Top 10 Shooting Guard Prospects
1. Ben McLemore - Rumors of McLemore's stand out athletic ability began to swirl as soon as Mac hit KU's campus and he showed flashes of brilliance during his single season of play. McLemore has a very intriguing combination of picture perfect shooting mechanics along with elite level athleticism. If things come together for McLemore, in a league with a dwindling number of All-Star level shooting guards, he could join that upper echelon. The concerns surrounding him are that he at times disappears, particularly in situations where one might expect a primary scorer to step up. He will need to get used to physical play, develop his ball skills and hopefully this will help unleash the killer in him at the end of games. McLemore has appeared a little overwhelmed by the draft process, with some unimpressive workouts leading up to the draft. He's a kid with a humble background and without much experience in the limelight may need a some time to acclimate to the NBA. With all of this being said, in a draft that has been described as lacking "star power", McLemore appears to have the highest ceiling of anyone at any position in this year's draft.
2. Victor Oladipo - Known for being an incredibly explosive athlete, Oladipo's all-around efficiency during his junior season at Indiana turned him into a top 10 lock for 2013. His intensity on defense, along with an incredible energy have made him a favorite of GM's and fans alike. His midrange shooting and overall offensive game improved by leaps and bounds from his previous season, which give a glimpse into the work ethic that helps gifted athletes become great players. Even so, Oladipo will need to improve his range and still has a long way to go as a creator off of the dribble. For the staggering percentage he shot from the field, he was not really Indiana's primary option and his lack of attempts show his struggles to create shots for himself. A fantastic slasher, with a definite nose for the ball, he is great at playing the passing lanes with potential to be a great player in transition. Still, it is difficult to see him being a reliable go to offensive weapon and it's unlikely this aspect of his game will catch-up to the tenacity he displays as a defender will be a question mark as to his development into becoming a top flight All-Around SG.
3. Kentavious Caldwell Pope - Given the assignment of carrying a struggling team on his back, Caldwell-Pope had a difficult time turning Georgia into a winning basketball school. What he did do was show flashes of scoring ability despite keying their defensive efforts around him. Also for his efforts, he was awarded SEC Player of the Year, as many a time his play could lead to upset possibilities. Never scoring less than double digit points is an accomplishment, especially as the player every team focused on. His field goal percentage does not look glamorous, however he had to shoot at a higher volume, while his rebounding numbers show an aggressiveness that teams love out of their guards. A solid but not elite level leaper, KCP still displays quickness and size that have teams in the mid to late lottery picturing him playing a role right away.
4. [Player: Tim Hardaway Jr.] - He may not have an incredibly similar game to his old man, but his pedigree has really stood out through his time at Michigan and in the Draft process. Hardaway Jr. just seems ready to be a pro and has an advanced understanding of what it takes to do so. His maturity, size and shooting ability have teams taking notice. A good if not spectacular athlete, he is a streaky shooter who can at times catch fire. Certainly was a major part of Michigan's turn around to contention and a leader on the team that went to the NCAA Championship game this past season. It is hard to see him being a top scoring option as he has had difficulty creating his own shot and their are also concerns about his ability to defend at the NBA level. What he does bring are intangibles and an offensive skill set that he appears likely to improve upon to at the very least be of value as a rotation player.
5. Allen Crabbe - The reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year capped off a strong career at Cal playing a big part in their tournament upset of UNLV. Playing a high number of minutes, Crabbe showed increased aggression near the basket to go along with the long range shooting ability that has been his calling card. With major length, along with some ability to put the ball on the floor, Crabbe brings versatility in the possibility of sliding over to the SF spot at times. Crabbe still has trouble absorbing contact at times and while his ball skills have improved, it is still very much an uncertainty as to how effective he will be at creating shots for himself at the pro level. He also lacks elite speed and it leads to big question marks defensively. He definitely seems to have talent as a scorer and he displays solid vision on the wing, just also is an uncertainty as to whether he has the tools to be someone a contending team would want starting at the 2 spot. Even so, if he is available in the 20's, he could turn into a nice value pick.
6. Sergey Karasev - At the age of a typical college sophomore, Karasev already has excelled at the pro level in Europe. A dead eye shooter, you really cannot leave him open from long range. He also needs very little room to get his shot off and can do so very quickly. Karasev brings more than just shooting to the table as he is a willing and creative passer, has some ability to dribble in space and displays a strong IQ of where to be on the court. While his size may have some even thinking he could play either three spot, his strength is still very much at the developmental stage. He can also be bothered by quickness and will have to make major adjustments defensively to stay in front of guards at the NBA level. His work at the Eurocup level and play during his week of the Hoop Summit have many believing he has a promise in the mid to late first round. He will take some time to translate to the NBA level, though his shooting and overall basketball acumen will give him a strong possibility at playing a role in the NBA.
7. Ricardo Ledo - One can only imagine what Ledo's draft position would be like if he had been eligible to play for Providence this season, however academic issues kept that from happening. His reputation as an offensive threat still remains and he is rumored to have shown this during college practices, at the NBA combine and during his workouts. Ledo has an excellent handle to go with solid vision and a high level skill set from the SG spot. The question marks are more based on his attitude and issues surrounding his affect on team chemistry that have been raised by past coaches. While his skills are in display, many other things are unknown and his lack of even a single season of college experience makes him a risky pick. It is also an unknown as to how he will defend fellow guards, his strength and level of conditioning as far as having an immediate impact. Despite all of these factors, the word seems to be that some team will feel the rewards outweigh the risk and he could jump some of the players listed above him to be chosen in round 1.
8. Glen Rice Jr - The son of former NBA All-Star Glen Rice took a different path to the NBA than most, spending two seasons at Georgia Tech, and then this past season in the NBA Developmental League. As it turns out, his time in the D-League may have done wonders for Rice Jr.'s draft stock, as he looks to be on the bubble for the first round and likely no lower than early second. He was a contributor during most of the season and became a starter for Rio Grande Valley, eventually becoming the MVP of the D-League finals. This strong play at a level most agree is at or above Div 1 NCAA has Rice firmly in the conversation amongst top wing options for this year's draft. He also showed solid athleticism at the draft combine along with displaying some of the shooting ability that made his father famous. Rice had off-the-court issues at Georgia Tech and his foot speed is not exceptional, which also have to be taken into account by evaluating front offices. Still an intriguing option who did well in his limited pro experience.
8. Reggie Bullock - Bullock is a solid spot-up shooter with great size for the wing and an ability to do quite a few things well, if not one thing exceptionally well. At UNC he was often given the toughest defensive assignment, though at the pro level he may not have the speed to do so. Bullock's assist to turnover ratio was incredibly high for a wing player, he really played within himself and knew his role. What limits Bullock is his lack of ability to take the ball inside, getting to the foul line was a major rarity. In a strong trend with SG's in this draft, he has some versatility to possibly play the 3 as well and he showed some game beyond purely scoring the ball. Bullock is solid if not spectacular and while his upside may be limited, he fits the description of a valuable rotation wing down the line. With the success that former Tar Heel Danny Green had in the NBA Finals and the subtle similarities between he and Bullock, it should only help his chances at the first round.
10. Archie Goodwin - Goodwin was a victim of high expectations for both he and fellow Kentucky freshmen, as the Wildcats took some lumps and showed inexperience on the heels of the 2012 Championship squad. Archie was put in a difficult situation, forced to play PG at times while also being asked to be the main scoring option, taking his lumps with both. His ability to put the ball on the floor and get in the paint was there, though his long range game and overall decision making left a lot to be desired. One of the younger players in this draft, he will not turn 19 until August, Goodwin has upside, athleticism and length that make him a potential starting SG in time. The question is as to how much time he will need and as to whether he will develop range as a shooter and improve his mental make-up. Maturity will be something teams are more than likely unsure about and Goodwin will have to be brought along slowly and does not seem ready to play major minutes right away. These factors appear likely to drop him out of the first round and while he could be a steal, their are certainly a number of variables and things he'll need to work on to make that the case.
Also Considered: Alex Abrines 6-6 190 SG Barcelona Regal 1993, Vander Blue 6-5 197 PG/SG Marquette Jr., Kenny Boynton 6-2 190 PG/SG Florida Sr., Tyler Brown 6-2 195 SG Illinois State Sr., Ian Clark 6-3 175 PG/SG Belmont Sr., Seth Curry 6-2 180 PG/SG Duke Sr., Elijah Johnson 6-2 195 PG/SG Kansas Sr., Rodney McGruder 6-4 205 SG Kansas State Sr., Brandon Paul 6-4 200 SG Illinois Sr., Steven Pledger 6-4 220 SG Oklahoma Sr., Durand Scott 6-5 203 SG Miami Sr., Michael Snaer 6-5 200 SG Florida St. Sr., Dexter Strickland 6-3 175 PG/SG North Carolina Sr., Brandon Triche 6-2 210 PG/SG Syracuse Sr., Khalif Wyatt 6-4 210 SG Temple Sr., BJ Young 6-3 179 SG Arkansas So.
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