2011 NBA Draft: Overrated/Underrated
At this time each year there are certain players whose value soars once the workouts with teams start and other players who see their stock plummet, only to become quality NBA players. We here at NBADraft.net have come up with who we feel are the eight most overrated players in this year’s draft and 5 guys who are being underrated by NBA front offices.
Bismack Biyombo, Congo
Biyombo is an incredibly long forward, standing 6’9”, and possessing a 7’7” wingspan. He has excellent timing and can block a ton of shots inside. He’s the type of player that can disrupt offenses and has the tools to be a dominant help side defender. He also is a willing rebounder who has a stated goal of leading the league in rebounding. Sounds great, right? When is that last time you saw so much hype surrounding a player whose offensive game is virtually non-existent? In a pre-draft workout, he went through drills that really showed his ineptitude on the offensive end. As good as he can be defensively; he looks like he may never develop an offensive game to match. He’s been expected to be a lottery pick, but would it be wise to use a high pick on a one-way player?
Kyrie Irving, Duke
Maybe it’s because he’s from Duke (a school with a reputation for producing college stars, but few recent great NBA players), or maybe it’s because he spent most of his one year there on the bench injured, maybe it’s because he measured in at 10.2% body fat, showing he may have conditioning issues. The point is, I’m not sold on him deserving to be considered a lock for the first pick. Irving has good quickness and could put a lot of pressure on opposing teams, but he lacks elite athleticism and only played 11 games in college and played poorly in the post season. There are too many questions about him for me to justify a team considering him a lock to be the top player selected. Is he really that much better than the other point guards to pass on a guy like Derrick Williams? I’ll go out on a limb and say no.
Marshon Brooks, Providence
Brooks has the potential to be a very good player, but he’s going from a “big fish-small pond” situation to being a small fish in a big pond. At Providence, he was a high volume shooter, who was looked upon to provide big scoring and was a do-everything player for them. In the NBA, he can’t take the shots he took at Providence as he’ll have to learn to defer to players that are more experienced and better acclimated to the NBA game. He will have to really focus on defense to see the court. He’s capable of being a quality defender, and has good size, but it will be difficult to go from being “the man” to possibly coming off the bench, and that’s a mental obstacle that has been the down fall of many athletes. One scout went so far as to say that he seemed to be a selfish player that guys don’t enjoy playing with.
Chris Singleton, Florida State
Singleton is a good defensive prospect that can use his size and length to make life difficult for opposing players, but lacks versatility on offense. Singleton’s stock has been rising, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that he is a player that can play NBA level defense. The problem with him is that he’s the type of guy who will have little to no impact on offense. His own team will have to find ways to hide him within the offense, using him as a catch and shoot guy in the corner. Even at that, he’s not a great shooter, meaning he will really be a specialty player that a team will rely on to get stops, but he doesn’t look to be a great fit on most teams, especially if it means spending a lottery pick on him.
Charles Jenkins, Hofstra
Jenkins, at 6-3, has good size for the point guard position. The only problem is he’s much more of a shooting guard than a point man. He tends to dominate the ball and can end up freezing out his teammates, not exactly a quality NBA teams look for in their point guard prospects. He’s a lot like Brooks in that he was forced to be a do everything player at a school that couldn’t surround him with a lot of talent. Unlike Brooks, Jenkins doesn’t look to have the ability to be a defensive stopper due to his lack of elite quickness. He tended to rely too heavily on his physicality at the college level, which doesn’t bode well for him in the NBA. His stock does seem to be sliding a bit, but it’s not a stretch to think a team may use a high second round pick on him, but they have to accept that he isn’t going to be the same player he was at Hofstra.
Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State
Leonard is a very good athlete who reminds me a lot of Shawn Marion. Not the Shawn Marion who tore it up in Phoenix alongside Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire, though, more like the one we saw playing for Dallas this season. He has the potential to be a contributor for a good team, but there are holes in his game and he lacks the offensive tools to be a consistent offensive threat. He’s 6-7, but relied on his almost nightly size advantage in college, which he won’t be able to do in the NBA. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he can’t succeed at the next level, but it’s going to be much tougher for him when every guy he goes up against can match his athleticism and/or size. He’s not great inside or outside offensively, merely adequate, and isn’t a lockdown defender, and yet is looked at as a top 10 pick by many. He turns 20 later this month, so he has plenty of time to develop, but there’s some risk with him, especially a player being considered within the 5-7 range.
Kemba Walker, Connecticut
Fresh off a national championship and a stellar season in which he made a plethora of big shots as the leader of an over-achieving team, Walker has seen his stock hit an all-time high. His offensive ability is unparalleled in this draft by anyone not named Jimmer. There are questions about his size, and that could be a significant problem for him at the NBA level. Teams seem to be willing to overlook the size issue, though, because they are blinded by his offensive ability. Walker, despite being considered a point guard, is not a true point guard, and even as a lead ball-handler looks to score first and pass second. Last season, Jeremy Lamb was the point for UCONN when they were playing their best basketball. Walker is being considered a possible top 5-8 pick, and with those types of expectations, he could easily struggle to live up to the hype.
Iman Shumpert, Georgia Tech
Every few years, a prospect enters the draft whose college career doesn’t quite measure up to his athletic gifts. This year, Iman Shumpert is that guy. He’s a combo guard that has fantastic size, standing just under 6-6, and 222 lbs. His standing vertical jump measured in at 36.5”, showing just how gifted he is as an athlete. His stats at Georgia Tech last year were pretty good, at 17 points, just under 6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, but it just always seemed like he should be doing more and his field goal percentage of 40% (a career high) leaves a lot to be desired. His size and athleticism will get him in the league, but if he doesn’t make major changes to his wildly inefficient game, he may not last long at the next level. He could be a useful combo guard off the bench, and can you his physical gifts to succeed, but there is a ton of risk with him due to his low basketball IQ, poor shooting, and high turnover rate. His success at the next level will rely more on what team selects him than any other prospect’s fortunes do. If he lands in the right situation he could have a successful career, but he’s the epitome of high risk-high reward player, emphasis on high risk, particularly if he's taken in the first round.
Derrick Williams, Arizona
Williams, widely regarded as a top 2 player in this draft, has a fantastic all-around game that allows him to play both forward positions. He possesses good size, and presents matchup problems for opponents; on offense he can go inside or out, posting up opposing small forwards or pulling power forwards outside and punishing them on the drive or with his jumper. He expects to come into the league as a power forward but wants to transition to a small forward eventually. His versatility is something that presumed top pick Irving doesn’t offer to a team. Williams did great things while at Arizona, and has shown big play ability, especially in the NCAA tournament game against a Duke squad featuring, among others, possible first round prospects Irving, Nolan Smith, and Kyle Singler. He jumps very well and should be a dynamic scorer at the next level.
The Dallas Mavericks are coming off their first NBA championship, led by seven footer Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki can score inside and out, but relied more on his jumper early in his career. Motiejunas has a lot of the same skills that Nowitzki had when he came stateside, only he has a more developed post game than Nowitzki had. Motiejunas is a matchup nightmare, as he can go inside or outside and score the ball. He has range out to the three point line, but also possesses an inside game, and a willingness to run the floor. He's not a quality rebounder and that's surprising considering he;s a 7-footer. His defense is suspect, to say the least, but his offense more than makes up for his defensive short comings.
Trey Thompkins, Georgia
One of the most surprising aspects of this year’s draft is that Thompkins isn’t getting a great deal of love despite being in a class short on quality big men. You hear more about his high body fat (he measured in at an alarmingly high 15.5%) than his pro prospects, and he’s regarded by many as a second round pick. He’s an intimidating force down low, standing just under 6-10, and weighing 240. He didn’t have a great junior year, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that he didn't have a quality point guard setting him up. He has shown the ability to bang inside as well as step outside and knock shots down out to around 20 feet. He is probably the most skilled post player in the entire draft and could fit beautifully into a pick and roll or pick and pop attack. A regression in his production his junior year and questionable conditioning are the only things holding him back from being a sure-fire first rounder.
Norris Cole, Cleveland State
While everybody was fawning over the scoring of Jimmer Fredette and big plays of Kemba Walker, I was begging people to show Norris Cole some love for his spectacular play. He’s probably the best player you never saw last season, as he didn’t play for a major program, and didn’t make it to the NCAA tournament, but he put up big numbers while still staying efficient. His best game looked like a video game stat line, as the 6-2, 175 pound guard tallied 41 points, 20 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals and only turning the ball over twice. It may not have been against a major opponent, but I can count the number of guys capable of putting those kinds of numbers up against anybody on one hand. Cole could step in and be a rotation player for a team in year one and balance the scoring and facilitating aspects of the position. He’s able to draw fouls, and even hung 24 points on NCAA runner-up Butler. Cole has all the makings of an NBA point guard, and despite playing on a weak college team, found ways to get his teammates involved, something guys like Marshon Brooks and Charles Jenkins struggled with. It will be difficult to go from the Horizon league to the big leagues, but if anyone can do it, it’s the floor general from Cleveland State.
Ravern Johnson, Mississippi State
Johnson doesn’t get the credit he deserves as a shooter. He doesn’t do a lot of other things, but his shooting ability makes up for it, as he’s a dead-eye gunner. When you think of shooters in this draft, the names Jimmer Fredette, Jon Diebler, and Brandon Knight get a lot of the attention, but that just means some NBA team is going to get a steal in Johnson. Scouts often say to make it in the NBA, a prospect has to have at least one “NBA skill,” meaning they must have at least one skill that is at an NBA level and Johnson’s shooting certainly fits the bill. He also has good size for the position, standing 6-7. He’ll need a little more development than you usually see from somebody that just completed their senior year, but he still has room to grow his game and his sweet shooting stroke will allow him the opportunity to get on the court and develop his game.
How is DEREK WILLIAMS underrated???...He's about to be the #2 pick and he has a decent shot of possibly even being the first overall selection...While he might take criticisim for not being as "high profile" of a possible #1 pick as in past years, I think being a number 1 or 2 pick is about as HIGHLY RATED you can be...lol
Agreed on Norris Cole. I think he's one of the biggest sleepers in this draft and I'm hoping that my Pistons can snag him at #33 after we(hopefully) take a big man at #8.
Kyrie was pretty freaking dominate at Duke before the injury. Didn't he shoot something like 50% plus basically be a perfect point guard? Really he was head and shoulders above guys like Kemba and B. Knight. But I'm scared of the whole Duke thing as well. You always have to keep in mind that the Duke players have the best coach, the best system and the best teammates (based on a combination of skill and unselfishness).
... it should be "the ones who Eric Yearian likes and vice versa".
Most of these evaluations are somewhat of retorical.
Kyrie Irving: He has said to have an elite quickness by lot of scouts, instead of good quickness.
- He has a solid athleticism instead of "lacks of elite athleticism". Does Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, JKidd, DJ Augustin, Kyle Lowry, etc have an elite athleticism? No they don´t - I ´d say, Irving beats them all athletically, being able to dunk easily off the dribble.
- Hes height - standing 6-3 makes him ideal for point guard: same as DRose, Deron Williams and bigger than Parker, Paul, Rondo, Augustin, Collison, Lywry etc.
- But his biggest strength, as always, goes unmentioned: guy is a fighter and a winner. He possesses this "special something", which made him an instant leader of the experienced Duke team and made coach K to rebuild Blue Devils. That "special something", that DRose, Kobe, Durant and few others have. The will. Leadership and authority. Desire to be an ultimate winner. That´s a huge thing. I think that will even up his flaws and make him a true franchise point guard. Somewhere near the John Wall or Deron Williams, role-wise.
Marshon Brooks. Highly intelligent player, who has passed the interviews incredibly well - should be more than able to go through any mental obsticles and challenges. Good measurements, skillset, desire, intangibles and athleticism are already there. I´m pretty sure he is going to be a starter in 3 years and continues to be a massive scoring threat in NBA as well as in college. I´m sold to say the least. He´s rather underrated than overrated, if anything, and could still turn out to be a steal, even if being picked around 15th.
Singleton´s defensive and athletical liabilities are out of the question, as his size, strength and tough demeanor. Nevertheless, he´s not one-dimensional player as BByiombo and has some offensive game also. Considering that his main goal in first couple of seasons will be defend, rebound and hustle, leaves him enough time to develop his all-around game and become something like Ron Artest. The NBA´s more open game should suit him well also. He´s going to be a solid rotation-player.
Kemba Walker - how can you overrate a player, who led his team to unlikely championship? His size is not questionable, either. At pre-draft measurements he closed this chapter, standing legit 6-1. Same as Darren Collison, Chris Paul, and taller than DJ Augustin and some other NBA-rotation-guards. Including this JJBarea-guy - remember him? he sure were score-first point-guard at the college level, but he surely showd ability to pass the ball, collecting more than 10 assists in some games. As they won a championship, how could we say his decision to shoot first was wrong? I think, he´s going to be a better passer than Iverson, Aaron Brooks or Kyle Lowry. And I´m pretty convinced, he´s going to start already at 2012, maybe even at 2011.
Derrick Williams - underrated? How? he´s almost locked at no 2 in the draft (this KD-guy went as no 2 - remember?), and has earned some serious thinking as potential no 1. He is a strong overall-player and can contribute right away-. But I don´t see the future hall of famer. He does not possess elite athelticism. He´s not a natural shooter, although he shoots ok. His strength will not stand out in the NBA. I don´t see the special weapon in his game, what could make him an ultimate threat to opposing teams at the offensive end. His game is similar to Mike Beasley, and I think, so will his role. A strong future starter, but not the alpha-dog.
Donatas Motiejunas.Underrated? I think he is awfully overrated and could very well end up selected outside of top 10. His shooting is overrated - having a nice stroke, but not the consistent jumper outside 12 feet. He does not like physical play, which is a major flaw for an NBA- bigman. His a poor rebounder and defender. But two bad things, that clearly stand out:
1. Poor attittude. He is not the kind of guy who would be all ears and do what he is asked for. He tends to think, that he knows best, what he should do. Combine this with star-complex and questionable work ethics, and you may easily get poor man´s Andrea Bargnani or Yi Ianlian at best.
2. Questionable motor and poor conditioning. Just watch the pre-draft videos. 5-7 repetitions/minutes rest and bad body-language. Over and over again.
Trey Thompkins. I won´t even bother. His college-stats speaks for themselves.
Defense is about effort, how can that be a short coming and say Donatas Motiejunas is under rated, he is a one way player then right, yet Biyombo is overrated for being a one way player on defense???
I believe Chris Singleton is going to fool a lot of people.
Love how some people highlight Kyrie's body fat % which probably has a little to do with missing three months of cardio. But these same people make no mention of the fact that Derrick Williams body fat % is actually even worse (almost 11%). I don't remember him missing time this year. So why is he so out-of-shape?
Way to misinform the public fellas!
There are A LOT OF CONTRADICTIONS above! How could you mention Biyombo as a one-way player and is overrated (although I agree), but not highlight how Motiejunas is an offense-only guy and underrated. I don't believe in this guy either.
And as for Kemba Walker, ARE YOU SERIOUS DUDE?!?! OVERRATED? O nevermind him, he just led UCONN to the national championship title like no one was even close to prediction (sarcastic tone).
I also wanna stand up for Iman Shumpert, a lot of times we call guys like him chuckers, inconsistent, or low in basketball IQs, but I know what it's like when the coach believes you are "The Guy". He actually WANTS you to do too much, as crazy as it sounds. I belive he is a product of playing on a mediocre squad all his career. And not to mention that he is not high enough on draft boards to be considered OVERRATED. He just stood out in the testing, that's all.
Derrick Williams is the #2 pick. Is it underrated that he is not the top selection?
Kyrie Irving is a mystery, I think he MAY be solid, but not a hall of famer. In between OVER and UNDER rated.
Singleton will find a niche, took Trevor Ariza some time too. Got in the right situation with the Lakers, but he left LA and has never been the same.
Marshon Brooks reminds me of Nick Young, JR Smith.
I knew this article was going to have kemba Walker in the Overrated section.... this site has been underestimating walker since he got into college... Hes going to prove people wrong in the pros...
Besides Leonard and Biyombo I think you are dead wrong on all of them.
Shabazz Napier ran the point at UConn when they were most effective not Lamb.
You just lost a lot of credibility with this under thoughtout, under researched article.
Aran Smith > Eric Yearian.
How could you say that Kyrie Irving "played poorly in the post season"? He averaged 18 pts in the 3 games that he played and only averaged 23 minutes per game.
Kyrie is a bit overrated but he is still the best PG in the draft that has a bunch of good ones. If Cleveland passes on Williams to take Irving it will be something they regret like the Blazers taking Oden over Durant. Williams is like Blake Griffin except with not quite as much athleticism and a lot better range. He will prove to be a perrenial all-star and that is more than I can say about any other player in this draft class.
I think Marshon Brooks is underrated if anything. He can score the ball at will and that is a pretty decent skill to have in the league. Calling Kemba overrated is crazy the dude just took his team on his back and took them to the national title. The last player to do it himself that much was Carmelo and he turned out alright.
Singleton sounds like James Posey. Could be a good pick for a team that needs some defense like the Warriors at 11. That might be high though. Singleton doesn't sound like a great top 5 or 6 pick but he sounds like a good pick around 10-20.
If Motie can shoot and score then he would be a great pick in that range too. Ironically I also like him on the Warriors as the 3rd scorer who might be able to get some boards that David Lee doesn't get.
Three of my favorite guys are Derrick Williams, Kemba, and Jimmer. Not sure about Biyombo but shot blocking, defense, and rebounding are very important in this league, and he can also dunk. Should be a good value pick outside the top 10.
Jan Vessley is being underrated. He could be a star with his size athleticism and solid shooting and defense potential.
I had to shake my head at that overrated list. Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker proved that they can ball with the best of them; though Walker proved it more consistently for an entire season than Irving had the chance to with his toe injury. Nonetheless, both guys showed that they have what it takes to be successful players at the NBA level. How are they considered overrated?
I beg to ask the same question for Marshon Brooks and Chris Singleton. Both guys have playing styles that are EXACTLY what NBA executives and scouts covet. Brooks is an offensive machine and there are plenty of teams who could use a scoring punch, like the Chicago Bulls, as evidenced by their offensive struggles against the Heat during the playoffs. Singleton, on the other hand, is a defensive machine who can matchup against positions 1-4. How are these guys overrated?
I just don't get it, but then again, this did seem like an opinion piece so I won't knock Eric too much for having one of those.... an opinion.
I think what they were saying was that Derrick Williams is underrated in the aspect that he really has more skill and potential than Irving, and therefore should be drafted first.
I wouldn't consider Motiejunas underated. He is seven feet tall, can't defend, rebound or block shots. Unless he scores 25 pts per I don't get it. Singleton is going to be drafted between 10-15. He is the best perimiter defender in the draft. Someone has to guard Lebron, Carmelo, Durant, Pierce, Nowitski and so on.
Who is this dude??? What are the qualifications you need to have in order to write on this site?? I Don't know what Eric Yearian(probably a skinny white dude) looks like, but he CLEARLY knows nothing about basketball!!
Kyrie Irving overrated???...Marshon Brooks overrated???..Derrick Williams a "DYNAMIC SCORER"???? hahahah Do me a favor Mr. Yearian, you tell me what's Derrick Williams go to move is in the post?You Tell me, or show me when Derrick Williams actually created his own JUMPSHOT?? Any answers?? Of course not, your cut from a clueless cloth!! He did nothing off the dribble in his CAREER! All they did at AU was pick and roll. The only way he got a jumpshot off was when he was WIDE A$$ OPEN! Why don't you watch some film doggie..your messing up the site with this nonsense!
I am going to save this link so I can laugh at it a year from now!!!
How can you say Irving is overrated? Allow me to cite passages from your article and analyze your comments. You mention the fact that Duke produces very few professional stars. So what? Does that mean Kyrie Irving can't be a star? Do you believe in curses? Are you guys aware of Elton Brand, Carlos Boozer, and Grant Hill, who was a HOF caliber player before his horrible injury? You also make us aware that Kyrie Irving spent most of the year on the bench due to injury. However, that does not mean he is injury-prone. Anyone watched the game in which he got injured would know that he suffered a freak toe injury. If anything, it was just bad luck. You note his 10.2% body fat. First of all, 10.2% body fat is perfectly passable for an athlete. Additionally, what makes you think that's something that can't be remedied? While I won't deny that Irving is an elite athlete, he is by no means unathletic, and I don't think it will hinder him in the coming years. You say Irving played poorly when he returned. Please explain how the following stat line is poor for an extremely rusty freshman who missed over 3 months of time: .519 fg%, .913 ft%, .500% 3p, 17.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.3 spg. Though the assist line is a bit discouraging, I think you have to give the kid a break here. I've seen the kid play, and there is NO doubt in my mind; unless you have a (potentially) very good, great, or star point guard, Irving is the only choice. In my opinion, his vision, handle, and quickness does indeed make him that much better than the other point guards. If anything, Irving is slightly underrated; while people undoubtedly see his talent, I believe he can become a special player, putting up 18/4/8 on a yearly basis, and leading a team.
How is Iman Shumpert overrated when this guy has only just began showing glimpses of what he could become. A stronger more defensive minded version of larry Hughes. You have this cat liste as mid second round by most sites. i just don't see it. If anyone actually watched gT games they would understand his poor shot selection and low percentages along with love of the jumper. Bad coaching+bad spacing+being a low shot clock guy often lead to poor percentages. He's not a point, he's an unselfish 2 guard. This is clearly a "likes/Dislikes" article. Derrick Williams underrated. WTF?
This draft is weak, perhaps one of the weakest in recent memory. At least 10 guys who would have went in the 1st round this year stayed in school due to a possible lockout. So maybe it isin't fair to judge this draft too harshly. However, there is no future super star level player in this draft. A guy or two who may one day be in an all-star game, but no one who will be first team all nba or anything. This draft seems to have a lot of one demensional talent, with Fredette, Marshon Brooks and company having only offensive skills, and guys like Biyombo and Singelton offering only on the defensive end.
My point is maybe a lot of these guys are going to be viewed as overrated because they will be going in draft spots normally reserved for players of greater pedigree, for example Irving is a real 2nd or 3rd, a guy like Vesely normally is not gonna go top 10. It is what it is, but it just means that next years draft is gonna be stocked with guys who might get underrated as they go in the late teens while in this draft they would be a top 10 lock.
Just gave everyone that commented on this thread a (-1).