2012 Draft Preview: SHOOTING GUARDS

June 21, 2012
by Joe Gabriele
Cavs.com Managing Editor

Some Drafts are heavier at certain position, and in the 2012 Draft, there’s a bumper crop of two-guards for the taking.

From high-flyers to sharp-shooters to defensive specialists, this year’s Draft is as deep as any in recent memory with off-guards who could make an immediate impact with the right team.

With the Draft just one week away, Cavs.com takes a look at what the scouts are saying about some of this year’s top two-guards …

BealBradley Beal6-4, 202 – Born: June 28, 1993 (St. Louis, MO) – College: Florida
– first Florida player to be named First Team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman; prolific rebounder – led all guards in the Power-6 conferences in rebounds (6.7) prototypical shooting guard, in terms of size and skill-set; measured at 6-4 with a 6-7 wingspan; smooth, fluid athlete; excellent physical strength; high basketball IQ; good character guy, very mature on and off the court; good decision-maker; great outside range and efficient mid-range game; shows a strong first step and can finish well with either hand; active and willing defender; won’t turn 19 until Draft night; struggles in traffic, but can get to the free throw line often; not yet a polished ball-handler; not viewed as having a huge upside, but as one of the low-risk high-reward guys in the Draft

LambJeremy Lamb6-5, 179 – Born: May 30, 1992 (Norcross, GA) – College: UConn
– excellent size for a two-guard, standing 6-5 with a 6-11 wingspan; has good quickness and explosiveness; shoots as well off the dribble as off screens; smooth athlete; suffered under a dysfunctional sophomore season at UConn; very good ball-handling skills and a fluid change of speed and direction; easily has NBA three-point shooting range; can break down defenders, especially when going to his left; showed more diversity as a scorer in his sophomore season; solid defender and could get better at the next level; has a good offensive array – floaters, pull-ups; does an excellent job of creating pace for himself; solid mid-range game; very thin and might need to add muscle to his frame; doesn’t get to the line as frequently as he should; should be the second shooting guard off the board

RiversAustin Rivers6-5, 203 – Born: August 1, 1992 (Winter Park, FL) – College: Duke
– highly-recruited out of high school and high profile because of his dad, Rivers didn’t disappoint, leading the Blue Devils in scoring as a freshman; a bit undersized for an NBA off-guard, Rivers compensates with a 6-7 wingspan; not overly explosive or strong but quick and fluid; doesn’t shy away from pressure situations; crafty ball-handler who can shake defenders and create space for his shot; supremely confident; will take and make difficult shots from anywhere on the floor; turned up his defensive intensity in closer games, but could develop into a strong defender at the next level; seeks contact and loves to get opponents’ bigs into foul trouble; gets to the line frequently; can be overly aggressive and mistake prone; could be a dazzling offensive player and is a likely Lottery pick

RossTerrence Ross6-7, 197 – Born: February 5, 1991 (Portland, OR) – College: Washington
– led the Pac-12 in eight different categories; had a breakout season as a sophomore at Washington; excellent finisher in traffic; at 6-7, has ideal size for an NBA shooting guard; extremely confident and is almost impervious to high-pressure situations; good but not great long- and mid-range shooter; terrific explosiveness; long, active defender and could be superb at the next level; great shooting mechanics; unpolished ball-handler and average basketball IQ; good frame that should be able to add muscle; needs to develop first step to take advantage of his quickness; can’t get lost in the flow of the game at times; operates very well without the ball; great body control in mid-air; projected to go anywhere from late Lottery to late-teens in the first round

WaitersDion Waiters6-4, 215 – Born: December 10, 1991 (Philadelphia, PA) – College: Syracuse
– was the Big East’s Sixth Man of the Year as a sophomore; viewed as a combo guard; exceptional in transition; physically gifted player with a strong frame; works well in pick-and-roll game; jumper is still a work in progress; scorer by nature, but willing passer who can find teammates; size is a bit of a concern; struggled in the half court against top competition; was an excellent defender at Syracuse and should continue to improve on that end as a pro; can guard both backcourt positions; as a sixth man, thoughts are he still hasn’t reached his potential; for his strength and athleticism, he doesn’t attack the rim or go to the line as often as he should; struggles to create his own shot in the halfcourt; could be in the same role – coming off the bench for either guard position – at the next level