The great unknown is where players eventually end up getting selected in the NBA Draft because realistically no one other than the teams themselves have any idea why they do the things they do. What we do know, however, is what the players have shown on us on the college stage and thus can evaluate them accordingly. Few out there watch more college basketball than yours truly, so I’ve got some pretty strong opinions. Here’s a list of the players I think will be the Top 5 Busts and Sleepers in the 2011 NBA Draft.
5. Kyle Singler (SF, Duke)
The interesting thing about Singler is that he’s not as good of a shooter as you would think. He never shot over 40% from three-point range in college and he didn’t shoot over 45% overall from the floor in his last three seasons. He certainly doesn’t have the athletic ability to make an impact and work ethic can only get you so far. The comparisons to Andres Nocioni aren’t fair because the Argentinean is a bit more athletic.
4. Marcus Morris (PF, Kansas)
For a guy who seemingly had an athletic advantage in college, Morris wasn’t necessarily a dominant player. His numbers did improve last year, but his rebounding rate compared to teammate Thomas Robinson is a little disappointing. He will struggle against NBA PFs who match any advantage he had in college.
3. Josh Selby (PG, Kansas)
I don’t like anyone’s demeanor when they become the cancer Selby became for Kansas this past year. If he was that good, how come he couldn’t find a role on the team after returning from a midseason hiatus? He came into Kansas as one of the best high school prospects in the country, but leaves Lawrence light years behind Kyrie Irving, who came in with the same accolades.
2. Jimmer Fredette (PG, BYU)
He won’t be able to defend and he never showed improvement distributing the ball as a PG, which is what he’d have to do in the pros. His shooting ability makes him a nice option for a team who has other people to dominate the basketball, but he’s currently not being sold in that respect. Other great college scorers have also tried and failed.
1. Kawhi Leonard (SF, San Diego State)
Everyone thought Leonard had great athleticism to project at the next level until he showed up at the combine and absolutely bombed. He failed to live up to the big stage in multiple opportunities and will now not get the benefit of dominating against Wyoming and Air Force. He’s going to get drafted too high because of team needs and perceived talent, but will be a lottery washout.
On the next page, the Top 5 Sleepers of the Draft...