2013 NBA Draft Analysis
No iron-clad locks... but potential is there
Sixty players will be selected in the 2013 National Basketball Association Draft on the night of June 27.
A number of them will sign guaranteed NBA contracts.
But none of them will be guaranteed much else. History tells us so.
For high-drafted flop (LaRue Martin, Dana Lewis, Nikoloz Tskitishvili), there is a second-round sensation (Jerome Kersey, Dennis Rodman, Michael Redd) or an undrafted discovery (Ben Wallace, John Starks, Wesley Matthews).
Just 24 hours before the draft, numerous names were still being bandied about as the potential No. 1 overall selection, which some say suggests a weak draft while others contend it reflects a top-heavy one.
In the last 10 drafts, only five of the first overall picks (LeBron James, ’2003; Dwight Howard, ’2004; Derrick Rose, ’2008; Blake Griffin, ’2009; and Kyrie Irving, ’2011) have achieved NBA All-Star status.
The 2003 Draft yielded the most All-Stars (6) in the last decade – James at No. 1, Carmelo Anthony at No. 3, Chris Bosh at No. 4, Dwyane Wade at No. 5, David West at No. 18 and Josh Howard at No. 29.
The only other draft to produce at least five All-Stars was the 2008 edition, which turned out Rose at No. 1, Russell Westbrook at No. 4, Kevin Love at No. 5, Brook Lopez at No. 10 and Roy Hibbert at No. 17.
Only two players chosen in the last three drafts have made the All-Star grade thus far – Irving and Paul George, taken 10th in 2010.
The past 10 drafts have proven that future All-Stars can be found outside of the lottery.
West and Howard were the first two cases in point in 2003. Since then, they have been followed by Danny Granger (17th) and David Lee (30th) in 2005; Marc Gasol (48th) in 2007; Hibbert (17th) in 2008; and Jrue Holiday (17th) in 2009.
Time will tell exactly where the 2013 draft class stacks up.
Here is a forecast of which players in the group are most likely to emerge as NBA All-Stars:
Ben McLemore: The 6-foot, 5-inch, 195-pound McLemore, a St. Louis native, possesses one of the purest jump shots the draft has seen in the last couple of decades and has the quickness, ballhandling skills and hops to get to the rim as well. In his one season at the University of Kansas, he led the Jayhawks in scoring at 15.9 ppg to establish a school record for a freshman. He was a first-team all-Big 12 Conference choice after leading the league in free-throw shooting at 87 percent and finishing second in the conference in 3-point shooting at .420. He was named a consensus second-team All-American. Those who have monitored McLemore’s development like the potential he has shown as a defender.
Anthony Bennett: The 6-8, 240 bruiser from Toronto, Ontario is the closest thing the NBA has seen to Larry Johnson since “Grandmama” was last seen leaving the building. Bennett possesses not only the muscle and explosiveness to attack the rim, but the touch to hit the mid-range jump shot proficiently. Throughout a standout prep career at Findlay Prep and his freshman season at nearby UNLV, Bennett played with a drive and an edge. He led Findlay to a 32-1 record and a third ESPN National High School Invitational Championship, winning MVP honors. In his one season at UNLV, he led the Rebels in scoring (16.1 ppg), rebounding (8.1) and 3-point shooting percentage (.375). He was named Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year and received honorable mention in the Associated Press All-American voting.
Trey Burke: The 6-0, 190 guard became the 2013 consensus national player of the year after leading the University of Michigan to the national championship game and its first Final Four appearance in 20 seasons. He averaged 18.6 points and led the Big Ten Conference in assists at 6.7 per game. The Columbus, Ohio native cracked Michigan’s career top 10 in assists in just two seasons at Ann Arbor. Burke coupled the ability to deliver as the Wolverines’ go-to scorer in their half-court offense with the knack of finding the open man in transition, logging an assist-to-turnover ratio of better than four-to-one on fast breaks. Scouts were continually impressed with Burke’s toughness in the face of physical Big Ten defenses, and that quality should serve him well at the next level.
Victor Oladipo: The 6-5, 214 guard was widely unknown when he arrived at Indiana University in 2010 fresh out of DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md. He was quick to turn heads with his athleticism, which ranks at the very top of this draft class, but made an even stronger impression with his remarkable skill development during his three years in Bloomington. Oladipo excelled across the board as a junior in 2012-13, averaging 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 2.1 assists in leading the Hoosiers to their first outright Big Ten Conference title since 1993. He set an Indiana single-season record with 78 steals and led the Big Ten in field-goal percentage (.599) and steals (2.2 spg). He was named an Associated Press First-Team All-American, the National Association of Basketball Coaches National Co-Defensive Player of the Year and the Sporting News National Player of the Year.
C.J. McCollum: The 6-4, 200 guard was an unknown to even hard-core college basketball observers until the 30-point breakout performance that carried his 15th-seeded Lehigh University team to a 75-70 upset of second-seeded Duke in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Once a 5-2, 108 freshman at Glen Oaks High School in Canton, Ohio, McCollum’s stature and game grew by leaps and bounds. He averaged 29.8 points and 7.3 rebounds as a senior to earn Ohio’s Gatorade Player of the Year Award. McCollum was an instant standout at Lehigh, leading the nation’s freshman in scoring at 19.1 ppg before finishing ninth in the country in scoring (21.8 ppg) as a sophomore and fifth (21.9 ppg) as a junior. He averaged 23.9 ppg in 12 games as a senior before sustaining a foot injury.