2008 NBA Draft: Top Sliders and Undrafted Players

Sun, 06/29/2008 - 7:39pm


Top five sliders

1. DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M, 35th overall to LA Clippers


[img_assist|nid=1326|title=DeAndre Jordan|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=400|height=317]Jordan’s fall from Top 5 prospect in January to second-round pick in June marks perhaps the quickest, steepest fall since Pittsburgh’s Chris Taft in 2005. He has virtually no offensive skills and is a horrendous free throw shooter, but Jordan is 6-foot-11, 250 pounds with a huge frame reminiscent of Dwight Howard. Most players drafted from the late first round on fail to make an impact in the NBA, so picking someone like Jordan serves as a very low risk, very high reward pick. Kudos to the Clips for pulling the trigger. Teams like Minnesota (passing on him twice) and Detroit (traded for Walter Sharpe at No. 32) have some explaining to do.

2. Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis, 40th overall to New Jersey Nets

The Nets capped a productive night by nabbing one of the nation’s most productive players. Is CDR’s game unorthodox? Of course it is, but he knows how to score and has the length and creativity to be an asset off the bench right away. It would be a stretch to say the same thing about Arkansas’ Sonny Weems, who was taken one pick before CDR, and other swingmen drafted above him (JR Giddens No. 30 to Boston).

3. Mario Chalmers, Kansas, 34th overall to Minnesota (traded to Miami)

In the weeks leading up to the draft, Chalmers was actually considered one of the fastest-risers. There was speculation that Indiana would take him at No. 11, and most had him going in the Top 20. The Knicks are said to have been vigorously attempting to make a deal for him throughout the first round. Chalmers slid into the second round behind a number of European prospects and surprise picks like Giddens and DJ White of Indiana. The Heat gave up 2 future second rounders and a ton of cash to grab him, and will give him a guaranteed deal, so despite falling a lot further than expected, in the end Chalmers ended up in a great situation.

4. Darrell Arthur, Kansas, 27th overall to Portland (traded to Houston, traded to Memphis)

Arthur was a member of three teams during the night and is now engaged in
a head-to-head battle with Larry Hughes to see who can be on all 30 NBA
teams first. Announcers cited a kidney disorder as the factor that knocked Arthur— a projected late-lotto to mid-first rounder — all the way down to No. 27. He was the best prospect on the best team in the country, and assuming he can stay healthy, Arthur will make teams like Seattle pay for drafting Serge Ibaka ahead of him.

5. Anthony Randolph, LSU, 14th overall to Golden State

Randolph was considered a top eight prospect up until a week or so before the draft. For a while, he was the favorite to go No. 5 to Memphis, and it didn’t seem he’d drop much further if the Grizzlies passed. Even though he was still a lottery pick, Randolph experienced a bit of a drop on draft day that is indicative of question marks regarding how ready he is to contribute right away.

Top undrafted players

1. Gary Forbes, UMass

Forbes was the star of the Orlando pre-draft camp, scoring 30 points in one game and dominating in all facets of the game on a consistent basis. After his performance in Orlando, he was considered an early second-round prospect with an outside shot of finding a way into the first round. Though he went undrafted, Forbes is a skilled athlete who has a good chance to find his way into the NBA.

2. Davon Jefferson, USC

Based on his elite level athleticism, there's no way Jefferson should go undrafted, so obviously scouts had major question marks surrounding work ethic and mental preparation. If anyone is regretting their decision to bolt for the draft, it’s Jefferson. No one thought he’d be a first-round pick after his uninspired performance in Orlando, but not may saw him going undrafted either. Athletically, Jefferson is ready for the league, but his skills and maturity level are far from ready, and that scared off a lot of teams. He could be hard-pressed to find a spot in the league next fall.

3. DeMarcus Nelson, Duke

Nelson was the best player on an elite team last season. He was a four-year player for one of the nation’s most prestigious programs. He played well in Orlando and tested out exceptionally in the Combine. But nonetheless, Nelson — a freak athlete with one of the most decorated high school careers in California history — failed to hear his name called on draft day. He certainly was one of the best 60 players available and will get every opportunity to make an NBA roster as a free agent this summer.

4. Will Daniels, Rhode Island

At one point, Daniels was projected to go as high as No. 27 on NBADraft.Net’s mock draft. He has the size (6-foot-8, 235 pounds) and athleticism to compete at the next level, but his skills aren’t quite polished enough yet. Odds are he’ll land on an NBA roster, but worst case scenario, Daniels will excel in Europe.

5. Jaycee Carroll, Utah State

Many teams draft “specialists” in the second round (Joey Dorsey, Shan Foster, etc.), but Carroll didn’t get picked despite being the most premier specialist out there. He is a lights-out 3-point shooter who shot 49.8 percent from deep and averaged 22.2 points per game last season for the Aggies. Like Nelson, he’ll get a shot this summer. If he can’t keep up with the athletes in the NBA, Carroll could become a star in Europe.

6. Jamont Gordon, Mississippi State

It’s surprising that Gordon wasn’t drafted considering how versatile and physical he is. Players with the ability to play both the 1 and 2 are a rare commodity, especially when they have tremendous strength and quickness that could provide the foundation to becoming an elite defender. Like most players on this list, Gordon will have every opportunity to get into the league.

7. Bryce Taylor, Oregon

Teammates Malik Hairston and Maarty Luenen unexpectedly heard their names called but Taylor didn’t. Taylor was arguably Oregon’s best player last season, but his 6-foot-4 frame makes him a undersized at the next level. Nonetheless, his scoring ability, length and athleticism give him a chance to make in in the league.

8. Reggie Williams

The nation's back to back scoring champ had a solid Orlando predraft camp displaying an excellent feel for the game to accompany his scoring ability. He's a deceptive athlete and his 6'8 wingspan allows his to play bigger than his height. If he doesn't find a fit with a team in free agency, he's sure to have a huge career in Europe. Williams will play with Dallas in the summer league.