The guard out of Arizona has had eye-popping moments all year long. Could he enter the pantheon of undrafted NBA players?

Watching Allonzo Trier play basketball this season has been nothing short of a delight. From his emphatic jams to his breathtaking chase down blocks to his surprising patience in the pick-and-roll, he’s played a pivotal role from the jump for a suddenly streaking Knicks team.

Before we continue, did I mention he went undrafted? Because he did.

Trier’s story by now is common knowledge. He was a heavily recruited player following high school, traveling around the country to give himself the best opportunity to succeed. A McDonald’s All-American, he decided to attend Arizona to learn under the tutelage of Sean Miller. During his sophomore year, he was suspended for testing positive for PEDs. When his junior season came along, he tested positive again, but it was determined that the test found the same substance, which triggered a positive test (way to go, NCAA). Due to some concerns about his character and the failed tests, on June 21, 2018, he was not one of the 60 players selected in the draft. Reportedly, he always had the Knicks on his mind, so they inked a two-way deal shortly after the draft concluded. The rest, as they say, is history.

The NBA moved to the current two-round draft that we know and love in 1989. Before that, there were as many as six rounds, meaning that upwards of 161 players ended up being drafted through the ’80s. For example, Sarunas Marciulionis went in the sixth round of the 1987 NBA Draft. Today, he surely would’ve went undrafted. Under the reformatting, good players sneak through the fingertips of teams all the time.

There is only one player since 1970 that has scored at least 11 points per game during a full season of NBA basketball (min. 60 games played) after going undrafted, with Allonzo Trier on pace to become the second—should he keep a clean bill of health. That’s Charlie Criss, a Valhalla, New York, native that spent four years at New Mexico State prior to joining the Atlanta Hawks for the 1977–78 season. Criss put up 11.4 points and 3.8 assists during his rookie campaign across 77 games for Hubie Brown’s Hawks.

There’s just one catch: Criss was 29 years old when he got his first taste of NBA action. While he was a serviceable player, he wasn’t exactly a guy brimming with upside due to his age.

As for some other rookies: Thomas Jordan averaged 11 points each night over four games in 1992–93 for the Sixers. Jabari Brown put up 11.9 points for the awful 2014–15 Lakers in 19 games. Carl Thomas scored 12 points in one game for the 1991–92 Kings. Perhaps the most impressive season that doesn’t crack the “full season” standard came in 2009–10, when Reggie Williams scored 15.2 points per game for the Warriors. He played one more season in Golden State before making stops in Charlotte, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and New Orleans. He no longer plays in the NBA, however.

“But what about Langston Galloway? You remember him, don’t you?!?”

It wasn’t long ago. You don’t forget. I don’t forget. On his way to an All-Rookie Second Team nod—the only undrafted player in NBA history to receive the honor—Galloway scored 11.8 points per game while chipping in 4.2 boards, 3.3 assists, and 1.2 steals. While he’s had a nice 2018–19 season in Detroit, Galloway hasn’t been able to replicate some of his strong play since that fateful 17-win 2014–15 season. (My favorite personal nugget from that team: Leading rebounder Cole Aldrich blocks me on Twitter because of this tweet.)

Chris Copeland was another undrafted rookie that impressed right out of the gates for the Knicks. After making a strong impression for the worst Summer League team I’ve ever laid eyes on, he spaced the floor for the fleeting success of the 2012–13 Knicks. Much like Criss, however, Copeland played as a rookie in his age-28 season. There wasn’t hope for him to become anything more than he already was.

The Knicks have been noticeably strong in discovering guys off the scrap heap. Gallo and Cope were fun redemption stories—relatable instances of a player working his tail off to get his shot at the NBA level and making the most of it. They were never destined to be long-term options for franchises, however, and the Knicks knew as much. That’s why they both had such short tenures with the team.

Allonzo Trier is only 22. Sure, he’s on the older end of the spectrum for rookies in 2018, but nevertheless, he presumably has his best basketball ahead of him. And what he’s done this year doesn’t feel like a blip on the radar. It feels sustainable. He’s incredibly efficient, racking up an impressive 60.2 true shooting percentage over the first 21 games of the season. He could potentially stand to shoot more threes, but his shot profile is mostly encouraging. He’s knocking down mid-range jumpers at a 39 percent clip, which is possible to improve upon as he progresses. At the rim, he’s finishing 58 percent of his shots, another figure that will either sustain or grow if we take his college numbers at face value.

Some other undrafted rookie seasons in recent memory stick out. Wesley Matthews was a solid contributor on the 53-win 2009–10 Utah Jazz. Udonis Haslem played in 75 games for the playoff-bound 2003–04 Miami Heat, teaming with Lamar Odom, Eddie Jones, and Dwyane Wade. There are other seasons that could be picked out and compared to Trier’s, since basketball is certainly not a game that can be defined simply by scoring. However, the facts are the facts: Allonzo Trier is on pace to have the most upside-laden, prolific year from an undrafted rookie in recent NBA history.

From Ben Wallace to Jeremy Lin to J.J. Barea, there have been some valuable NBA players that spent the night of their respective NBA drafts severely disappointed after not hearing their name called. But those dudes didn’t start their careers with a bang. Will Trier be a multi-time All-Star like Ben Wallace is? I certainly wouldn’t bet on it. But could he join the ranks of the Lin’s and Barea’s of the world in formulating a long NBA career as a role player while leading second units and possessing that upside that could catapult him to levels that we didn’t think possible?

I certainly wouldn’t bet against it.