The 2012 NBA Finals ended way too early, and now attention throughout the association is directed toward the Draft. In Part 2 of our NBA Draft Preview we look at the players most likely to become All-Stars, as well as the later picks to keep an eye on.
Jerry Stackhouse Group (Potential All-Stars)
Harrison Barnes – The UNC swingman had a rough finish to his career as a Tar Heel, but he has rebounded nicely in pre-Draft workouts and the Scouting Combine. Testing as one of the best athletes in the Draft, Barnes’ stock has risen, and there is no denying his shooting touch and ability to score. His game could mature into something resembling Danny Granger circa 2009, which would be a great addition to any team in the early lottery.
Andre Drummond – The biggest boom-or-bust prospect in the Draft, we believe Drummond will succeed given he’s selected by the right team that has strong veteran presence. He’s a very athletic 4 who has all the skill needed to play at a high level in the NBA. The glaring questions, however, are his motor and desire to play. This has been seen many times before, and Drummond can choose to follow the path of Eddy Curry (not good) or Shawn Kemp (good).
Jared Sullinger – Sullinger was a beast at OSU, and that will translate into the pro-game. He has all the skill a team looks for in a power forward, including a capable mid-range jumper. What he lacks in athleticism he makes up for in ability to score in multiple ways. He is comparable to Kevin Love, another 4 who’s athletic ability was believed to hurt his game in the NBA. The real concern with Sullinger is his back, which has recently begun to scare NBA teams. As long as he remains healthy, look for Sullinger to play in future All-Star games.
Dion Waiters – One of the best sixth men in college basketball at Syracuse, Waiters’ game translates well into the NBA. He’s relentless going to the rim and can finish in traffic. He’s drawn comparisons to Dwyane Wade throughout his career at Syracuse and has the ability to be a combo guard in the mold of a Tyreke Evans at the pro level. His shot could use some work, but a tough, physical 2-guard is something that will help any team in the lottery.
Monta Ellis Group (Sleepers)
Tony Wroten Jr. – The Washington PG had his ups and downs his freshman year, but his talent has been evident from day one. At 6’5″, he has great size to run the point, and his athletic ability is freakish. His court vision is good and he’s a very capable passer. One of the flashier players in the Draft, his decision making is suspect at times and his shot needs to improve. The ability is there, however, and he can be a cross of Russell Westbrook and Jason Williams if he develops.
Doron Lamb – Kentucky’s leading scorer in their National Championship victory, Lamb can shoot the lights out. He has one of the purest strokes in the Draft with seemingly unlimited range. He’s a smooth player who has the ability to score in the NBA. He can flourish as a bench player and we see him as a solid sixth man down the road – similar to what Jason Terry has done throughout his career.
Andrew Nicholson – A stretch 4 who was overlooked because he played at St. Bonaventure in Olean, NY, Nicholson received great national exposure in the Bonnies’ run throughout the A-10 and NCAA Tournaments. Nicholson is a player who can be good at everything and he reminds some of Davis West. Whichever team selects him will be drafting a player who can contribute from day one and make the team better.
Hollis Thompson – Arguably the best long-range shooter in the draft, Thompson will find a spot on an NBA roster. At 6’8″, he can get his shot off against most defenders. He has the ability to drive to the basket and rebound as well, grabbing over 5 boards per game his Junior year at Georgetown. He reminds us of Jeff Green, and if he develops into what Uncle Jeff was during Green’s first couple seasons with the Thunder then Thompson will be one of the better steals in the Draft.