In the 2009 NBA Draft, we saw guys like Tyler Hansbrough and Christian Eyenga get drafted higher than we ever expected. And this year’s crop is even more unpredictable compared to last year’s. Here are some of the guys who could be climbing the Draft Board this Thursday.
George has gone from a late-first round prospect to a borderline-Lottery pick. How did this happen? One word: workouts. It is always tough to gauge how good of an athlete a player is when they play at a school like Fresno State, but when NBA teams saw George’s athleticism on display, some were reminded of a young Kobe Bryant. While this may seem like an extreme comparison, there is no denying that this 6-9 shooting guard is an intriguing prospect. His shot is more accurate than scouts had originally predicted and his elite athleticism could take him places. He even said on Twitter the other day, he could be picked as high as No. 8.
One would expect a player who averaged three points and three rebounds per game in college to go undrafted, but Orton is a special case. At 19 years old, not many freshmen in college are 6-9 and 260 pounds with the ability to run the floor effectively, hit mid-range shots and defend most power forwards and centers. And Orton is oozing with upside. His lack of polish however proves that he will be a project. At this point in the year, there are many teams dying to have a player with the potential of Orton. Do not be surprised if he is a Top 10 pick.
Although many teams continue to doubt them, college seniors continue to prove critics wrong. Recently, players such as Darren Collison, Jason Thompson, Al Thornton, Roy Hibbert and Jared Dudley have handled the NBA quite well. Vasquez had a great senior year at Maryland, averaging 19 points and six assists per game. What has impressed teams during workouts is his personality. Vasquez is confident, competitive and has a high basketball I.Q. While he may not jump out of the gym like Eric Bledsoe or John Wall, he is still a rare player due to his size (6-6) and point guard skills. Many late-first round teams have shown interest in him. It is a good sign that he has already been invited to Madison Square Garden for the big evening.
Kevin Seraphin & Ryan Richards
With Europeans such as Jan Vesely and Donatas Motiejunas dropping out of the NBA Draft, two other European bigs, Kevin Seraphin and Ryan Richards are reaping the benefits from being the next best players in line. Seraphin has been compared to Serge Ibaka because of his raw athleticism. There are many teams that would want to stash him in Europe for one year to have him develop his game. Richards is a different case. While he is also a raw athlete, Richards would prefer to develop in the D-League. This would be useful to teams since they would simply need to move Richards up rather than having to buyout his deal. He also has a better YouTube highlight reel than Seraphin too.
What do you think? Who’s stock is rising and falling?
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