Brandon Knight, G, Kentucky
Knight improved his stock after quarterbacking his team to the Final Four as a freshman. He’s shown the ability to shoot from the outside, take his man off the dribble, score in isolation and finish at the rim. Knight still has room to grow as a facilitator, but at 6’4 with a tight handle and a quick first step, his well-rounded skill set should make him an attractive lottery prospect. With few guards in this particular draft pool, Knight’s value gets a boost.
Tobias Harris, F, Tennessee
A skilled forward with versatility and strength in the post, Harris has broad shoulders with plenty of room for added muscle.
Before receiving a second half beatdown from Michigan, Harris had an effective first twenty minutes showing off an array of next level moves and successful conversions in the post. He does a nice job of moving people out of the way, positioning himself for easy baskets under the rim. He was the Volunteers most consistent player all season long, scoring in double figures in all but three games. At just 18 years old, Harris has excellent upside once his body fills out.
Nikola Mirotic, F, Real Madrid
With Mirotic playing a key role in Real Madrid’s run to the Euroleague Final Four, his stock seems to be rising by the game. At 6’10, he combines good size and agility with an established outside stroke, and by producing at one of the highest levels of competition as a 20 year old kid, he’s generating some nice buzz for himself as an NBA prospect.
Shelvin Mack, G, Butler
Leading his team to back to back National Championships, Mack has proven capable of knocking down big shots in big moments. His shooting range and physical strength are two attributes that translate nicely for NBA play. Mack should draw interest from playoff teams looking for depth at either guard positions.
Vernon Macklin, PF, Florida
Macklin looked strong over the last month of the season, and continues to impress at the Portsmouth Invitational. From a physical standpoint, Macklin is rock solid at 6’10 230. He’s refined his post game enough where he converts around the basket at a high rate, looking comfortable taking over the shoulder baby hooks and using his body to shield his defender. His aggressive style of play under the boards should earn the attention of NBA scouts as a low risk high reward second rounder.
Jamie Skeen, PF, VCU
Skeen has emerged as a NBA prospect after his strong play down the stretch during VCU’s tournament run. At 6’9, Skeen possesses good size and strength, but it’s his outside game that makes him a difficult matchup. He shot 41% from downtown this season, including 11-20 in his six NCAA tournament games. He proved himself against the toughest of competition, dropping 26 and 10 on the Morris brothers in VCU’s win over Kansas. Versatile forwards with size and shooting touch generally find roster spots at the next level.
Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky
Jones’ stock took a dive over the last two months of the season, and his role at the next level has not yet been defined. His inability to shoot with two feet off the dribble could be troublesome, as he relies too much on runners from the elbow against inept college defenders. NBADraft.net’s Adam Ganeles said it best, “Is he a tweener or a mismatch?”. Only time will tell, but his previous sure-lottery status just isn’t the case anymore.
Nolan Smith, G, Duke
It was clear that Smith looked uncomfortable without the ball in his hands once Kyrie Irving returned to the lineup. Considering his limitations as a pure point guard, his struggles off the ball could diminish his overall value. He’s still a tremendous basketball player, but questions surround his role at the next level.
Rick Jackson, PF, Syracuse
Jackson’s skill set is not made for “showcase” basketball, considering his struggles in the shot-creating department. His limited offensive repertoire makes him too one dimensional as an NBA prospect. Maybe if he was 6’10 or 6’11, but at 6’8 Jackson won’t get the easy putbacks and second chance opportunities he got at Syracuse. He hasn’t shown a hint of face-up basketball, with a non-existant midrange game as a 52% free throw shooter. He also looked extremely slow and out of shape at PIT.
LaceDarius Dunn, G, Baylor
Dunn done nothin’ for his draft stock this year, with Baylor failing to make the 68 team cut in March. He’s averaging more turnovers than assists, and has trouble keeping his man in front of him on defense. Teams just might balk at the idea of taking the soon to be 24 year old, considering his poor play making skills as an undersized two guard, and his struggles off the court.
Austin Freeman, SG, Georgetown
Freeman got knocked off the draft board after a disappointing first round showing against VCU. He’s proven to be ineffective if his jumper isn’t falling, and at 6’2 he possesses no real threat as a NBA shooting guard.
About the Author
Written by Jonathan Wasserman
Jonathan Wasserman is a Syracuse University graduate, and contributor to NBADraft.net and Hoopsdaily.com. A Manhattan, New York resident, he is a long time New York Knicks season ticket holder. Feel free to email him at Jonathan.Wass@gmail.com