’12 NBA Draft – Most Likely to Bust

Posted: April 5, 2012 by DeadBefore50 in Basketball
Tags: , , , ,

For every lights-out draft pick of Dwayne Wade (’03 #5), Kevin Love (’08 #5), and Steve Nash (’96 #15) there are multiple burnouts along the lines of Michael Olowokandi (’98 #1), Adam Morrison (’06 #3), and Mouhamed Sene (’06 #10). As the Kentucky Wildcats wrapped up the ’11-’12 NCAA Basketball National Championship NBA GM’s went “on the clock”. Easy enough to label the steals and busts after the fact. Trick is in doing so prior to stamping your name on your team’s selection. Here’s a look at (5) draft eligible players I view as “Most Likely to Bust”:

Mouhamed Sene

5. Jared Sullinger – I don’t doubt Sullinger’s talent, and I certainly don’t question his productivity (17.3 Pts and 9.7 Rebs during (2) seasons with Ohio St). My concern(s) regarding Sullinger center on his physical stature. At 6’9 Sullinger strikes me as a classic ‘tweener. His lack of elite athleticism coupled with his listed weight of (280lbs) raises serious doubt as to his ability to play and defend the 4-spot at the next level. As for the 5-spot, Sullinger’s lack of height is compounded by an average to slightly below average leaping ability. If you can land him in the (15-20) range and plug him into a DeJuan Blair-type role, there’s value based on high basketball IQ, a good motor, and a knack for grabbing boards. If however, you’re targeting Sullinger in the (7-10) range in the hopes of landing a Zach Randolph/DeMarcus Cousins-type player, it may be time to touch up the old resume’. You’re more likely to end up with a Glen “Big Baby” clone as opposed to a future All-Star. If the NBA paycheck adds to waist line as it does to his bottom line, Sullinger could eat his way out of the Association.

4. Bradley Beal – Beal simply could not have picked a better time to get hot. In a (5) game season ending stretch Beal’s FG (.585) 3pt FG (.461) gave a nice glimpse as to his upside. The (31) game stretch prior to the hot streak is what gives me pause. FG (.423), 3pt FG (.319) and an Assist-to-Turnover ratio of (1.05) don’t scream Lottery pick. His season Rebounding (6.5) is a nice plus for a 6’3 Shooting Guard, but the season long shooting and TO’s struggles shouldn’t be ignored. ESPN currently has him rated the #3 ’12 Draft prospect and he’s a consensus Lottery pick. For my money I’d encourage him to come out because his stock will never be higher. For the growth of his game, I think it’s clear he needs another year at the college level to focus on tightening up his shooting consistency and ball security. College numbers resemble those put up by Xavier Henry during his (1) season as a Memphis Tiger. Henry wasn’t ready for the NBA game and now struggles to see much more than (15-17) minutes a game. The NBA is very unforgiving and Coaches don’t have patience with streaky high Draft picks.

Andre Drummond

3. Andre Drummond – What to make of Andre Drummond? No doubt he’ll be selected within the first (10) picks. GM’s love size and often pick guys like Drummond so they’re not the one who passed on them. My question is, which Drummond are you selecting? The (17pt and 14reb) bruiser who led UConn to a near upset over then undefeated Syracuse (2/25)? Or are you selecting the Drummond whom put up as many Fouls (5) as he did Rebounds+Points (5) in UConn’s 1st Round NCAA match-up against Iowa St.? Although 6’11 and 275lbs, Drummond often appears more comfortable outside the paint and can struggle when pushed around. The NBA tends to tear these guys up (Michael Olowokandi, Spencer Hawes) and Drummond will have his work cut out so as to avoid becoming a rotation/2nd unit guy.

Harrison Barnes

2. Harrison Barnes – Barnes’ (’11-’12) numbers are strikingly similar to that of his (’10-’11) campaign. Some may count that as a show of consistency. My take, and the reason he garbs the number 2 slot, is Barnes is one of those ultra-early developers whose initial splash far out does anything which follows. With Kendal Marshall out against Ohio the Tar Heels needed Barnes to step up. He went (3 for 16) and had a last second Turnover which almost cost his team the game. Marshall remained out for the Elite 8 game against Kansas, and Barnes responded in similar fashion. At one point he was (2 for 11) from the field, and despite his 6’8 frame and hyper-athleticism, logged just (4) Rebounds in (36) minutes of action. He’s a streaky shooter and doesn’t provide much else on the stat sheet. Has shown a knack for playing shutdown D, but if he’s selected in the top 10 as expected, much more will be demanded. If he shoot well in pre-draft camps/workouts he’ll go in the (5-10) range and could really struggle in trying to justify the selection. Best chance for success will be to land with a solid squad which can plug him in as an off the bench scorer or one which can afford to wade through his scoring droughts.

1. Perry Jones – Jones is 6’11 and

Perry Jones III possesses elite leaping ability. He runs the floor very well and few of his height match his athleticism. What more could you ask for? How about production. Given all physical advantages Jones put up fairly pedestrian numbers over his two seasons at Baylor. Stats don’t always tell the whole story, but at (13.5 pts and 7.5 rebounds) I’m thinking this tale’s going to the reader wondering why he bothered picking cracking the cover. Even more disturbing, Jones somehow managed to parlay his height/leaping gifts into little more than half a Block per game. The physical attributes are present, and by all accounts Jones plays fairly hard. All the more troubling the lack of production. Had he entered last season’s Draft Jones could have gone in the top 5. This year he’ll most likely fall to the (7-10) range and will most likely leave some GM scratching his head and spinning to defend the pick.

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