NBA READY :
NBA POTENTIAL :
NBA Ready: Top 5 No Order
Cody Zeller - I could easily see him being a 12 ppg 8 rpg guy as a rookie, if not a little higher. I believe he's the ROY favorite
C.J. McCollum - Can shoot, slash, handle, and pass. Not a true SG or PG but his skillset and strength will make him effective.
Otto Porter - Went from a tiny school in Missouri and no AAU experience to starting in the Big East. I think the NBA transition will be harder, but Porter will rise to the challenge
Isaiah Canaan - For much of the same reasons I picked McCollum. Won't be drafted as high, but will handle 2nd string PG duties for a playoff team as a rookie.
KCP - He's the perfect combinaiton of McLemore and Oladipo. I don't think his ceiling is as high, but he's also not as raw as either top SG. Minnesota would love to him and if he lands there I think he'll drop 12-15 ppg.
Highest Potentail: Top 5 No Order
Ben McLemore - I still think he'll produce around 10 or 11 ppg as a rookie, but if he ever taps into his aggressive side his ceiling is very high
Alex Len - Again, Len is good enough to play as a rookie, but his post development could make him one of the few NBA centers that can give you over 15 ppg.
Anthony Bennett - Big strong guy and someone people think could develop into a pre injury Larry Johnson. That's high praise, but Bennett is the only guy outside of Zeller with 20/10 potential IMO.
Victor Oladipo - Could be a great 2 way player if he can further develop his offense. So strong and athletic, if he were even a 17 or 18 ppg scorer in his prime he could potentially be viewed as the best player from this class.
Steven Adams - Adams could be a defensive force with a nice faceup game in an ideal situation. His touch raised some eyebrows after many thought of him as a best case Omer Asik. The fact he could potentially be a defensive C who can hit his free throws is extremely valuable.
Plumlee - Good open court runner, good pick and roll defender and decent rebounder . Could see him getting good min as a back up and maybe even starting depends on where pic. Solid 4 years under a great coach
Reggie Bullock- A spurs chicago bulls type player, knows his stregnths good defender great size with a good shot
Trevor - Great reb in college will translate to pros if he stays
Shabazz- hes going to get buckets regardless
Giannis Adetokoubo- Looks like he can be special and still figuring everything out. Hopefully hes not a anthony randloph where we keep talking about his potential and no output
Cj leslie- Freak athlete on the right team and right coach could really be a good defender played against him in highschool many years was a great shot blocker
Ricky ledo- That video of him going against john wall has me feeling like he can be a big time player
What do you mean by NBA Ready? Do you think they'll hit the ground running or does NBA ready to you mean that they'll just get minutes? NBA Ready to me means that they can step in and be at least average from the start.
I'd hesitate to call McLemore, Bennett and MCW NBA ready.
They all have a ton to learn.
McLemore needs to get stronger and more assertive with the ball. He's gonna have to learn to shoot better on the move too. He has experience running off of screens, which I think is how he will be utilized, but he doesn't even shoot well on the move.
Bennett needs to learn how to play defense, period. His effort level needs a lot of work too. Unless the team that drafts him is all in on him getting experience, those 2 factors could keep him coming off the bench for a more demanding coach.
MCW needs to get stronger with the ball, tighten his handle and improve his decision making. I think he could struggle with the physicality of the game at first. He's not a good shooter and he struggles finishing with contact. I don't expect him to be a good scorer/shooter right off the bat, so if his decision making isn't on point he could be a liability on offense. Unfortunately, decision making is another thing that he struggled with, especially during the latter part of the season.
How is MCW NBA ready? Maybe defensively but even so he has a long way to go. He needs to work on his jumpshot and reducing his TOs as well. There are a handful of PGs in this draft class more NBA ready then MCW...he is more of a potential pick if you ask me.
If he wasn't 6-6 nothing would separate him from the Peyton Siva's and other PGs who are all 2nd round picks.
1. Otto Porter- He will be able to contribute at both ends from day one. He is a very smart player that will use his length to be a force defensively. He also has a very nice midrange game for a rookie and should be productive on offense and defense.
2. Victor Oladipo- He is pretty much like the SG version of Otto Porter. He isn't going to wow you offensively but he can score in a variety of ways. His main calling card is defense where he could be a top 10 perimeter defender in the league from the time he steps on the court.
3.CJ McCollum- He played 4 years of college ball which is someone nobody in the lottery can say (unless Plumlee gets picked higher than I think he will). His scoring ability was clear to most of us in 2012 when he shredded Duke in the first round of the tourney. He isn't the best at moving laterally defensively but he has long arms and should be able to hold his own.
4. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope- He is another player I think will be able to score from the get go. He has a nice jumpshot and although he isn't an elite athlete he can get to the rim as well. He was used to playing on a weak UGA team so now that he won't be the center of attention of opposing defenses I think he will benefit from playing with more talented players. He was Derek Harper trying to be Kobe Bryant in college and should be solid as a 3rd scorer for somebody in the NBA.
5. Gorgui Dieng- Of all the big guys in this draft I think Dieng might be the most ready to contribute immediately. We all know he is a great shot blocker and solid rebounder. He can consistently hit his jumper out to around 18 feet. He doesn't have much of a post game but not many prospects do these days. He doesn't have the highest ceiling of the big men in this class but if I want to win a game tonight I would take him over Adams, Olynyk, Len, Gobert and even probably Zeller who I was going to put on this list but still have some question marks about...
Also considered: Zeller, Olynk, Snell, Hardaway Jr, Ryan Kelly
1. Ben McLemore- He looks like I want my SG to look like in every way. He has a picture perfect jumpshot that has garnered Ray Allen comparisons. He is very athletic for a SG as well so despite him measuring only 6-4 I'm not worried about him defensively. I mean how many 2 guards have you seen multiple underneath out of bounds alley oops thrown too? The only knock on Ben is his assertiveness but going to the right team he can work on this. Paul George wasn't super assertive when he entered the league and is now a top 5 SG without a doubt. If Ben reaches his potential I see multiple All-Star games and a bunch of seasons scoring over 20 PPG.
2. Anthony Bennett- Bennett is an undersized 4 and if he understands that he could be special. It isn't a bad thing to work on your perimeter skills but at the end of the day you still make a living in the paint. He is strong, athletic and skilled which is everything I want in a PF. If he was 6-10 instead of 6-7 there would be no discussion who the #1 pick would be. He is undersized but should be able to make up for it with his athleticism, strength and long arms (7-1 Wingspan). Anthony Bennett will be the future of Canadian National basketball....him and some other guy...
3. Steven Adams- This man is built like a cement truck. He has the potential to be a force inside and with his size and athleticism he could be the best center if this draft down the road. He runs the floor very well for a big man. He can block shots and rebound as well as any big in the draft right now. He has a very raw offensive game at this point but has shown the potential to knock down a shot. If he gets in the right situation (OKC) look out because with development he could be a steal anywhere outside the top 10.
4. Nerlens Noel- Many people say he has the best potential of anyone in the draft and defensively he probably does. He can guard the pick and roll with his lateral quickness and also does a stellar job protecting the rim. He is rail thin and could put on about 40 pounds but he still isn't afraid to bang inside. We all know he tore his ACL last season and won't be ready for the start of the season. Offensively he doesn't have too much besides little jump hooks and put backs at this point. He is an above average ball handler and passer for a player his size and that has drawn some Noah comparisons. If his knee doesn't remain an issue and he gets stronger as well as refine his offensive game Noel could justify being picked first overall by actually becoming the best player in this draft down the road.
5. Shane Larkin- I know a lot of people have been questioning Larkin as a lottery pick but I have been on his bandwagon for a while so why jump off now...Larkin really improved in his 2 years at Miami not just as a player but as a leader as well. He should have been ACC player of the year as he led Miami to their first ACC title. I am not putting him on this list because of his combine performance. I knew he was quick and could jump high for a while. I like his ability to run the pick and roll and punish you for going under the screen. He has NBA range on his jumpshot and is lightning quick going around you. He needs to work on developing a consistent floater to avoid getting his shot blocked but he should be able to do that easily. He knows what it takes to be a professional athlete growing up with Barry Larkin as his dad. He won't ever be a great defender because of his size but his athleticism should allow him to hold his own. I have Larkin rated as my 2nd best PG in this draft behind Burke who I considered putting in this spot. The only reason I put Larkin ahead of Burke is because his breakdown ability is better. Burke is relentless attacking the basket but he doesn't have the pure quickness to get into the paint effortlessly for 48 minutes.
Also considered: Len, Burke, Archie Goodwin, Jamal Franklin
NBA Ready = Can contribute a NBA team from day one
1) Otto Porter: As everyone has pointed out, he is a prototypical SF who can defend, pass and shoot in the midrange.
2) CJ McCollum: Could score 15ppg+ in the league next season
3) Mike Muscala: Can shoot at an elite level and rebound at a level that reaches the NBA standard. IMO Muscala is more of a Ryan Anderson than Ryan Kelly is. He could provide bench scoring in his rookie season.
4) Gorgui Dieng: The fact that he can hit a 15 ft jumper makes him a more than serviceable big.
5) McLemore: Obviously he has a long way to go before reaching his "potential'. He disappears in games and can't break people off the dribble. But in his rookie season he can be a DTA kinda guy. And almost every team in the league needs some more DTA.
NBA Potential = Could be great in 3+ seasons, but needs to develop with an NBA personnel supervision.
1) Alex Len: I've said it a million times on this site, but he could be the best player from this draft. (Maybe tied with BMac). He has an ok jumper, but its very erratic and often shot with little confidence. If he tightens up his jump shot and learns the traditional post-moves he could be a Roy Hibbert type of contributor.
2) Nerlens Noel: Bigs are most important on the defensive side of the ball. Noel excelled at rim protecting and cutting up passing lanes at Kentucky. Excelled. More so than Larry Sanders, and Noel is significantly younger than Sanders was when he declared. And if Noel ends up a better version of Larry Sanders... well thats a great draft pickup. Even if he ends up a Ben Wallace type of offensive threat that's still valuable to an NBA team.
3) Steven Adams: For obvious reasons. It was a big decision to leave school early as he is still missing basic bball knowledge. That being said, most college coaches are horrible at developing bigmen. Maybe Adams felt like Dixon was limited in teaching him how to play.
4) Ricardo Ledo: I hope the Thunder draft him with the 29th pick. They could groom him for a season, and hopefully be able to use this dynamic athlete in their rotation. When watching him, I can't help but think of JR Smith. lol. He has the frame to put on muscle, and is so deadly around the hoop.
5) Anthony Bennett: He has the wrecking ball body, just needs to find his role in the NBA, and it will probably involve being hit a lot. I like Bennett but can't get over his constant injury problems. He was hurt throughout High School, and now has rotator cuff damage. His shoudlers are so freakishly large it doesn't surprise me that his body is unable to support that kind of weight.
There are no NBA ready "stars" in this draft.
If you project backup point guards, then I can see Peyton Siva being a top tier backup point guard from day one. I can even see him start here and there and be decent. Good leadership, speed, and point guard skills.
Tim Hardaway, Jr. is good as a rotation guard. Can score, handle, and do some different things. I think he can be a solid wing player from day 1 and could end up being all rookie second team.
Dieng is a legit center from day 1. Not necessarily a star or even a starter but a good guy for depth. He could probably even start for some teams.
Seth Curry has NBA range from day one. I can see him being a decent shooter off the bench. Shooting the 3 is a great NBA skill, and it one that Seth Curry has. He may not have the upside as some other guys but he can be like Gary Neal.
Jeff Withey will be able to block shots and run the floor from day one. He has good basketball skills and could be one of the better rookie centers. He would be great with the Spurs.
Alex Len. I am not even saying that he won't be good from day one. I think he could win ROY but I think his upside is very high. He should be competent by the end of the year and should be a first team all-rookie, but all-star appearances are a ways off.
Nerlens Noel. If he weren't injured and wasn't expected to be a top three pick (top 5 at worst) I would have him as a guy who could give you shot blocking and energy from day one. I could see him being a high level role player from day one. He could give you some rebounds too, and would make enough dunks and put backs to get a decent scoring average. But, I think as a legit top pick, he has to grow into that role. That should take awhile. I also think that he might want to sit out the whole year and get his knee back to 100%. He also needs to put on weight and strength and work on his shooting. Missing his entire rookie season didn't hurt Blake Griffin.
Ben McLemore. He could catch fire from day one, but sometimes shooters struggle as rookies. Some also think that he is not that great at creating his own shot. So he might be limited to open jump shots and breakaway dunks. If so, he won't reach his potential his first year, even though I think he will realize a lot of potential down the road.
Len, Noel, and McLemore could be great from day one, but they will probably need to take a few years to realize their potential. I still like these guys as ROY candidates and they should be in the Rising Stars game in next February's All Star Weekend. I just think that these three guys have the most upside in the draft. ... Oladipo has a lot of potential too, but I think he is a guy who's worst case scenario is a guy who can still contribute defense and energy as a rotation wing player from day one. His floor might actually be higher than some other guys. And, with him, I think if he is going to turn into a star, then I believe we will see some glimpses of that by the end of his rookie season.