College, NBA, NBA Draft / Jun 29, 2012 / 3:30 pm

Looking Ahead: The Top 10 Prospects For The 2013 NBA Draft

James McAdoo

Just like Swizz Beatz’s hit song, we are on to the next one. Now that this year’s NBA Draft is in the books, what players will teams be tanking for next year? One thing is for sure: there is no Anthony Davis in this draft. The big question is: will there even be a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? There are a lot of players who will need to have monster years to match up to this year’s strong draft class. Here are ten guys that could be invited to the green room next year:

10. Archie Goodwin – Kentucky

The Kentucky Wildcats are by far the most talented team in the nation and Goodwin might be their most talented guard. Goodwin is known for his ability to score at will. He is of the Dwyane Wade or Russell Westbrook mold. We saw how high Dion Waiters went last night, so it would not be surprising if Goodwin shot up this list by the time it is all said and done.

9. Otto Porter – Georgetown

Porter had an extremely impressive freshman year for the Hoyas. He is going to step into the spotlight with Henry Sims and Jason Clark gone. Porter is a 6-8 forward who shoots the ball well and finishes around the rim at a high level. He does not do one thing particularly well, but he is solid at everything. His game is similar to Shawn Marion’s, except for the funky shooting form.

8. C.J McCollum – LeHigh

Looking for this year’s version of Damian Lillard? McCollum is that guy. He comes from a small school and is a big-time scorer. He has already gotten some attention for lighting up Duke in the NCAA tournament for 30 points. For the past three seasons, McCollum has averaged 20.9 points per game. There is no doubt that he is poised for a monster year. The big question is, can he play shooting guard in the NBA? He is only 6’3″ and has a slight build. He also does not shoot the ball quite as efficiently as Lillard. Luckily for McCollum, he has one more season to prove the critics wrong.

7. Isaiah Austin – Baylor

Austin has the opportunity to be this year’s version of Meyers Leonard or Perry Jones; he could either shoot up draft boards or free fall. He is a super-talented seven-foot center with a skill set similar to Jones’ and unfortunately, a similar motor as well. He will need to prove at Baylor that his skinny frame and attitude are not a problem. If Austin figures it out, he undoubtedly has the talent to go in the top three in 2013.

6. Alex Poythress – Kentucky

Poythress is a serious athlete. From a basketball standpoint it is unclear what position he would play in the NBA, but he has the potential to become a serious matchup problem. John Calipari has done an excellent job with players in this mold and there is no doubt that Poythress will figure out his strengths and weaknesses soon enough.

5. Steven Adams – Pittsburgh

As crazy as this sounds, Adams is fairly new to the game of basketball. Yet, that is what makes the 6-11 center so special. Adams already has some advanced post moves and good instincts. In his first game for Notre Dame Prep this year, he went up against Nerlens Noel and dominated. He moves extremely well and is not afraid of contact. He is still a bit raw, which is understandable. Adams could also win next year’s award for most interesting as he is quite the character off of the court.

4. Nerlens Noel – Kentucky

The Anthony Davis comparisons will be inevitable, but that just is not Nerlens Noel. The difference between the two is that Davis used to be a guard whereas Noel has played on the block his entire life. He might be a better shot-blocker, but the rest of his game needs work. In the NBA, Noel projects to be more of a specialist than a star. His offense may never be a strength but he has a chance to become one of the greatest shot-blockers to have played this game. That is not necessarily a bad thing.

3. Shabazz Muhammad – UCLA

Out of all of the college freshman, Muhammad is light years ahead of his compatriots. He is one of the most NBA-ready players in this draft. Muhammad has honed his game and gotten better every single year. He needs to get better at using his right hand and outside shooting, but he still has an offensive arsenal that is hard to stop. It will be interesting to see how his offense looks at the collegiate level. Regardless of how he scores at the next level, Muhammad is a true professional who is not only ready for the NBA game but also the NBA lifestyle.

2. Cody Zeller – Indiana

Zeller will lead the consensus top three Indiana team next year. There are not many centers in the NBA with his skill set. Not to take anything away from Zeller, but the reason he will go so high is because the center position in the NBA is so weak. He has an extremely high basketball I.Q and great athleticism. He is very similar to his older brother Tyler, but the only difference is that Cody has more offensive tools to work with.

1. James Michael McAdoo – UNC

Who would have thought Bob McAdoo’s nephew could go higher in the draft than he did? James Michael McAdoo has an ideal NBA body at 6-9 and 230 pounds. He did not get to shine much this year for UNC, but he will get his chance this upcoming season. The questions about what position he will play in the NBA will come up, but does it matter? McAdoo is a player. He can defend the guard and forward positions extremely well. He can shoot, post up, and handle on the outside. What else does McAdoo need? He needs to show that he can dominate college basketball.

Who do you think will be the top players in the 2013 NBA Draft?

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