They used to call it one of the best draft classes of the last 25 years. Now, it’s looking more and more like Anthony Davis… and then everybody else. Still, on June 28, the 2012 NBA Draft will bring hope, and hopefully new talent to some teams that desperately need it.
As we do every year, Dime will be holding you down with Mock Drafts, player interviews and diaries (you should check out Dion Waiters‘ draft diary), and we will also be bringing you draft profiles for every potential prospect deemed worthy. With this year’s crop of talent, that list is long. Our last profile was on Weber State’s junior Damian Lillard. This week’s profile is on University of Connecticut’s sophomore shooting guard Jeremy Lamb.
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Best case: Richard Hamilton
Worst case: James Anderson
Final comparison: Nick Young
(on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being overseas talent and 10 being NBA Rookie of the Year)
Jeremy Lamb’s main intrigue is his athletic ability. I mean did you see his dunk against Columbia this year? He has ideal size and above average length for the NBA shooting guard position. When Lamb closes out on defense, he does such a great job of covering a vast amount of ground in so little time. This part of the evaluation is simple: Lamb has all the tools to hang with anybody in the NBA athletically. He just needs to improve his strength, but what NBA prospect doesn’t?
There are a lot of misconceptions about Lamb when it comes to the skill portion of his game. He is a very smooth player that does a good job of making everything look easy on offense, but he isn’t as skilled as many think. Lamb has a nice midrange game and can knock down the three-pointer but there is not much else he can do offensively. He showed improvement this past year on isolation plays but that is still a major hole in his game. Despite his great athleticism, he does not have the ballhandling ability to match. Lamb tends to get lost on offense because he tends to just stand around a lot of the time. He will be a good spot-up shooter in the NBA but don’t expect him to be creating offense for anyone but himself.
Lamb’s biggest weakness at this point is his lack of strength. Every single player that has came to the NBA as a rookie with a wiry frame like Lamb’s has struggled in their first season. This past season he shot 36.8 percent from beyond the arc. His main contribution right away will be his shooting and if he cannot consistently knock down shots, there is not much he can bring to the table. While 36.8 percent is not bad overall, this does not show Lamb’s inconsistency with his outside shot as the season went on. This chart by StatSheet.com shows how Lamb hit the wall a bit with his three-point shooting percentages as the year went on:
Defensively, Lamb should be able to contribute but his approach has to improve. There were so many times this year when Lamb did not help on defense or got burned. He has physical attributes that few have and getting beat on defense is something that just should not happen to Lamb, especially in the college game.