Fast Five: The 5 Best “On The Bubble” First-Round Prospects In The 2013 NBA Draft

By: 06.12.13
Ray McCallum Jr.

Ray McCallum Jr. (photo. UDM Sports Info)

Each Wednesday, we’ll be assessing how the top prospects of the 2013 NBA Draft are faring in workouts. Stick with us each week for assorted thoughts, including the biggest risers and fallers, the standouts, the sleepers and what we know and don’t know about the next NBA Draft class…

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At this point, there are about 60 first-round picks and roughly 100 overall prospects that will get drafted this year, at least if you listen to the players themselves. It is the ultimate sell job for prospects right now. Everyone has a chance to go as high as possible with only two weeks until the draft itself. Where are we at today?

Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.


ONE: What Do We Know?
There have been rumblings about teams wanting to move out of the lottery or at least out of the top 10 in this year’s draft. A few of those teams are the Sacramento Kings (No. 7), the Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 9) and the Portland Trail Blazers (No. 10). All of those teams could use young talent, but if their position can be used as a bargaining chip, why wouldn’t they trade out?

TWO: What Do We Not Know?
Who wants to trade in? And, maybe more importantly: What is a top-10 pick worth in 2013?

Some teams are valuing this draft and see the potential in the players. A few teams that have made some indication of potentially moving up are the Phoenix Suns (adding another top-10 pick), the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks (packaging their picks to move up). A team needs to have assets to move up, even in a “weak draft,” and all three of these teams have movable pieces.

To teams like the Kings, Pistons and Blazers, is a package of Marcin Gortat and the 30th pick worth their spot in the lottery? Are two mid first-round picks and John Jenkins worth it? No. 16 and Jared Sullinger any better? The ideology of moving up in the draft sometimes becomes more fantasy than reality in a would of, should have, could of world of sports.

THREE: Stock Rising
Not that long ago, Tony Mitchell was considered a lottery pick. Then he had an underwhelming season that led to him falling out of favor with scouts and pundits. Yet one thing that remained constant has been his elite athletic ability, size and potential as an NBA prospect. Of course, I just listed three things, which explains how much over-thinking happens when evaluating a class of draft prospects. Mitchell is the best overall athlete in this class, with endless potential and a poor man’s Shawn Marion game.

NBA GM on Mitchell: “I saw him play as a freshman, last year as a sophomore, and I also saw him play at the Under-19 Championships in Riga, Latvia. So I have seen all sides to his game. He is talented and his team this year struggled, obviously. He can play inside, he can play outside, he is one of the better athletes in this draft, and you see his body so he is a guy who physically can come in and play right away, I think.”

FOUR: Stock Falling
There is always subtraction when additions are made. Case in point the point guard position. A lot of teams have shown interest in point guards Ray McCallum Jr., Erick Green and Pierre Jackson through their workouts, leaving talented, but erratic B.J. Young potentially out of the mix. He has great size and athleticism for the position he has trended towards in recent years, but his peers’ ability to play the position is overshadowing his athleticism.

Keep reading to check out the top five prospects on the first-round bubble…

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