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ESPN Insider Draft Blog

NorthernLights666
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ESPN Insider Draft Blog

For the last decade we've gone about building our Top 100 by surveying NBA scouts and executives on their take on the top prospects in the world.

Generally there is consensus among NBA folks. For example, this year scouts were unanimous in picking John Wall as the No. 1 prospect and players like Derrick Favors as a top-five pick.

However, there are always a handful of players that NBA sources vehemently disagree about. Some scouts have a player ranked in the lottery. Others have them as a late first-rounder. A few peg the same prospect as a second-round pick. Last year, no one stirred more disagreement than Brandon Jennings on our draft board. NBA executives and scouts were all over the place on him.

Who are the players with the most volatile draft stock this year? Here's a look at seven prospects who have draft stocks ranging from the lottery to the second round.

Devin Ebanks, F, West Virginia

Ebanks is a long, athletic forward who was wildly inconsistent his freshman year at West Virginia. Some nights he was a double-double machine and on other nights he barely showed up. Everyone loves his size and athleticism. His offensive skills have been the biggest question. He struggled to create offense for himself last season and was just 5-for-40 from 3-point range. A DNP in West Virginia's opener has also raised eyebrows. Coach Bob Huggins said Ebanks left the team for "personal" issues and refused to say when he'd be returning. If he returns quickly and plays to his potential, he'll be a top pick.

High Point: Top 10
Low Point: Late first round.

Iman Shumpert, PG, Georgia Tech

Shumpert had a solid freshman season, but was mostly playing under the radar on a pretty weak Georgia Tech team. He turned the ball over too much and struggled with his outside jumper, but a number of scouts walked away convinced he could be a star.

Over the summer that consensus began to grow as more NBA scouts started scrutinizing his game. The arrival of Derrick Favors now has teams flocking to Georgia Tech practices and games and the early returns have been very positive.

Shumpert has the size to play both backcourt positions, has a great body and can get to the rim. He needs to improve his shooting and his decision making, but a number of scouts told me that the more the tempo increases (something they tend to see more in the summer than in college) the more he shines.

Scouts varied widely on Shumpert's draft stock. A few had him as a lottery pick. Several others had him ranked somewhere between 17 and 25. And a handful had him in the second round. We've placed him in the middle of that feedback at No. 17 on our Big Board.

High Point: Lottery
Low Point: Second round

Wesley Johnson, G/F, Syracuse

Johnson got off to a terrific start at Iowa State three years ago and scouts were buzzing about his draft potential. But a disastrous sophomore season combined with a transfer to Syracuse has put everything on hold.

Johnson is a terrific talent. He's long, athletic and super smooth, which reminds scouts a little of Joe Johnson. However, unlike Joe Johnson, he's not a dead-eye shooter from distance and he's still working on his ballhandling skills. His game was more reminiscent of Shawn Marion's than Joe Johnson's as a freshman, as he was often asked to play the 4 and proved to be a terrific rebounder. This season he's trying to make the transition to the wing. The early reviews from scouts who have been hanging out at Syracuse's practices have been overwhelmingly positive.

A few scouts claim he'll be a top-10 pick by the end of the year. Others are much more skeptical until they see him consistently excel on the wing. We currently have Johnson ranked as the 18th prospect in the draft.

High Point: Top 10
Low Point: Late first round

Durrell Summers, G, Michigan State

Summers has always been a favorite of scouts despite middling production in his first two years for the Spartans. Last year several scouts insisted that had he declared he would've been picked somewhere in the mid-to-late first round, based solely on athleticism and potential.

Lately Summers has been picking up more steam. Several strong performances in the NCAA tournament last year combined with some great early returns in practice and in the first few games for Michigan State have scouts buzzing again. Few players have his combination of explosive athleticism, emerging shooting prowess and his ability to be a lockdown defender at both backcourt positions.

After two years of waiting on potential, Summers will have to deliver this season. If he keeps doing what he's doing now (he's averaging 19 ppg and shooting 40 percent from downtown) he has the potential to crack the lottery.

High Point: Lottery
Low Point: Second round

Stanley Robinson, F, Connecticut

Robinson is one of those lanky, freaky-athletic forwards that NBA GMs love. He's an explosive leaper, can play both the 3 and the 4, rebound, block shots, defend and even shoot the occasional 3-pointer. One scout told me he's the closest thing he's seen to Shawn Marion.

However, Robinson has a long history of underachieving on and off the court. Several breakout games in the Big East and NCAA tournaments turned the heads of a lot of GMs, but there are also plenty of scouts who wonder if Robinson can sustain a high level of play for an entire season. If he can't, he may fall all the way out of the draft.

High Point: Lottery
Low Point: Undrafted

Trevor Booker, PF, Clemson

Booker is, in a word, a beast. He's a physical wrecking ball who has elite strength and athleticism. He is a terrific rebounder and shot blocker and has been an emerging force on the offensive end as well.

The problem is that Booker suffers from the same syndrome that DeJuan Blair, Paul Millsap and Carl Landry did -- he's short. While he's listed at 6-foot-7, a lot of scouts feel he'll come in closer to 6-6 and maybe even shorter. He makes up for some of his weaknesses with a long wingspan and explosive leaping ability, but it's a concern for some.

The range on Booker was also wide. Some teams have him as a potential late lottery pick, citing the success of players like Millsap and Landry. Others remain skeptical that players his size can be anything more than role players off the bench. A huge year at Clemson could change some minds and move him more solidly into the first round. If he doesn't progress, he could be a second-round pick.

High Point: First round
Low Point: Second round

Malcolm Lee, G, UCLA

Lee may be the most enigmatic case of all. There are a couple of lower-level scouts who have followed him since his high school and AAU days who love him. However, there are a number of more senior scouts or executives who aren't ready to get on the bandwagon just yet.

We should find out who's right sooner rather than later. Lee didn't play much as a freshman, but given the dearth of talent at UCLA this year, he's going to have to carry the load for the Bruins. On the plus side, teams like his size, speed and defensive prowess. The guys who love him want to compare him to Russell Westbrook. On the down side, it's unclear whether he's really a point guard and shot selection is a major concern. This group says Jamal Crawford might be a better comparison.

Lee's team was handed a humiliating defeat in their first game versus Cal State Fullerton. While he scored 17 points and had 7 rebounds, he also shot just 30 percent from the field. Give it another month and we should have a better feel for him. Currently, we have him penciled in at No. 35 on our draft board.

High Point: Lottery
Low Point: Early second round

The Mid-Range Game

•Duke's Kyle Singler is off to a hot start this year and is starting to finally get some love from scouts. Singler has been basically the same player for the past two years. He has a high basketball IQ, can shoot it from deep, and can play two frontcourt positions. However, teams have been concerned about his lack of elite athleticism and his defensive shortcomings.

What has changed for Singler is a current trend in the NBA that is starting to favor bigs who can stretch the defense. A number of scouts pointed to players like Ryan Anderson of the Magic and felt Singler could be that type of player in the pros. We currently have Singler ranked at No. 21 on our Big Board. A big year could help him creep up, though his physical weaknesses probably will keep him out of the lottery.

•Three straight 20-point performances for Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu are generating significant buzz. Scouts were deeply concerned about his jumper going into the season, but in his first three games for Wake, Aminu is shooting 69 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3. He's moved up three spots on our latest Big Board to No. 5.


JNixon
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I have never been a big

I have never been a big Stanley Robinson guy, but he does have the ability to be a shutdown defender and get alot of nice dunks even though he's not a good offensive player.

Lemons4Life
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whatever

ESPN=Fail

Slim
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ESPN=Fail

Iman Shumpert
Malcolm Lee

I am not jealous of these guys but I think they r all just clones of each other, 6'5, bad decision making, overreliance on jump shot

Durrell Summers finally getting some appreciation. but why? bcuz of that dunk on Stanley Robertson? what kind of scouting is this? his explosiveness sets him apart

ESPN=Hype Machine

I would like to see Trevor Booker eventually defending multiple positions, his athleticism should merit that

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