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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The workout combines in Chicago and New Jersey have come and gone, the draft order is set, and the team workouts are beginning. This is the point in the NBA Draft process where prospects can move up team boards with their ability to interview and sell themselves. Let’s reset the draft process here one month before the event.
Here is this week’s NBA Draft Fast Five.
ONE: Change At The Top?
Too much information can be a burden in a lot of situations, and in the world of sports it can make some of the smartest people in the business act foolishly. All season, the conversation surrounded Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore as the best prospects in the class, but idol hands are what they are, leading teams to question their talent and change around big boards. Other than pre-draft measurements, nothing has changed for the prospects over the past month, but there is fluctuation at the top.
TWO: What Is The Deepest Position?
The depth at the two-guard position is not only deep, but has a quality amount of talent from Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo and Jamaal Franklin all the way down to Seth Curry, Tahj Tate and Alex Abrines. On my Top 75 Big Board, there are 17 total two-guards, with three of them projected to go in the lottery.
THREE: Which Position Is Lacking Depth?
As with most years, there is not depth at the center position this year. There are 12 in the top 75, with two projected to go in the lottery. The quality amount of centers in the first round is better than most years, though, with Nerlens Noel (could be a four), Rudy Gobert, Alex Len, Cody Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, Steven Adams, Jeff Withey and Gorgui Dieng all as projected first-round picks.
FOUR: How Deep Is This Draft?
Looking at the overall depth of this draft class, I would label it as “good-to-above-average” as opposed to the “weak” label it is getting across the Internet. There may not be a legitimate superstar, but quality role players are available as late as the 50s this year. Most drafts have pockets, tiers if you will, where the talent level shifts as well as the expectations. This class is no different with different tiers that separate the talent at each level.
FIVE: Quick Hitter
This year, because of the parity in the class, there appears to be at least five tiers separating the talent in the lottery alone. Typically, the top tier revolves around 1-2 prospects, but this year there are three players there in Noel, McLemore and Otto Porter Jr. They are all talented enough to go No. 1 overall depending on the direction the Cleveland Cavaliers decide to go. From there, the other 11 prospects that are projected to go in the lottery today are spread out through four total tiers. There is no dominant prospect this year so everything is open from 1-4 and then after that, from 5-14 is very fluid.
A Look At 5 Undervalued Second-Round Prospects
Carrick Felix: 6-6.25, 202 lbs â€“ Senior, Arizona State
One of the better defenders in the draft who plays hard every play, he’s progressed every year in college, and has an improved jump shot. Felix just blends in with any team or system because he plays quality defense.
Mike Muscala: 6-11.5, 230 lbs â€“ Senior, Bucknell
By logical standards, Muscala should be a first-round pick with his size, strength, skill, polish, and ability to play in the paint. He may get into the first round, but he is not valued as a top 30 prospect this year.
Arsalan Kazemi: 6-7.5, 228 lbs â€“ Senior, Oregon
Some scouts think he is a one-trick pony as an undersized rebounder, but Kazemi has an array of skills on the offensive end that were masked by his elite ability to rebound the ball.
James Southerland: 6-8, 220 lbs â€“ Senior, Syracuse
He can really shoot the ball, but is not athletic enough to play the three and is not big enough to play the four. Another tweener, yes, but shooting is never shunned by NBA teams.
Tahj Tate: 6-4, 190 lbs â€“ Junior, Delaware State
Small-school prospect, big-time scorer. Tate is not going to be on the radar of a lot of fans because of where he played, but he is a talented scorer with good size that could be a steal late or as an undrafted free agent.
There is a subtle theme there with four seniors that are very talented and polished, but undervalued because of the fact that they are seniors. These five could each likely step onto an NBA court today and provide quality minutes because of their experience, polish and skill level.
Who is the biggest sleeper this year?
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