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The 25 Highest-Grossing Films of 2012

Fast 5: Tracking This Year’s NBA Draft Class, Vol. 5

By 01.02.13

Cody Zeller

FOUR: Stock Falling
Stock can fall for a variety of reasons and in the case of Arkansas point guard B.J. Young, it is not really due to on-court productivity, even if that is a factor. In two of his three biggest scoring outbursts this season, his team has lost. The team is also 1-3 in games against quality opponents. Both of those are intangibles that point guards need to have to be elite and right now Young is struggling to have his production lead to wins.

FIVE: Quick Hitter
Style, execution, intangibles, and other elements of a prospect are very important. Another one is character. Without character, a team is not going to invest millions of dollars and years of development on a prospect.

There are always stories that float around about prospects and their use of drugs, alcohol, not taking academics seriously, crime, and they are all sad tales that lead to talent wasted.

This season is no different as these prospects go under a microscope, and intangibles are either revealed or proven to not be there. Over the course of the season, players are going to slide in mock drafts and on big boards because of that. Just because a prospect has great size, athleticism, and scores 20 points a game does not mean they are mentally ready for the rigors of the NBA and professional basketball. Unfortunately, there are going to be some victims of these circumstances. The ones that make it are the kids that avoid theses things, focus on their craft, and prove to have rare character.


Top 5 Cs Right Now

1. Cody Zeller: 6-11, 220 pounds – Soph., Indiana
Stats: 16.6 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 62.2 percent FG, 72.5 percent FT
Zeller entered the year as the top overall prospect, a spot nobody seems to want as the season has progressed. But he is easily the most polished and safe prospect in the class.

2. Nerlens Noel: 6-11, 216 pounds – Fresh, Kentucky
Stats: 10.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 3.6 BPG, 54.8 percent FG, 52.2 percent FT
He is not Anthony Davis, but as a defender, believe it or not, Noel is a better player. There are a lot of holes on offense that he has to grow into, but he has the range, quickness and motion to cover a lot of ground around the rim.

3. Alex Len: 7-1, 225 pounds – Soph., Maryland
Stats: 13.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 58.1 percent FG, 66.1 percent FT
No one has raised their stock from the summer to today quite like Len has this season. He is the prototypical center with the skill-set down low to make a major impact on both ends of the floor.

4. Isaiah Austin: 7-0, 200 pounds – Fresh., Baylor
Stats: 14.5 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 51.9 percent FG, 43.3 percent FT
Centers shouldn’t live on the perimeter, but that seems to be the home for Austin this season, taking 30 threes and 99 twos this year. At this rate, he is shooting 20 percent of his shots from three, reducing his efficiency as a seven-foot athlete.

5. Steven Adams: 6-10, 235 pounds – Fresh., Pittsburgh
Stats: 6.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 62.3 percent FG, 34.6 percent FT
Simply being athletic with potential put Adams into the conversation of being a lottery pick, but his game as of late moved him considerably lower with the lack of production on the court.

Who has the best chance of developing into a NBA All-Star from this class?

Follow Kristofer on Twitter at @NBADraftInsider.

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TAGSALEX LENAnthony BennettArchie GoodwinB.J. YoungBEN MCLEMORECody ZellerCOLLEGEISAIAH AUSTINNBA DRAFTNERLENS NOELOverseasrudy gobertShabazz MuhammadSteven AdamsT.J. Warren

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