Tag:NBA draft
Posted on: April 1, 2011 9:33 am
 

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

Kyrie Irving is reportedly leaning towards entering his name in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Posted by Matt Moore

Kyrie Irving had a great season for Duke. That you can say that considering he missed almost the entirety of the season with a foot injury shows you just how good he was. When Irving returned for the NCAA tournament, there was concerned he would be rusty. Instead, he was his usual brilliant self. Duke's early exit from the tournament thanks to Derrick Williams and company for Arizona was the only thing stopping a fairytale story. But having missed so much of the season, would Irving want to wait to assure himself the top pick? Would the likely lockout prevent him from making the jump to the pros this soon?

Apparently not. 

ESPN reports that Irving is "leaning strongly toward declaring for the NBA Draft."  With Jared Sullinger stating publicly and emphatically that he's returning to Ohio State, it would pretty much be down to a two-man race for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. From there it would really just end up as a question of need for the team in the top spot. 

The lockout complicates matters here. If Irving does declare, he'll be drafted before the current CBA expires, but will not have his contract negotiated until after the lockout. So the question of whether he'll be under current or new salary structures for rookies is unclear. An interesting note, however. NBA players are paid on various calendars, but in most cases, rookies don't receive their first check until November. So should a lockout extend for six months, say until the beginning of 2012, Irving would only really lose two paychecks in that scenario, as opposed to six. 

Irving has the complete package. Prior to the summer of 2010, Brandon Knight was considered the top freshman point guard and expected top overall pick. But Irving absolutely exploded in summer play, and then showed even more on the national stage at Duke. He's at an elite level in terms of touch, speed, agility, handle, and play-making ability. He doesn't have John Wall's vision, but he has a better jump shot to start. He's a total package, provided that his foot checks out after a physical. 

Should the Cavaliers land the top spot based off what will be the worst record in the league, it's easy to see them passing on Irving. Not only do they have salary tied into Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions, but going for a big is the more traditional route. The Kings, however, would likely love to find Irving available. That scenario could lead to Tyreke Evans moving to small forward, creating a devastating lineup of Irving, Marcus Thornton, and Evans, with DeMarcus Cousins down low. That's Thunder 2008 stuff. 

Irving could still decide to return next season, should his foot have issues, draft evaluations come back lower than expected, or Coach K pulls some Magic, again.  But with Austin Rivers as widely acclaimed entering the season, the logical choice is to make the jump, take the money now, and ensure a high pick. Irving looks every bit the next NBA star. 
Posted on: March 29, 2011 12:14 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 12:20 pm
 

Early entrant draft buzz: Tristan Thompson in?

Posted by Royce Young



Jared Sullinger might be coming back, but a lot of other college players aren't. And Sullinger's return could be setting off a domino effect among other college big men now curious about testing where they could land.

 The names are already popping up in piles of who are declaring themselves eligible for the NBA draft (the deadline is April 24). Here are some of the recent ones:

Tristan Thompson, F, Texas: According to NBADraft.net, Thompson has already signed with an agent. There is a little conflict here as Thompson told reporters that he would return to school. So we'll see. Thompson is a 6-9 power forward with a raw offensive skill set, but a terrific motor and great instincts. His best quality is on the defensive end where he's a good shotblocker but better one-on-one defender. Just look at how he handled Derrick Williams in the round of 32. He's projected to go in the 10-20 pick range.

Ashton Gibbs, G, Pitt:
Via our own Gary Parrish, the Pitt sharpshooter has declared but will not sign an agent. As Parrish importantly notes, a lot of these "declarations" don't mean anything. Unless the player signs an agent, his amateur status is still intact and he can return to school. And Parrish says that's likely the case with Gibbs. "I think he just wants to get some workouts in with NBA teams," a source told him.

Thomas Robinson, F, Kansas: According to NBADraft.net, the 6-8 Jayhawk power forward/swingman will make himself eligible for the draft. If you recall, Robinson tragically lost his mother during the season and has younger siblings. Right now, projections have him going in the late first round.

Jordan Honeycutt, F, UCLA: Via ESPN LA, Honeycutt will enter the draft saying, "I think it's in my best interest to enter the draft." Honeycutt is a sophomore and isn't a guaranteed first rounder with most projections having him landing in the late first or early second round. He's exactly the type of player that likely would be served much better by coming back for another year (think Daniel Orton). Honeycutt is a 6-8 sophomore and averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds for the Bruins last season

Jordan Williams, C, Maryland:
According to NBADraft.net, Williams will "test the waters" and hasn't signed with an agent. Williams is a bubble first rounder, but at 6-10, he could make for a good project. More than likely though, he'll return to school for another season. But what I think you're seeing with some of these big men is again, the effect of Sullinger returning. Because a top three big man isn't entering, it makes others think their value has increased.

Iman Shumpert, G, Georgia Tech: Shumpert announced his intention to test the draft waters on Twitter. He's an older player as a junior and not someone that's necessarily intrigued scouts the past few years. He's a stellar defensive guard, but lacks the offensive game to really make an impression at this point. Right now, projections have him solidly in the second round.

Malcolm Lee, G, UCLA: The junior guard raised his profile a bit in the NCAA tournament, playing very well against Michigan State. And according to NBADraft.net, Lee's father said he's in this year's draft. Lee had minor knee surgery recently but that shouldn't affect anything. He's a solid slasher and scorer that's projected to be a late first round guy.

Nikola Vucevic, F, USC: Vucevic is officially in as he's hired an agent. He's a probably late first round to early second round guy. He's a good sized forward at 6-9 that can play on the perimeter. He's also pretty strong though. He's still a little raw offensively otherwise he'd be a first round lock.
Category: NBA
Tags: NBA Draft
 
Posted on: March 28, 2011 8:51 am
Edited on: March 28, 2011 8:51 am
 

Harrison Barnes: 'I'm not thinking about the NBA'

University of North Carolina freshman Harrison Barnes is noncommittal in discussing whether he'll enter the NBA Draft. Posted by Ben Golliver. harrison-barnes

An up and down year for University of North Carolina freshman Harrison Barnes ended in the Elite Eight on Sunday, when the University of Kentucky Wildcats sent the Tar Heels packing. 

Barnes, currently ranked as the No. 4 prospect should he enter the 2011 NBA Draft, was asked by the Des Moines Register whether or not he had considered leaving school to pursue his professional career.
“I’m not thinking about the NBA,” he said, quietly.
Do you know what you’re doing next year?
“You know, that’s not really something that I’m thinking about. I had the last two seasons end on championships (at Ames). The last time I felt like this was my sophomore year (of high school). That’s the only thing that’s on my mind right now.”
Do you know when you’ll make your decision?
“All I can say is — it won’t be today.”
Barnes was regarded as the most pro-ready prospect coming out of high school last season, a polished scorer with a maturity greater than his age and a shooting stroke that looks like it's taken decades to perfect. It's difficult to envision Barnes, who averaged 15.7 points and 5.8 rebounds, slipping out of the top five of this year's draft. However, any player at a stable, top-flight program like Carolina is going to be tempted to enjoy college for a year while the NBA sorts out its lockout drama. 

The deadline for NCAA underclassmen to enter the NBA Draft is April 24, so Barnes has almost a month to make up his mind. He's smart to take his time to make the decision as the emotions that go with a season-ending loss should not influence a player's decision regarding his future in basketball.

Remember: Barnes got off to a relatively slow start last fall and is still regarded as a top five draft prospect. His ceiling if he decides to return and things go more smoothly the second time through is limitless. He would most likely be the odds-on favorite to be the top overall pick in 2012, although his competition could include Ohio State freshman big man Jared Sullinger, who said he was staying for another year over the weekend.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 26, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Bummer for GMs: Sullinger says he's coming back

Posted by Royce Young

A lot of players have said they're coming back to school following a tough loss in the NCAA tournament. Kevin Durant. Greg Oden. Jonny Flynn. It happens. But Jared Sullinger's declaration last night after Ohio State's tough loss is a bit different.

"I'm gonna be here, gonna be at Ohio State next year," Sullinger told Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com. "I made this decision today, and I'm a man of my word. I don't go against my word. If I tell somebody I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it."

Well then. If we're to take Sullinger at his word, that means a certain top five pick has just been taken off the board. Why would Sullinger come back? Because as he says, he doesn't want to go out on a loss. Of course some are wondering if the uncertainty of the next NBA season has anything to do with it, but that wasn't part of the questioning last night.

What this means is that Derrick Williams is certainly a bit more pumped. Like I said, Sullinger was a top five pick and likely the first big man coming off the board. Now that honor goes to Williams. Lucky for him. Then again, he may be earning it regardless with his stellar play in the NCAA tournament.

Most projections have Sullinger somewhere between two and four right now. For teams that were definitely eying him like Cleveland, Toronto and New Jersey, this is quite the bummer. This draft just got a lot thinner at the top without Sullinger in it.

That is of course, if he sticks to his guns. Once the emotion of the loss finally settles and he gets a whiff of what his future could be, he might change his mind. But maybe not. Some guys just like college. The NBA can always wait another year. Remember, Blake Griffin played two seasons at OU and he was all the better for it. He was much more prepared to make an immediate impact in the NBA.

The freshman averaged 17.1 points and 10 rebounds per game this season for the Buckeyes, who spent the majority of the season ranked No. 1 in the polls and were the No. 1 overall seed in this year's NCAA tournament. He's a bit undersized at 6-8, but he's a wide body with great touch around the basket. Plus he clearly works hard on and off the court and by all appearances, is a great kid. He would've made some general manager very happy. Too bad though.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 24, 2011 7:39 pm
 

Sweet 16 NBA Prospect Review: Thursday

The top prospects in Thursday's Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament action.
Posted by Matt Moore

By the end of the weekend, there will be four NCAA tournament teams left. For whatever reason, four teams remaining is a big deal in college basketball, and not in the NBA (how many Western Conference Finalists get remembered by the average NBA fan after four or five years?). And at the end of this weekend, some young men will have some interesting decisions to make regarding their futures with their tournament and possibly college careers over. 

With that, here's a look at the players to watch in Thursday night's Sweet 16 action. 

Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU: We've talked about Fredette at length, you should know the book on him by now. He's small. He's unathletic. He's not good defensively. But he's a scorer, and a brilliant one at that. Thursday night is a good opportunity to see how Fredette does against a defense that will gear specifically to stop him. The person across the floor from him will be Kenny Boynton, who's similarly sized. Florida coach Billy Donovan says that the Gators aren't just gameplanning for Fredette, but he has to be considering sending help at the superstar. If so, this gives us a good idea of how Fredette will handle more aggressive schemes from better defenses, which gets closer to what he'll see in the NBA.

Derrick Williams, F, Arizona: You no doubt have the book on the other gents on this list. But Derrick Williams is the guy who made the biggest impact the first weekend of the tournament. Those two huge blocks he made are the kind of defensive plays that get coaches, scouts, and GM's excited, far more than dropping 30-plus through 35-foot threes. Williams also has the ability to work in the post and his touch around the basket also wowed evaluators. Against Duke, Williams will be working against a formidable frontline of the Plumlees, and should he put up a similar performance on both sides of the ball, he could move from top-five to the top overall pick if things go right. But against Duke, that's a pretty tall order. 

Kemba Walker, G, UConn: Walker keeps putting up huge performances, and the questions remain about his ability to do so against NBA competition. Walker could go a long way to improving his stock by being more of a playmaker and less of a pure scorer against San Diego State. 

Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke: Irving looked like the same player who's topped draft lists for months before his injury.  He distributed well, saw the floor, hit from the perimeter, nailed the runner, the works. But against Arizona, he'll face a much stiffer test, and his conditioning will likely play a bigger impact in his third and fourth games back. If he continues to dazzle, his return to Duke will become less and less sure, despite comments this week that he intends to return next season.  
Posted on: March 23, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Bobcats very interested in Kemba Walker?

Posted by Royce Young

Kemba Walker's junior season has been of the breakout variety. He's been outstanding all season, but his performance in the Big East tournament and efforts in the Huskies opening two games of the NCAA tournament have him twinkling the eyes of NBA general managers.

And one team reportedly very intrigued by Walker is the Charlotte Bobcats. According to ESPN.com, Bobcat owner Michael Jordan is a "big fan" of Walker's. Hard not to be. I mean, did you see this crossover-stepback jumper in the Big East tourney?

Right now, Walker is projected to go seventh by Draft Express and it's pretty much a lock that he'll go in the top 15 picks. So a lot depends on where the Bobcats fall. They're still pushing for the playoffs as of now, so if Jordan really is that big of a fan, maybe the Bobcats will bust out the T-word.

They kind of tried to start the tanking by trading Gerald Wallace but not even they could anticipate the suckitude of the bottom of the East. Despite losing, the Bobcats are still right in the race, only two games back of the Pacers.

Walker's NBA prospects appear to be very good, though there is some debate about where he would play. He's not officially a point guard, but he's probably too small to play shooting guard. He seems to fit right in the middle of that, but that whole "true point guard" thing is so overrated. I mean, by traditional standards Russell Westbrook isn't a point guard. Neither is Derrick Rose. Or Deron Williams. All that matters is if you're good and Walker is certainly that.

The Bobcats have deeply missed Raymond Felton who they let walk in free agency, handing the reins to D.J. Augustin who has been decent, but not consistently effective. Walker would seem to be a great fit because of his ability to score one-on-one (something Charlotte really needs), create (something Charlotte really needs) and shoot (something Charlotte really needs). He'd likely fit right in as the team's starter from day one.

There's good reason for Jordan to be a fan of Walker. He fits well and is definitely something the Bobcats need. It all depends on where they fall though. If UCONN continues a push through the tournament and his stock rises, maybe Charlotte mysteriously loses its next 10 of 11. Funny how things work like that.
Posted on: March 23, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: March 23, 2011 2:37 pm
 

Jimmer Fredette is risky business for the draft

Jimmer Fredette has lit up the college basketball world all the way to the Sweet 16. But what do his pro prospects look like?
Posted by Matt Moore

Jimmer Fredette was easily the most recognizable player coming into the NCAA Tournament this year, and remains the most prolific player in the Sweet 16. He's the type of player who brings people's imaginations out to play. They're captivated by what he does. And what he does is score. As long as you have an incredible scoring ability at the college level, people will proclaim your greatness and defend you from the scrutiny of draft evaluations. Take for example, some of the comments from Ken Berger's latest discussion with NBA personnel on the BYU senior:
"The old saying is that hopefully you can teach people to defend at least to a certain point," one Eastern Conference GM said. "But you can't teach the offensive skill set that he has."


Or, as another GM put it:
"You start talking about elite shooters, which he's proven himself to be, how many of those guys have come into this league as elite shooters and failed? Not many."



It's really great to see NBA executives willing to take a chance on a player based on the results he's shown in college, not based on upside or potential or athleticism or defense or explosiveness or ability to guard any competent NBA player for a single possession. 
You see where I'm going with this, right?
Have the GM's learned nothing from Adam Morrison? Has the long and prolific history of draft busts who were awesome at shooting in college but had questionable athleticism, size, and defensive prowess completely whipped past their heads on the way to Jersey Sale Island? Fredette, as Berger repeatedly mentions, is terrific at creating off-balance shots from either foot. Which will be really helpful when he's getting swallowed alive by guards with more wingspan than three Jimmers put together with an Ammo. He really is a brilliant college scorer. But that's just it. The NBA isn't college. The game's rules and objectives may be the same, but how they operate is completely different. 

For starters, offensively, Jimmer's basically looking at a Kyle Korver type role. A spot-up shooter only, since his speed, leaping ability, and size will ensure that any mid-range floaters, leaners, or runners will wind up getting eclipsed by the long arms he'll find at the pro-level. Korver can't defend either, after all, and he really just needs to stick to the perimeter. But Korver's 6-7. He's got five inches and a bulkier frame on Fredette, which limits teams' ability to drive him into the post and abuse him. Fredette would have to play point guard due to his height, and from there, he's looking at guarding either the fastest players in the league at a time when the ability at that position is at an all-time high, or getting put into the post against players like Deron Williams who will bruise him into a pulp. 

The other obvious comparison for Fredette is J.J. Redick, as we mentioned. Redick was a pure shooter coming out of Duke and many questioned his ability to play in the NBA. But Redick spent two years bulking up on muscle and focusing on defense. Now he's one of the better defenders on the perimeter Orlando has and arguably the best defender of Ray Allen in the league, thanks to a near-pathological drive to bust through repeated screens by the Celtics.  Can Fredette copy that model? Tom Ziller of SBNation.com pointed out in January that Redick is stronger and bigger than Jimmer. In short: whatever limitations can be mitigated in regards to Jimmer's size are emboldened by his physical abilities and whatever shortfalls can be mitigated in regards to his abilities eventually overwhelm his stock due to his lack of size. 

But hey, lots of players can't play defense in this league. Many of them will be teammates for Fredette when he lands on a lottery squad. So what's the big deal on that front? The issue is that you have to find an offensive repertoire you can rely on to create open looks. Fredette's best option when faced with a capable defense at BYU is to simply step back and shoot from longer range. The first time Fredette launches a 40-foot J in the NBA will be the last time a teammate passes to him. Maybe he can adopt the leaning shots that Manu Ginobili routinely drains over more athletic opponents. Except Ginobili is four inches taller than Fredette and his speed is good enough to create havoc against a defense, even if he's not explosive like C-4. 

In reality, there's no real comparison to Fredette in the NBA, and that's a bad thing. It's one thing to have no comparable set of athletic talent because you're so superior in that regard. After all, there was no one to compare LeBron James to when he entered the league at 18, either. But with Fredette, it's difficult to find a comparison because most players of that mold have not lasted long enough to succeed. 

This isn't to say Fredette has no shot. There are always exceptions, and those are often times some of the greatest players. (One colleague suggested Larry Bird to me this week. After I was through cackling my way into choking on a sandwich, I pointed out that Bird was about as brutally big and tough as a forward comes and that Bird was 6-9, for crying out loud.) And as Berger notes, he could be a fine bench option. But who uses their first-round draft pick north of the 20th overall to draft a 15-minutes-per-game pure shooter who you can't leave in if you need stops?  No one drafts for reasonable value in the NBA, everyone tries to get that special player that's fallen to your spot. Ironically, it's that same idea that will draw GMs to draft Fredette, thinking he has something special to offer, based off how special he's been in college (and he is a wonder at that level). 

But before they do, they should check and see the measurements Fredette provides in his pre-draft workouts. Check his vertical leap, his shuttle time, his 40-time, his standing reach. See how they measure up not only against the more athletic members of his class, but against the players who have tried, and failed, before him to bring the pure skill game of college to the sharp and brutal athletic gauntlet of the NBA. Someone will be brave enough to take Jimmer high in the first round. In this instance however, fortune may not favor the bold
Posted on: March 17, 2011 12:10 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Thursday's NCAA Tournament top draft prospects

A look at the NBA draft prospects playing Thursday in the NCAA tournament. 
Posted by Matt Moore




March Madness. One of the greatest sporting events of the year, where emotions run high and so do the office pools. But the tournament also serves as a reminder to us pro-ball types that the draft isn't that far away, and gives us the best opportunity to see the prospects in a high-profile scenario, under the brightest lights. It's also the first time a lot of NBA fans will pay attention to these players, period. So with that, here's a guide to the players to watch out for in Thursday's first-round games.*

*Sorry, not going to treat the play-ins like a round. They're their own thing, like Neopolitan ice cream.

The "Big name on the marquee" Guy: Kemba Walker, G, UConn
Walker is that guy who all your friends will ask you about in terms of the NBA. "That guy can just play" will be a common phrase. What they really mean is "That guy can really score in college," which is not the same thing at all. This isn't to say that Walker hasn't been phenomenal dropping huge scoring numbers all season and especially in the Big 10 tournament. The questions will be about Walker's ability to translate into an NBA guard at his size. Walker's 6-1 officially (beware the "official" numbers), and that kind of size causes problems for 2-guards (ask O.J. Mayo). Walker's most readily compared to Rondey Stuckey and Jonny Flynn, but defensively, O.J. Mayo may be comparable. Mayo's a shooting gaurd who gets overwhelmed by the size of NBA 2s. Offensively, though, the Flynn-Stuckey comparisons are sound, but have their issues as well. From SBNation's Mike Prada: 
The issue with Walker, though, is something that we've touched on before on this site. Walker, at this point, is essentially a six-foot shooting guard. The comparisons to former Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn, who rode a similar surge in the Big East Tournament two years ago into an ill-fated high lottery selection, are obvious. They are different players, but those differences don't exactly clear up the Kemba puzzle. Walker carries a much more significant load for his team than Flynn does, but he also scored less efficiently and dished out far fewer assists, as we noted. Walker all commits far fewer turnovers, which is a feather in his cap, but also a byproduct, in a way, of his increased usage i.e. he'll occasionally shoot a bad shot instead of committing a turnover, which is better, but not by much.
via Kemba Walker Is A Household Name Before 2011 NCAA Tournament, But Is He An NBA Player? - SBNation.com.

Interestingly, on offense, Walker has the great numbers you'd expect, but Synergy Sports reveals a few interesting facets. For starters, UConn runs a lot of pick and roll with Walker, his second highest play count. He's great at drawing fouls in that set, but that can partially be attributed to the kind of pick and roll defense in college. He shoots just 36% in that set, which is pretty good, but not nearly the 42% he runs off-screen or the 52% off the cut. In short, Walker's a better shooter in catch-and-shoot situations than he is with the ball in his hands (39%). (All numbers courtesty of Synergy Sports.)  
All this won't keep Walker from going top-10, however, since as your friend says, "Man, that guy can (score)." 

Expected Selection: DX: 8 NBADraft.net: 22

Plays: vs. Bucknell, 7:20 p.m. (TNT)

The "Did that guy break the rim? Because I think that guy broke the rim" Guy: Terrence Jones, PF, Kentucky

Jones is your prototypical hyper-athletic big who throws down the occasional dunk to make you fear him the way primitive homo sapiens feared lightning. He's also your prototypical tweener who thinks he has a better mid-range than he does. As Tom Ziller at SBNation notes: 
He creates his own shot well; according to Kenpom.com, Jones takes 28 percent of Kentucky's shots when on the court, more than even trigger-happy guard Brandon Knight. Jones is OK at getting to the line -- he won't be a Carmelo Anthony/LeBron Jamesstyle foul-drawer, certainly, but he'll get to the stripe -- and a rather inefficient scorer in total. It's hard to see how Jones could ever become a really efficient scorer at the NBA level -- you can see it in Barnes and Williams, but not Jones. His three-point shot is suspect (though he started the year very well) and despite being Kentucky's best paint option, he relies on his mid-range jumper quite a bit. If that continues, it'll depress his field goal percentage and free throw rate, hurting his value.
via Terrence Jones Looks To Squelch Concerns In 2011 NCAA Tournament - SBNation.com.

Jones has a .64 points per possession mark in the post, and shoots 33% there. That's really, really bad, even among college players who lack footwork, coordination, touch, and a basic understanding of the properties of space.  Jones could really use a better distributing point guard to create opportunities for him, but that's not really Brandon Knight's bag. Jones' defense could be what really helps his stock in the tournament, though. Jones is an elite defender in the post this year, allowing just 32% shooting and fouling just 11% of the time. That's big time stuff. 

In the pros, however, he may be undersized, which means those shooting numbers have to go up, and his ability to defend ISO has to improve. Jones is in the exciting but dangerous area, where if things go right he's a big that can do multiple things, and if they go wrong, he's a wing who can't play in space. 

Expected Selection: DX: 9 NBADraft.net: 11

Plays: vs. Princeton 2:45 p.m. EST (CBS)

The "Gosh, the other Calipari guards were so good" Guy. Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky

Here's the deal with Knight. Your standard point guards that come out of the Calipari's system are athletic wonders who have tremendous speed and vision but can't shoot worth a lick. Brandon Knight is an athletic talent with underwhelming vision who's shooting 44% from the field and 39% from 3-point range this season. That ain't bad. According to Synergy Sports, Knight shot 49% in ISO, 40% in spot-up, and drew shooting fouls 12% of the time in transition. 

So for teams looking at him, if they want someone with upside, Knight may not be the guy. Averaging 4 assists per game, he's more of a scoring point guard. But for teams that want someone who can come in and produce points immediately, he's a good fit. In a system where the point guard isn't the primary playmaker, Knight could be a great fit. And his athleticism is such to see some considerable upside in terms of attack. It's the assist-turnover ratio you have to worry about. If Knight isn't drafted into the right situation, he could struggle. 

Expected Selection: DX: 16 NBADraft.net: 13

The "Jimmer" Guy: Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU

22-years old. Beware the 22-year-old senior. Guys with limited improvement potential are scary for first-round picks. But, I mean, it's Jimmer. I don't have to explain to you who Jimmer is. But I'll throw some numbers out for you. If you throw the ball to Jimmer spot-up? He hits it more than he misses. No matter where. He shoots 55% in spot-up situations. Creating a shot off the dribble, he shoots 39% in ISO situations, despite having to do so 27% of the time he's on the floor and being the primary offensive weapon for BYU with no one close as a second option in terms of effectiveness. He's a monster shooter, there's no other way to put it. 

Defensively, that's the rub. Fredette's limited in size, athleticism, speed, savvy, and ability. There's little options for his improvement, and if he can't, he's looking at being too much of a liability at the NBA level to justify keeping him on the floor as a shooter. From DX's profile: 
The biggest concern about Fredette's transition to the NBA clearly lies on the defensive end. He is a poor defender, even at the college level, showing average length, heavy feet and unimpressive lateral quickness. He rarely gets into an actual defensive stance, fails to get a hand up on shooters and shows little interest in trying to fight through screens. The same laid-back approach that makes him so difficult to get off-kilter offensively is a serious detriment to his work on the other end, potentially making him a liability in the NBA. With all this in mind, one of the biggest factors in determining the type of success Fredette will have in the NBA is the team he ends up on. In a fast-paced offense predicated on getting shots early in the shot-clock and a coach willing to live with defensive lapses, Fredette will be an incredible weapon. Put him in the wrong system, though, with a team that likes to grind it out and a coach who demands perfection on every defensive possession and we could be looking at a disaster.
via DraftExpress NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Jimmer Fredette, Stats, Comparisons, and Outlook.

The best option for him? Model himself after Duke legend J.J. Redick. Redick suffered for two years trying to get any level of appreciation from Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy told him to improve on defense, so Redick committed himself 100% while retaining his natural shooting ability and adding muscle. As a result, Redick is a terrific perimeter defender, the best defender of Ray Allen I've seen in the league. He works constantly, and without complaint, and can also Heat up from the perimeter. Fredette can gain a lot by looking to Redick as a model, even if he's not as athletically gifted as Redick. 
Expected Selection: DX: 17 NBADraft.net: 10
Plays: vs. Wofford, 7 p.m. EST (CBS)
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com