NBA Draft: Top 5 Lists

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:10pm

Most Athletic: Travis Leslie]

Leslie has super-human leaping ability that allows him to make a lot of plays around the rim. That, combined with his explosiveness, could make him an exciting and dynamic role-player in the NBA. Think Shannon Brown.

Strongest Player: Enes Kanter

Kanter has always been a load for opposing big men. During the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit he used his strength and skill to score a record-setting 34 points, as he just ate the USA roster alive -- which includes the 6'9" 280 lbs Jared Sullinger. Oh, and he did it with an injured back.

Fastest Player: Kemba Walker

Walker has proven himself to be one of the deadliest scorers in college basketball with his combination of aggressiveness, ball-handling ability and absolutely unreal speed. It seems that no matter how fast he is moving, he always has a higher gear that he explodes into before leaving his defender in the dust. Kemba's quickness will be elite, even in the NBA.

Most Explosive Forward: Derrick Williams

Williams is exceptionally quick off of his feet for a player that holds as much muscle as he does. His combination of strength and explosiveness draws some comparisons to Blake Griffin, though he's not quite the freak that Griffin is.

Least Athletic: Nikola Vucevic

The big man from USC has the size and skills to be a nice player in the NBA, but the man can't jump over a phone book and that limits his potential. Still averaged a double-double at school though.

Longest Player: Bismack Biyombo

Biyombo became a draftnik darling the minute his measurements at the Nike Hoop Summit were released. With a ridiculous 7'7" wingspan and great athleticism to boot, Biyombo could become an intimidating defensive player in time.

Best Shooter: Jimmer Fredette

You could make an argument for any of four or five players here, but Jimmer will likely be the best shooter coming out of the draft class. He is absolutely automatic when left open and he has unlimited range. He is both a volume shooter and an efficient shooter (made 124 triples last season at a 40% clip), and he is dangerous off the dribble or when spotting up.

Best Passer: Darius Morris

Despite only being a sophomore, Darius Morris has proven himself to be one of the best playmakers in college basketball. His passing ability is off the charts and he has a great court-awareness. He measured 6'5" in shoes, and this size helps him see over the defense and find open teammates.

Best Defender: Chris Singleton]

The athletic forward out of FSU has the length and lateral quickness to guard four different positions at the next level. He's also a stat-sheet stuffer as he collects a bounty of steals, blocks and rebounds every game.

Best Rebounder: Kenneth Faried]

Any college player who gets 200 offensive rebounds in a single season can rebound, and rebounding is a skill that transfers to the NBA. Faried may be undersized and offensively-challenged, but he'll be a big-time threat on the glass any time he is in the game.

Best Post Skills: Trey Thompkins]

Thompkins is really a load down low. He looks great on either side of the rim, using numerous fakes and shifty footwork to maneuver his way to an easy shot around the rim. He also employs a nice turnaround jumper, which makes him dangerous with his back to the basket out to about 18 feet.

Best Competitor: Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker is fearless on the basketball court. He does everything it takes to win, and UConn's championship this season is really indicative of that. He's a true leader and an extremely strong competitor.

Highest Basketball IQ: Kyle Singler

Singler didn't have the best senior season, but he has a Final Four MVP under his belt and the national championship from his junior season. He won't be a superstar at the next level, rather a scrappy role-player that does all the little things to help his team win.

Highest Risk: Jeremy Tyler

Tyler is a big body with great length and a soft touch. At one point, he was even the top-ranked player in his high school class. Things took a turn after he decided to drop out of school to play overseas. He didn't respond well to coaching, didn't get along with his teammates and ultimately, couldn’t get much playing time. His potential is through the roof and he could be a great player in time, but he's just as likely to be a waste of a pick and a cancer to his team.

Lowest Risk: Derrick Williams

Derrick Williams is the safest pick in this year's draft. He has an NBA ready body, outstanding shooting ability and the athleticism to compete with just about anybody at the next level. He'll be a great and efficient scorer that will likely see a few all star games in his prime.

Most Overrated: Bismack Biyombo

There are a lot of things to like about Biyombo. He has great length, athleticism, strength, a good attitude and a high motor. Not a bad prospect at all. He's only overrated because of the obscene amount of hype he's received since the Nike Hoop Summit. Getting compared to everybody from Serge Ibaka to Ben Wallace isn't fair for a player as raw as Biyombo is. Going in the top 10-12 pick is doing HIM a disservice.

1st Round Sleeper: Donatas Motiejunas

Motie has a silky-smooth offensive game. He can handle the ball exceptionally well for a player his size, he has a remarkably diverse offense game and he's an underrated passer with a ton of potential in this area. He's not a good rebounder/defender and he needs to work on his consistency, but he has legit all-star potential.

2nd Round Sleeper: Trey Thompkins

Thompkins stock is supposedly slipping, but he's still a great talent offensively. He has great footwork in the post and range out to the college three-point line. If he lands with the right team, he could be a very effective player.

Free Agent Gem (Likely Undrafted): Ravern Johnson

Right now it's unlikely that Johnson gets drafted at all. He's a poor defender, skinny as a rail and his passing ability is well below average for a wing player. However, he is a very good shooter with great size and athleticism. He's ready to contribute as a spot-up shooter, and he could find a spot in a team's rotation as soon as next year.

Travis LeslieTravis Leslie1. Travis Leslie
2. Chris Wright
3. Iman Shumpert
4. Derrick Williams
5. Jan Vesely


1. Enes Kanter
2. Jeremy Tyler
3. Greg Smith
4. Bismack Biyombo
5. Charles Jenkins


1. Kemba Walker
2. Kyrie Irving
3. Brandon Knight
4. Norris Cole
5. Isaiah Thomas

Explosiveness (Guards):

1. Travis Leslie
2. Randy Culpepper
3. Iman Shumpert
4. Josh Selby
5. Kemba Walker

Explosiveness (Forwards):

1. Derrick Williams
2. Jan Vesely
3. Chris Wright
4. Bismack Biyombo
5. JuJuan Johnson


1. Nikola Vucevic
2. Ben Hansbrough
3. Jordan Williams
4. Kyle Singler
5. Klay Thompson


1. Bismack Biyombo
2. Reggie Jackson
3. Nikola Vucevic
4. Jonas Valanciunas
5. Marshon Brooks


1. Jimmer Fredette
2. Davis Bertans
3. Nikola Mirotic
4. Andrew Goudelock
5. Ben Hansbrough

Ball Handlers:

1. Kemba Walker
2. Kyrie Irving
3. Alec Burks
4. Darius Morris
5. Corey Fisher


1. Darius Morris
2. Kyrie Irving
3. Julyan Stone
4. Chandler Parsons
5. Demetri McCamey


1. Chris Singleton
2. Bismack Biyombo
3. Iman Shumpert
4. Tristan Thompson
5. Cory Joseph


1. Kenneth Faried
2. Enes Kanter
3. Jordan Williams
4. Jonas Valanciunas
5. Bismack Biyombo

Post Skills:

1. Trey Thompkins
2. Enes Kanter
3. Jordan Williams
4. Nikola Vucevic
5. Donatas Motiejunas


1. Kemba Walker
2. Derrick Williams
3. Shelvin Mack
4. Jimmer Fredette
5. Marshon Brooks


1. Kenneth Faried
2. Enes Kanter
3. Jan Vesely
4. Markieff Morris
5. Kemba Walker


1. Chris Singleton
2. Julyan Stone
3. Marcus Morris
4. Iman Shumpert
5. Chandler Parsons

Basketball IQ:

1. Kyle Singler
2. Kyrie Irving
3. Chandler Parsons
4. Brandon Knight
5. Nolan Smith

Best Potential:

1. Derrick Williams
2. Enes Kanter
3. Kyrie Irving
4. Donatas Motiejunas
5. Jan Vesely

High Risk/High Reward:

1. Jeremy Tyler
2. Tristan Thompson
3. Bismack Biyombo
4. Tyler Honeycutt
5. Jonas Valanciunas

Low Risk:

1. Derrick Williams
2. Klay Thompson
3. Enes Kanter
4. Marcus Morris
5. Nolan Smith


1. Bismack Biyombo
2. Iman Shumpert
3. Josh Selby
4. Charles Jenkins
5. Chris Singleton

1st Round Sleepers:

1. Donatas Motiejunas
2. Tyler Honeycutt
3. Tobias Harris
4. Jimmer Fredette
5. Alec Burks

2nd Round Sleepers:

1. Trey Thompkins
2. Norris Cole
3. Kyle Singler
4. Chandler Parsons
5. Matthew Bryan Amaning

Free Agent Gems (Likely Undrafted):

1. Ravern Johnson
2. Julyan Stone
3. Justin Hurtt
4. Chris Wright
5. Cam Long

Hi its Ben
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Enes Kanter as a low risk

Enes Kanter as a low risk pick?? A guy as unproven as him going top 3.. I think that's pretty risky..

Memphis Madness
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Can we get a rookie dunk

Can we get a rookie dunk contest? Jan Vesely, Travis Leslie, Derrick Williams and maybe Shumpert as the fourth guy. That would be nice. Fun to watch.

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It would be impossible to

It would be impossible to agree on everything. Nice job.

I'd put Vucevic on the High risk/high reward list. Although it's a risk I'd take if i were a GM with a late first round pick.

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wheres leslie on high risk

wheres leslie on high risk high reward?

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I don't think Leslie's potential is that high. "Athleticism" is not synonymous with "potential".

One omission that I regret is Jon Diebler from the best shooters list. He should be on there.

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pretty accurate

I would have put Goudelock as the number one shooter. Jimmer is obviously the better overall player but nobody in this draft can shoot it better then the kid from College of Charleston. The only player in the league right now that I would take over him in a 3 point contest would be Ray Allen. Whatever team picks him up is going to be very lucky, if the kid was 6-5 he would be a top 5 pick.

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Not bad....

These lists are pretty much on-the-nose. Only thing I scratched my head on was Derrick Williams being a low risk. NBA scouts and general managers seem to find difficulty in assigning Williams a legitimate position in the NBA. What if he indeed struggles to truly find a position? That seems risky to me in a way because in some part, Williams' potential could be jeopardized by not being able to utilize his skills properly. If he DOES put it all together, then he becomes a star.

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Diebler should be on the best

Diebler should be on the best shooter list and (un)athletic list

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Diebler should also...

be on the Free Agent Gems just because of his great shooting touch. He reminds me a Jason Kapono SG.

My only regret is that there isn't any "Clutch" list. It would have been interesting to see who you think is the clutchest between Kemba and Knight

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No Randy Culpepper in the top 5 athletes? (sorry but i can't edit)

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Klay Thompsan's the best pure

Klay Thompsan's the best pure shooter in the draft and he's not even listed.

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I agree I would probaby go with Thompson 1, Goudelock 2 and Jimmer 3 in the shooters category.

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We could add "Most Clutch" I

We could add "Most Clutch" I like that idea!

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low risk for sure

"During the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit he used his strength and skill to score a record-setting 34 points"... breaking Nowitzki's record from 1998!

Enes has played almost 90 games for all categories of the Turkish national team produced impressive results in major competitions. He was also invited to the Turkish senior team for last summer's world championship where Turkey played the final against the USA - he did not participate as he had to focus on his education and sort out his trouble with the NCAA. Enes also has substantial professional experience - during the 2008-09 season Kanter was a substitute for Fenerbahce - the Turkish champions for 3 seasons running... He played in at least nine games with Fenerbahce – four in the Euroleague and five in the national league. He was offered a contract by Olimpiakos - european champions - but rejected for his nba dream...

Do you really think that's risky?????.....

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Jacob Pullen isn't a great

Jacob Pullen isn't a great prospect overall, but he's a top 5 competitior in this class. The guy consistently plays his best games in high-pressure situations and high-level competition. He's certainly more competitive than a guy who never won like Marshon Brooks.

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It's almost funny how much

It's almost funny how much this site hates Shumpert and despite previously posted articles, actually Underrate him as a player/prospect.

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5th best potential, Vesely ?


Not a great ball handler, not a great shooter, not a post up guy, hard time taking advantage of his great lenth against weaker athletes.

Ok he runs the floor, he's long and he's a white men who can definitly jump, but just like that at 21 you're a 6th pick...

He'll be nowhere near to the player AK47 formerly was.

An elite hustler and shot blocker in this league, with great all around game, in 10 years he won't be paid 17MD, because in 4 years he'll be playing for the barca at best...

Jump on it wizards, never too early to tank the season, barnes is waiting...

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Bertans would also be in this category; although I don't know in which position...

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Agree. I don't know much

Agree. I don't know much about him, but from what i've seen he's only an athletic forward. Really don't see why a GM should pick him on the first round (but someone probably will). There seem to be other europeans with more potential.

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Any "Best shooters" list that doesn't have Jon Diebler's name at the top..1. has no merit. 2. Is a farce. and 3. Shows that this particular writer knows ZERO about the game and brings the validity of all other lists he compiled into question.

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Wait, isn't No Money/Bloody

Wait, isn't No Money/Bloody crumpet Tyler Ingle?

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