  I wouldn't bet against him, though.

Italics are for emphasis.

+3 HS
gridironguy's picture

Who would have thought that DT, Bufford, Q, and Diebler would be overseas and Craft would be at least closer to getting on a roster in the NBA?

"Print is dead"

+1 HS
FLAMikey's picture

Me. And a few others, I'm sure.

+2 HS
OldColumbusTown's picture

Golden State signed Leandro Barbosa to a 1-year deal last week, so Craft has competition to make the team, for sure.  Craft also, with his low-money, partially guaranteed deal, has a shot at both making the team initially out of training camp, or getting stashed on the GS-affiliated NBADL team in order to get minutes, but yet still be available to bring up to the actual roster if any injuries were to occur.

d5k's picture

Yes, even if he makes the team he likely will spend some time in the DLeague this year.

BoFuquel's picture

Great news, keep up the good work Aaron. Now go get that roster spot. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

osu07asu10's picture

The NBA isn't ready for Craft!

#SWOON

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+1 HS
PhillyBuckeye27's picture

Best news I've had today

BROSEPH's picture

Ognen Kuzmic C
Brandon Rush SG
Marreese Speights C
Nemanja Nedovic PG
Andre Iguodala SF
David Lee F/C
Klay Thompson G
Andrew Bogut C
Draymond Green F
Stephen Curry G
Festus Ezeli C
Harrison Barnes SF 

Mitchell Watt F 
Aaron Craft G 
Shaun Livingston G 
James McAdoo PF

He has a good shot at making the 15 man roster.  Might not dress with the team and could be in the D-league some, but you have some degree of protection by getting on the 15 man.

+1 HS
buckeyebfd's picture

I can see him making the roster if for no other reason than he'll make Curry work harder in practice

+1 HS
Larryp713's picture

I am so excited. I have always liked the Warriors in a disconnected way - even when Chris Webber was there. This is a good opportunity for Aaron, and I think he will do well there. I wish he would have found a way to play for the Cavs, but this is pretty cool. I hope he gets a chance to shine.

Respectfully,

Larryp713

BUCKfutter's picture

i thought the common opinion among analysts was that it was craft or nedovic as the third PG - given kerr's HO for craft i think there's a good chance he makes the 15-man

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

-1 HS
northwest_buckeye's picture

Thatta boy, Craft. Everyone here knew he could do it... Keep hustlin' and you'll do just fine in life.

I've never said I 'hate' anyone because that would imply I had any emotion for them whatsoever.

Pa_snoborder's picture

Take that Charles Barkley.  Your broadcasting is turrible. 

"No one puts baby in a corner!" - P.Swayze.

+6 HS
Bleeding-Scarlet-Grey's picture

A true model citizen, student, and athlete!!! What a great human being, couldn't have happened to a better person congrats! Go Buckeyes

Without lies there would be no truth!

+1 HS
tOSUperiour's picture

If "Detlef Schrempf = Long NBA career", then naturally "Aaron Craft > Detlef Schrempf = Longer NBA career". Craft's Law. Will be cheering for the Warriors to play the Cavs in the Finals next summer.
 

We don't give a Da*n for the whole state of *ichigan cause we're from OHIO!

BucksHave7's picture

He will do great!  NBA needs more Aaron Crafts in its league!   

BucksHave7

+1 HS
ibuck's picture

Great news for Bay Area Buckeyes, the alumni group. Craft on the Warriors and Carlos Hyde on the 49ers. Go Buckeyes !

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+3 HS
MikeTheBuckeye's picture

Aaron Craft can do no wrong

BuckeyeRealist13's picture

I'm so proud of AC. Continue to silence the doubters who believe you can only play in the NBA if you are a flashy scorer 

I've spent time in the South, I don't care what anybody says they don't have the passion for football that us Ohioans have. 

+1 HS
jralvarez's picture

Thomas & Ross can't play in the league, but Craft can?!  Apparently I was wrong, and apparently I know nothing about bball.

 HUGE congrats to AC!!!

Buckeyejohnny

904buckeye's picture

WHO COULD POSSIBLY DOWNVOTE SOMEBODY CONGRATULATING AARON CRAFT???

GO BUCKS. BEAT MISSAGAIN

+3 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

So looking forward to watching the Warriors game now that AC will be on the floor.

+1 HS
OSUFlash's picture

One thing the Warriors will never have to question and that's his work ethic, heart and fearlessness. Couldn't be happier for Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Craft. I am now a Golden State Warrior fan!

osuflash

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

Or three things they won't have to question. 

BuckWylde's picture

Looks like there are more than enough opinions already on this story, so I'll just say;  You Go Boi!!!!!

BuckWylde

+1 HS
Kid Buckeye's picture

So defense is making a comeback in the NBA?

WTG Craft, you surprised me

+1 HS
BUCKNUTINmi's picture

Thompson and Curry will be even better this season after going against Craft in practice everyday.  Congrats Aaron!

+1 HS
Rob Reese's picture

This is the best news I've read this week.  

"All I have known at Michigan is failure.  That's all I know." - Taylor Lewan

TURD_BUCKET's picture

Best of luck to Aaron Craft.

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.”

Icouldnotgofor3's picture

Perhaps a long way to go for sure, but Craft reminds me of a young John Stockton. Not flashy, average scorer, but could dish out a lot of assists and play great defense. Kerr is smart by offering him a deal. Congrats Aaron!

woodysyardmarker

AzBuckeye45's picture

Love this kid! Hope he makes his money after a few years and goes back to school to be a doctor, like he wants to do. No matter what he does, he will be successful. 

"Cause I couldn't go for three!"
Woody Hayes-1968

Leonarjl's picture

I would want Craft on my team just to set an example.  Such a quality individual and hard worker.

JL

whiskeyjuice's picture

Great Job Craft and good luck!!!

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

Born Woody's picture

His on ball D alone is going to keep in the league awhile...... he is rarely out of position, and he's only going to get better going against better competition

It's not a lie if YOU believe it