Anthony Davis- PF- Kentucky
– There is no doubt that Davis is a fantastic prospect and absolutely worthy of the top pick in the draft, but expectations must be tempered. There has been talk of him possibly being a better version of Kevin Garnett and on par with Tim Duncan, which is simply ridiculous. These are two of the best big men of all time and to think that Davis is on their level is outrageous. First the positives; Davis is a fantastic shot blocker, has skill around the rim and is a more than capable jump shooter. However, he is rail thin and will have to adjust to facing NBA big men on a daily basis. Yes, he was fantastic last year, but he was feasting on college level big men all season long and obviously was able to capitalize. The first thing he must work on is fixing his body, but he will have difficulty adding mass to his frame, which will hurt him and could limit his potential in the paint on defense and also offensively. He is also extremely far away from being an All-Star caliber player on offense. Once again, he is a great NBA prospect and should have a very good career, but the expectations are simply way too high and Davis will have a lot of difficulty reaching them. It is ridiculous to compare a 19 year old who has never stepped on an NBA floor to some of the greatest players in league history. Hornets fans, you have every right to be excited, but he is not guaranteed to be a superstar player.
Damian Lillard- PG- Weber State
– First off, Lillard is a fantastic offensive prospect and was simply dominating in college, but he played in a third tier conference and was by far the best player on the floor in almost every college game he ever played. To be fair, he was reportedly fantastic at the NBA Combine and was the best player who participated, but there are some red flags. It is very hard to get past his college conference, as it is not known how he will stack up against NBA caliber players on a nightly basis. Second, he is not a pure point guard and will need to work hard on ball-handling and distribution if he is to be a starting point guard. There have been numerous college scorers who have struggled to be anything more than a strong bench player in the NBA and Lillard will have to work hard to become more than that. He is a consensus top ten pick, but it is awfully risky to draft a point guard this early that is not yet a true point guard.
Meyers Leonard- C- Illinois
– Leonard has a nice touch around the rim, but is incredibly soft. He will take a beating in the NBA and no matter how skilled a player is, if they do not have the toughness to bang down low, they will not be successful. Add in the fact that he was basically only productive for half a season and there are some bad signals. He did absolutely nothing during his freshman season and as a sophomore, he disappeared after a very strong first half of the season. A big man projected by many as a lottery pick, who disappears for long stretches in college, does not project well in the NBA. Buyer beware.
Perry Jones/Quincy Miller- Forwards- Baylor
– There is no doubting Jones’ talent, as he is an exceptionally talented young player, but he is the riskiest prospect in the draft. Someone as talented, athletic and skilled as him should have dominated at the college level, but in a startling number of games he seemed to disappear. A top ten prospect simply cannot be invisible in multiple games at the college level, which begs to questions his motor. Talent is a great thing to have, but if a player has an inconsistent level of effort and looks lacksidasical throughout his college career, there is a big problem. If a player cannot dominate over much weaker opposition, it is hard to see him playing well against players, all his equal in the pros. Miller’s stock has taken a big hit since workouts began and he may fall out of the first round of the draft, as he is simply not ready for the pros. He does not have a set position and was quite passive at times. For now he does not seem to have the strength to play inside or the abilities to play outside. It is quite shocking that these two have underachieved as they played for one of the best coaches in college in Scott Drew.
Tony Wroten Jr.- PG- Washington
– Wroten has multiple red flags and is as risky a prospect as they come. First off, he is a point guard, but is a poor distributor and has quite severe ball-hogging tendencies. He must become a pure point guard and quit those habits if he wants to be anything more than a bench scorer in the pros. Also rumors of being difficult to work with and a poor teammate are a bad signs. Whenever a scouting report states that a player is a top ten prospect, but character issues have dropped his stock, there is s a big problem. Finally, he is a horrific shooter, in fact he is absolutely awful. For now, he seems to be a ball-hogging, difficult, scoring point guard, who can’t shoot or pass. Not a great combo. There is no denying, he is an explosive athlete and great at getting to the rim, but if that is his only skill, NBA teams will easily learn how to shut him down. Hopefully the reports of his character are overblown and he has the work ethic and motor to improve, or else he could be a bust at the next level.