Time for a quick hits edition of our NBA draft profiles. With the NBA draft coming up in a few days, I wanted to cover some non-big men so in the coming days I will be doing these profiles in the same quicker format.
Ben McLemore, Kansas, Guard
Strengths: McLemore is a great scorer. He has great touch around the basket, he can shoot from pretty much anywhere on the court. From this draft class, he certainly looks like the most likely to be a 20 plus point scorer. His feeling looks to be somewhere between a really, really good second option and being the best player on a mediocre team. His athleticism is excellent as well and should translate to the NBA.
Weaknesses: As it stands, McLemore is a bit one dimensional. He is not a good passer, rebounder or defender. He scores first and foremost, when the scoring disappears, like it did in most of the NCAA tournament, McLemore is invisible on the court. With proper coaching, that should change as McLemore matures and develops his game.
Otto Porter, Georgetown, Small Forward/Power Forward
Strengths: He is an efficent scorer and he proved last year that he is able to be the go-to man on a team. Regardless of the unfortunate way Georgetown’s season ended, he had a good year in proving he could handle more touches. He is quite versatile, he can shoot 3s, rebounds well and is a pretty good passer for a bigger guy. Defensively he is quite good already, with the ability to guard both 3s and 4s. At the NBA level he will more than likely be a complimentary player and with his talents, he will be an excellent one.
Weaknesses: Porter is not a particularly atheltic player. Because of that, he isn’t very adept at taking his man one on one on offense, he doesn’t have the speed to break down his defender. His dribbling abilities are also below NBA average and it is likely he won’t have the ball in his hands very often in the pros unless it is to shoot.
Victor Oladipo, Indiana, Shooting Guard
Strengths: He plays much like a smaller Luol Deng. Defensively he is probably the best prospect in the 2013 draft. He covers his man excellently and will be able to step in as a defender instantly in the NBA. Offensively, while he isn’t an ace, he is efficient and he does not step outside his limits. Oladipo is extremely smart and understands the game really well. He will be a coach’s dream in the NBA with his ability to pick up strategy quickly and his willingness to learn. Athletically, he is quick and an awesome leaper, he will fit in the NBA in that way as well.
Weaknesses: For a, more than likely, top five pick, he lacks star power. This is a weaker draft than in the past, Oladipo would not normally be the type of player drafted so high. His ceiling as an offensive player is limited and it is unlikely he will ever approach more than 15 points or so per game. For a guard, he is not a great ball handler or passer which hopefully will improve in the NBA.
Trey Burke, Michigan, Point Guard
Strengths: I can’t think of a player in recent years who has improved his stock so much by coming back to school an extra year. Burke’s year and especially his tournament run, were extremely impressive. He is a great leader, is able to handle and take big shots under pressure. He is a good scorer and very creative with the ball. His ball handling is excellent and he will become a great on ball defender in the NBA if he is willing to commit himself to it.
Weaknesses: For a point guard, he is not as good a creator as a lot of people would like. He plays a lot like Kemba Walker but I think Kemba has a higher ceiling than Burke does. Burke will be an excellent pro but I don’t see him becoming the best player on his team like Kemba is (not that it counts on the Bobcats) and will be in the future. Athletically, Burke is decent but not great, he is not super quick and that might make it a little harder for him to score in the NBA but I think his ball handling will adjust for that deficiency.
CJ McCollum, Lehigh, Guard
Strengths: With the season that Damian Lillard had last year, McCollum will get a long look by a lot of NBA teams with high draft picks. Ultimately he will probably be drafted in the first 10. McCollum is a great scorer who can put the ball in the basket in as many ways as you can count. He averaged 20.8 possessions per game and was still nearly averaging 50% from the field which is an insane number for a guard.
Weaknesses: For a scoer, McCollum is not drawing fouls at a high rate which indicates that he does not drive at the rim much. That is most definitely his weakest aspect of his offensive game. For someone who is listed as a point guard, he is also not much of a passer. Lillard showed the ability to control the offense in school, McCollum hasn’t really done anything to indicate that he can do the same. Defensively he is good at playing the passing lanes which can be seen in his steals average. On the ball though, he will have some work to do.
Five down, five more to come tomorrow!