Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft
Do either of them enter the draft this year? Is either likely to be a first rounder if he does?
Will DeShaun Thomas enter? Yes, I do believe that DeShaun Thomas will be an early entrant for this year's NBA Draft. Why? He had an excellent year and led the Ohio State Buckeyes to an Elite 8 appearance, and he has shown his scoring ability and versatility on the floor.
Will DeShaun Thomas be a first round pick? My guess is that he more than likely WON'T be a first round pick. The guy is a great scorer and a pretty solid defensive player, and he has adequate leadership qualities, but he is unathletic and he is not very explosive at all. Also, his shot selection is mediocre at best, as I saw him just chucking up wild shots and praying that they would drop multiple times this season.
My overall analysis: DeShaun Thomas is a very good scorer, who can defend multiple positions. He's not very athletic, which really takes away from his draft stock, as the NBA loves athletes.
Will Aaron Craft enter? No. Simply, no. Craft has already came out and said that basketball is not his top priority, and that earning his degree was. If this is the case, Craft will likely return for his senior season of college basketball so that he can earn his degree, as well as continue to play basketball against a high level of competition and play for a school that he loves to play basketball for.
Will Aaron Craft be a first round pick after his senior season? He has the potential to be a first round pick. To me, he is similar to Avery Bradley as a defender, always pestering the opposing guards, creating turnovers and producing baskets for the Buckeyes the other way. Another interesting thing to look at is the fact that craft is a very good offensive player, who can score both inside and out. Although he is a good scorer and defender, it will be tough to get early first round looks because of his late age.
My overall analysis: Aaron Craft is the exact type of player that I would want on my team. He is a character player, and he is a damn good leader at Ohio State. He does nothing great, but everything good. He does all of the little things and makes all of the little plays that a coach could ever ask for, and he has really been that "glue-like" presence that has kept Thad Matta's squads rolling whenever guys like Thomas and even Jared Sullinger were struggling.
Krafts got the potential to be a first round? No. He reminds me of Gerry McNamara but more defense than offense oriented. He is incredibly gifted and incredibly hard working but the league is about size and speed. Football and Basketball, more than any other sport, reward those two qualities. I'd be SHOCKED (too soon?) if he went first round. I'd be surprised if he got drafted at all given the succes he has academically. I bet after he graduates he opts out of the draft knowing he wouldn't go very high and pursuits another career.
DeShaun Thomas is a different story altogether. Kid is overlooked. Is he a college star? Yes. Can he be an Nba star? No. But I think he can contribute as a strong 6th man in the league. He's got a knack for putting the ball in the cup that you CANNOT teach. Some people are just good at scoring. He's one of these people. His foil is James McAdoo. McAdoo is more explosive and theoretically has a much larger ceiling. But will McAdoo ever get there? Will he ever become a go to guy for buckets? Nah. With Thomas you know what you're gonna get. You give him 20 minutes a night in the league and I would bet he could average over 10. Plus, he's really not undersized for a SF. He's 6-7 and has a deceivingly long torse that helps him finish well around the hoop and out rebound guys.
Overall, I estimate Thomas goes late first round, early second this year. GMs, and humans in general, have a tendency to prefer the unknown to the known and proven. Guy like McAdoo, maybe he will pan out - IDK, will get drafted over someone like Thomas because he's got the unknowable. the dormant ability. Anyway, i'm not too high on Kraft but I think Thomas could be a good fit for a team in need of scoring off the bench. Or maybe they'll both stay for senior year! we'll see
Deshaun will probably enter the draft. His 20ppg translates well to the NBA. And the fact that his son is about to turn 1 year old might be a guiding factor for him to enter his name. I think after his play all season and during the tournament that he could be a late 1st rounder, early 2nd rounder.
Craft on the other hand will likely play all four years for Ohio State. He's a pre-med student with a 3.88 GPA and he takes his education seriously. Im from Columbus so Im a big fan of Craft. But I don't really see his game as an NBA level talent. He obviously has great defense, but against bigger, faster guards in the league, he'll be lucky to play 3rd string. He'll probably get drafted late 2nd round next year,
Wont be the guy NBA teams try to stop like in college. I think he will do well when he is ignored. He might like the NBA more. He wont be doubled.
I can't for the life of me understand why anyone thinks Aaron Craft will play in the NBA.
So he's a defensive PG...who is he going to guard in the NBA? Derrick Rose? Russell Westbrook? Kyrie Irving? John Wall? Are you crazy? There is no way he can guard top flight athletes at the next level. He has done very well in college guarding other team's stars, but he also has trouble with any refs who call a lot hand check fouls and it will be way worse at the next level.
Secondly, his offensive game just isn't NBA level at all. He is extremely inconsistent, he isn't a very good shooter, he doesn't finish well enough at the rim, he doesn't hit free throws, and he isn't an A distributer either. He is a mediocre collegiate offensive player and isn't athletic enough to guard at the next level. 2nd round pick, D leaguer.
first off... deshaun Thomas is def. a first rounder... no doubt about that... hes ohio states best player that had them in the elite 8... he averaged 20 a game on a solid 44 percent from the field... dude is a natural scorer..... but somehow aaron craft is a possible first rounder after next yr?? his nba potential is pretty limited... his offense is inconsistent... cant shoot well... great defender but not much of an athlete... on top of that his point guard skills aren't anything to be excited about... he screams 2nd rounder
I agree that he should be, especially given the weakness of this draft, but are you so sure he is? He's not on the current mock.
I think Craft's situation might be similar to Myron Rolle, a football player who played for Florida State, was a Rhode Scholar, but his draft stock dropped drastically because people were worried that he wanted to become a neurosurgeon more than a football player, he was 2nd round talent, dropped to the 6th round, and I'm not sure if he's in the league at the moment though. Craft has stated he wants to be a doctor, but he can be a very quality NBA defender. A coach like Tom Thibedeau and Doug Collins would love him and play him 35 minutes a night. Not sure about 1st round pick, but he will be a quality starter at some point in his career if he does decide to pursue a career in the NBA.
I don't think Rolle was a second round talent. He came into Florida State as one of the most highly rated prepsters in the country but he was a disappointment on the field. After going undrafted, he's signed with multiple teams and has been unable to stick with them. I don't think they cut him because they were worried he was going to bail on them at any moment to do neurosciency things. The biggest knock on him was a lack of speed.
I think Craft can guard NBA point guards. I kind of get tired of the whole he couldn't guard "insert best players in the league". Most guys in the NBA can't guard Lebron or Rose, and in actuality, if Craft makes the league he'll be guarding guys in the 2nd unit and at 6'2'' and close to 200 lbs and with his lateral quickness, he's capable of guarding the 2nd or 3rd unit points he'd be asked to guard in the NBA.
That being said, I don't like him as a prospect because his shot is freaking broke. It's ugly, and erratic, and there just aren't that many guards in the NBA with that litlte shoot ability. Those that lack a good shot are usually larger and more athletic, slashers. Craft is a game manager who is a great college defender. I just think that he'll have to do more to make it in the NBA. Maybe if he can fix his shot, he'll stand a chance. He still might get drafted, but I wouldn't draft him. His ability to defend still isn't in question for what'd he be asked to do, I just really think his offensive game is too far behind what it needs to be for a junior on college hoping to play guard in the NBA.
Even if he wanted to, which he has said he doesn't, he is a below average offensive player in college, he won't be able to go up against nba guards.