As we all know, the months leading up to the NBA Draft can make for an overwhelming flurry of inside scoops, conspiracy theories and rumors from all around the internet; this year appears to be no different.
Fortunately, Hoops Addict has been keeping tabs on all the top college prospects and will be in attendance at NBA pre-draft workouts in Toronto and Washington in July to put it all in perspective. While there is a lot up in the air, this is our best attempt to get through all the speculation and give you some insight into who the top 30 prospects are.
Make sure you keep checking back for updated rankings over the next few months. Then, once the NBA Draft order is announced on May 18, we’ll start adapting these rankings to reflect specific team needs and what we’re hearing specific NBA teams will do.
1. John Wall: Everything that everyone’s saying is true. He’s the undisputed No. 1 pick regardless of who is picking here.
2. Evan Turner: Second best talent in this draft even with the back injury he sustained earlier this season.
3. Derrick Favors: Athlete with a body that will fill out. Skills aren’t there just yet. Hasn’t proven himself to be a top four pick, but that isn’t stopping everyone from projecting him to be there.
4. Wesley Johnson: When Hoops Addict first started scouting him we didn’t realize he was so old (22), which means that he most certainly will be coming out this year unless his projection tumbles. Athletic wing that will end up no worse than the 5-8 range.
5. DeMarcus Cousins: The scouting reports are true: one minute he’s a force the next minute a ghost. If I was a player personnel guy selecting in the lottery, I don’t know that I’d want to put my job on the line with him. Sure, some of his struggles earlier in the season were due to foul trouble, but as the season has progressed he hasn’t really been able to fix this issue (he picked up four or more fouls in 14 of his first 29 games). What will he do against quicker, stronger and smarter players in the NBA? I’m not sold even thought it appears most front office personnel are in love with his gaudy stats.
6. Al-Farouq Aminu: He would have helped his stock with a better showing in the NCAA Tournament. However, his raw athleticism has leaving many scouts and NBA front offices drooling. He still isn’t a great shooter, struggles as a ball handler and can look like a ‘tweener on both ends of the floor. To me he’s the prototypical guy that is blessed with a ton of talent but then makes GM’s look bad for selecting him in the first round. Buyer beware.
7. Cole Aldrich: Big, strong kid with slightly underrated athleticism. Instinctual defensive player whose post game needs work. This is a player that has the potential to sore up NBA teams draft boards after they have him in for pre-draft workouts.
8. Patrick Patterson: Undersized four with a developing mid-range jump shot, but at the end of the day, he wants to be a low post player, who just isn’t big enough to be one. Think David West, only an inch shorter.
9. Greg Monroe: As Aaron Torres told me: “To the Monroe supporters, the argument is clear: He’s an athletic big guy with great passing skills, that’s playing in an offense that doesn’t fairly display his abilities. Ok, I get it. But to us outsiders who watch him every game, he’s an innately skilled big man that chooses to hang out on the perimeter, too often makes not only the extra pass, but the unnecessary one, and doesn’t have a killer instinct on offense.” Does that sound like a guy you want on your team?
10. Ed Davis: A ton of raw potential but he’s yet to put it together and excel on the court. However, GM’s love potential and because of it he’ll be a lottery pick when he declares for the NBA Draft. He just “looks,” like he should be better than he actually is. If your team is drafting him expecting to be the go-to low post scorer, at any point in his career, I think they’ll be mistaken. The best kind of player he could play with in the NBA would be someone like Chris Bosh, Al Jefferson etc., that creates lots of points. Then Ed Davis can simply be there to grab tip-ins and putbacks.
11. Stanley Robinson: A better athlete than all but maybe half a dozen guys in the NBA right. As someone who watched he and Rudy Gay play, Sticks already has a one up on him. His 3-point shot is totally improved, as well as decision making. Will be a lottery pick, take it to the bank.
12. Hassan Whiteside: This is a guy who burst onto the scene and I have to admit I’m not sure what to make of him yet. He has a ton of potential but he hasn’t really awed me in the games I’ve watched him play in.
13. Ekpe Udoh: Normally transferring from Michigan to Baylor would destroy any college players chances of making the jump to the NBA. Udoh is poised to be the exception. He was a marginal prospect at Michigan but he’s remade himself into a shot-blocking machine with a decent offensive game. Some scouts are drawing comparisons to Andrei Kirilenko.
14. Donatas Motiejunas: I have to admit all I’ve seen of him is grainy YouTube clips. He’s someone who Hoops Addict will be scouting heavily when he works out in Toronto and Washington in June. Another case of buyer beware unless your NBA team has great European scouts.
15. Avery Bradley: He’s the closest thing to Monta Ellis I’ve seen in the college game, an unreal athlete, with a soft touch, incredible body control, long range jumper, basically he’s got it all. He’s going to be one of these guys that we hear NBA scouts go back and forth on non-stop before the draft. He’s not a true point guard, which means that I believe he’s going to be the guy more than anyone else, that needs to find a team that’s the right “fit,” for him. The absolute ideal circumstance would be Sacramento, where he won’t have to be a ball-handler and playmaker, go off of Tyreke Evans and guard true point guards.
16. Devin Ebanks: Impressive skills, but had a few off the court problems which might scare off some NBA teams.
17. Willie Warren: Stock slipping every time he walks out his apartment. Will not be drafted in the lottery, and quite frankly is going to end up being one of those kids who “Should,” come back for another year but won’t. Think Jrue Holiday.
18. Xavier Henry: Perfect NBA wing with good range and already developed NBA body. I’d actually move him up a little bit.
19. Eric Bledsoe: He had a fantastic freshman season but I can’t help but feel he would benefit from another year of college and playing for John Calipari. Hopefully he proves me wrong.
20. Quincy Pondexter: Remember last season how senior guard Darren Collison dropped in the draft because scouts could pick out all his warts after watching him play for four seasons? This year Pondexter is in a similar situation. Look for him to go late in the first round and for a team to get a huge steal.
21. Larry Sanders: It’s a shame that most people will dwell on his final conference game where he only scored six points against ODU. Before that he was tearing up the CAA Tournament until that game. He finished the season averaging 14.1 points and 9.1 rebounds and looks to be a legit bench player next season for an NBA team. I still feel he has the chance to grow into a special player.
22. Solomon Alabi: He’s a legit seven-footer who has a strong low post game. However, he’s kind of like Andrea Bargnani in that he doesn’t show a passion for crashing the glass. If you draft him you have to hope he buys into the need for post players to be strong rebounders or else he’ll have a hard time cracking your playing rotation.
23. Damion James: One of the few guys who actually came back to school to get better and followed up on it. A little bit of an undersized four, but a good athlete and has an improved jump shot. Still think he’s going to be an energy guy in the NBA, but a productive one for a long time.
24. Jerome Jordan: Know NBA scouts love him. Should be drafted in the teens based on that height, you don’t find many legit seven footers. But that age scares me.
25. Gordon Haywood: He had a heck of an NCAA Tournament but I’m still not sold on him. Sorry. To me he reminds me a lot of Ed O’Bannon who used a great run in the Tournament to raise his stock. After watching him this season he doesn’t appear to have the explosive game or athleticism needed to succeed at the NBA. He’s a poor man’s version of Adam Morrison.
26. Jordan Hamilton: If a scientist was creating the perfect NBA “3″ in a laboratory, Hamilton would be it. The skills aren’t there just yet, but the athleticism and size are. Someone will gamble on him in the first round if he goes.
27. Sherron Collins: This is another guy that really needed a strong showing in the NCAA Tournament to increase his draft stock. Hopefully he comes out with a ton of focus during pre-draft workouts because he could drop even lower than this come draft night which is shame because he’s a great kid and a heck of a talent.
28. Craig Brackins: Getting his stock tips from Willie Warren. I commend this guy for coming back if he didn’t think he was ready for the league, but that doesn’t mean it was the right decision.
29. Dexter Pittman: Has lost 100 lbs. since he got to Texas, so his game is still a work in progress. But he’s just way too big for someone not to gamble on him.
30. Jerome Dyson: Just a winner and a play maker, and a guy who you can bring off your bench confidentally for the next 5-7 years. Not saying that makes him a first rounder, but he is someone to keep an eye on.
[[Originally posted on Hoops Addict]]