Sunday, June 3, 2012

NBA Draft Sleepers

With the lottery being set and the Hornets ready to take Anthony Davis #1 overall, I've been seeing many mock drafts coming out with many different scenarios. Yes, Davis will go first with some combination of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson, Harrison Barnes, Andre Drummond, and Brad Beal likely going 2-6, but I'm here to give you some under the radar players who may be picked later in the first round or even the second round that could really help out teams right away.

Royce White, Forward, Iowa St.: White is somewhat of a swiss army knife because he can literally do it all. Last season, he averaged 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.2 steals, leading his team in all of those categories. White is a physical defender and gifted passer who would make a great athlete for any team. There has been talk of White going to the Celtics, which would make sense if they want to make another championship run. Although he does have some off the court issues and his free throw percentage is awful, if he is coached right, he can wind up contributing right away as a role player and maybe making his way into a start one day.

Will Barton, Guard/Forward, Memphis: Barton blossomed into a Bonafide scorer last year for the Tigers, averaging 18 points per game. He can shoot the three, dominate in the mid range game, and slash to the basket with ease. Barton's size gives him the ability to be a matchup problem if he plays the 2 guard role. Barton is lanky and can provide some offense and defense off the bench immediately. While he does have to get stronger to get to the NBA level, the Memphis product can certainly be a force right away.

Kevin Jones, Forward, West Virginia: Jones has a very good motor and it was evident by his spectacular rebounding from last year as a Mountaineer (10.9 rebounds per game). While his size will prevent him from being a double double machine in the NBA, he is still surely to collect rebounds and score in the post. The West Virginia product is a good shooter, which will help him score if he's up against a big defender. The energy Jones brings every night is the main reason why he should have success as a pro. The rest of his game should transition well.

Mitchell Watt, Forward. Buffalo: Not many people know about Watt, but he is the kind of player that many NBA teams need: someone who can score and defend exceptionally in the post. Watt is a very smart player in the paint on both ends of the floor and can score at will down low. He would be best suited to play power forward in the NBA. While there are a few kinks to work out in his game, foul trouble being one of them, he can definitely make an impact, and may be someone the Knicks will consider in the middle of the second round.

Scott Machado, Guard, Iona: Despite the early exit, the world got to see Machado in the NCAA tournament, and boy, was he electrifying. Machado is a pure point guard whose passing and court vision is phenomenal. He sets up his teammates perfectly. Machado also improved his shooting this past year, which certainly helps because of his deficiencies in get to the basket. The Gael looks like he would be a great second unit point guard to help get the bench going.

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