At this point in the year, there is no way to tell who will be the surefire first pick in the NBA Draft. Shoot, we do not even know what the 2012 NBA Draft will look like with all of the bad NBA lockout news and rumors going around. At this point, there’s superstar talent littered throughout the college game, and NBA scouts – with nothing to do other than go to college games – are working harder than ever. Right now all we can do is speculate, but there are some interesting story lines to follow.
Harrison Barnes, Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond are separating themselves from the pack right now. Barnes is the most proven commodity while Davis and Drummond are hyped-up off of potential.
So who is the early favorite for first pick in the draft? There is no consensus at the moment, but Anthony Davis looks to have the edge. The 6-10 power forward moves like a guard with the size of a center. He is skilled and athletic beyond belief. He put up 14 points, six rebounds and seven blocks against Kansas last week. Through his first four collegiate games, Davis is putting up 13 and eight (with 4.5 blocks a night), and shooting a godly 72 percent from the floor. Even if Davis broke his toe and was out for the rest of the season, he would still have a shot to be the first pick in the draft.
All Davis needs at this point is to put on weight (which – despite his frame – isn’t a problem considering how good NBA weight training programs are) and develop a better feel for the low post. Those are two weaknesses that can be easily fixed.
Davis seems like a no-brainer, but Harrison Barnes may give him a run for his money. Barnes is 6-8 with good athleticism and an elite skill set. He has the perfect size for the small forward position in the NBA. So far this year, he has looked significantly more comfortable as a leader, and while his number are identical outside of his scoring (up from 15.7 to 17.3 a night), his shooting percentage has jumped from 42 to 51 percent.
[Related: Who’s Better – Jeremy Lamb Or Terrence Ross?]
The only question mark with Barnes at the moment is his ceiling. He’s been ready for the professional level since his senior year in high school and has all of the tools to succeed at that level. But scouts think Davis and Drummond could have more success if they set their minds to it.