Fast 5: Tracking This Year’s NBA Draft Class, Vol. 4

By: 12.27.12
Kentucky's Nerlens Noel. (photo. UK Athletics/Chet White)

Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel. (photo. UK Athletics/Chet White)

Each Wednesday, we’ll be assessing how the top prospects of the 2013 NBA Draft are faring in college and overseas. 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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Due to the holiday, the Fast 5 was delayed by a day, but back on track for the foreseeable future. It has been a quiet week in college hoops and abroad. The holiday kept the schedule rather light, but as we all know — Basketball Never Stops.

Here is the NBA Draft Fast 5.


ONE: What Do We Know?
This year’s top pick is not going to cure the team that receives it. There is not one “can’t miss” prospect in this class, but rather a group of talented athletes with very good upside. Right now, the Washington Wizards are slotted to pick first (they have the worst record in the NBA), but that’s not a sign they will win the lottery or that the pick will fix a team that has won 91 total games since the last time they were in the playoffs in 2008.

This roster is a mess filled with good young talent in Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely, Jordan Crawford and Kevin Seraphin. Mix in veterans Nene, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to give experience, and the young backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal and that should make a quality team, right? Wrong. They have no direction or identity, and with Wall out, there is no telling how low this team is going to sink as the season progresses.

Rudy Gobert, Cody Zeller, Nerlens Noel, Shabazz Muhammad or whoever they take this year does not cure a bad roster with no direction.

TWO: What Do We Not Know?
If the ping-pong balls were dropped in the machine today, the Toronto Raptors pick would go to the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers pick would go to the Phoenix Suns. Then again, if the Raptors pick fell into the top three, it stays with them. If the Lakers make the playoffs, their pick stays as well. Philadelphia sends their pick to the Miami Heat if they fall out of the top 12, the same for the Portland Trail Blazers pick (to the Charlotte Bobcats) if they finish outside of the top 12, and chaos rules all. Did you get all of that?

With the way things are currently constructed, there is a chance two teams – Phoenix and Charlotte – could have two lottery picks in the 2013 NBA Draft.

THREE: Stock Rising
When speaking to NBA personnel guys lately, they have been higher on Kyle Anderson than earlier in the season. He has played himself into his rhythm and style, distributing the ball, and even scoring at a high, efficient rate. Anderson is not a great athlete, but plays a similar style as Boris Diaw with his 6-9 frame, modest athleticism, and knack for making plays that the defense didn’t see coming. His “slow mo” style throws the defense off-balance because he is patient and attacks in his rhythm. Keep an eye on Anderson as a potential first-round pick if he keeps playing at this level.

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