Final thoughts on the NBA Draft

Final thoughts on the NBA Draft
June 27, 2013, 10:15 am
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Len, Oladipo, Porter waiting to hear their names called

All the quotes, thoughts and opinions that didn't make it into earlier draft coverage pieces in one final "throwing the kitchen sink" of posts with on and off the record analysis from college coaches, NBA personnel, scouts and pundits. Some are takes hot off the press, some are about the Wizards, some are on prospects that I didn't end up writing a specific profile on...

NBA Draft

Best player in the draft is...?

*NBA Scout this week: "I still like [Kentucky's] Nerlens Noel, assuming he's going to be healthy. He makes a difference on the defensive end right away. He's got a lot of upside, is fast, athletic and more important than anything, he plays hard. Kansas guard Ben McLemore is another guy I really like. As athletic as they come and he can really shoot the ball. I'm still high on him. Then Maryland center Alex Len. It's just so, so hard to big guys, especially ones that are skilled, athletic, mobile and have touch. I think he's just going to get better and better, though the foot situation would scare me unless the doctors pass him. ...There is still no overall consensus of the top pick, let alone the top 6, 7, 8."

Overall strength of this draft class

*"At what point are you talking about starters and talking about bench players? I think probably the seventh or eighth pick and then after that it's all bench guys.  You're going to be lucky to get a starter out of this draft."

Wizards

At three the Wizards will...?

*NBA source: "Otto Porter and [Anthony] Bennett are probably the top-two on their board. I don't think that's any secret. The question is if Porter were gone, then I would think they lean Bennett. But, if Noel falls they might take him instead. I haven't heard Alex Len at all. ...ultimately I would take Porter and call it a day. Local kid, solid, he's going to come in and make plays. He'll make the team better and fit right in, play right away."

*NBA Scout on the Wizards taking a guard (Victor Oladipo or Ben McLemore): "No. How do you figure - no. It just doesn't make any sense. [Bradley] Beal is going get all your off-guard minutes. You could play some small ball minutes with those guys, but you're not going to draft someone at No. 3 to play 15-20 minutes per game."

Luol Deng trade rumor

*"It doesn't make a whole lot of sense from a Wizards standpoint. It reeks of the shortsighted Mike Miller/Randy Foye for the fifth pick trade. The only way they could justify is if Otto is gone at three, they really want a small forward and don't love Bennett as much. If Otto is there, you take Otto and have your small forward of the future on a rookie scale."

Martell Webster, Wizards free agent

*"If you draft Porter, I think it makes Martell expendable. Martell had a nice year, but at the end of the day, he's the sixth, seventh or eighth guy on your team. I wouldn't not draft Porter because of Martell Webster."

Prospects

Otto Porter Jr., Georgetown, SF

*Georgetown coach John Thompson III on the Wizards possibly drafting Porter: "I think he's a good fit here. When you look at [John] Wall, who is terrific, and [Bradley] Beal - the Wizards future backcourt is I think going to be outstanding. The thing is do they have small forwards on their team who are proven. That's a decision they have to make. If [Otto's] available at three should they take him, absolutely."

* An NBA league source, one that believes the Wizards should take the Georgetown small forward, told CSNwashington that Sweden's Viktor Gaddefors apparently "gave Porter all he could handle" during their group workout at the Verizon Center earlier this month.

*NBA scout: "I like Porter, I don't love him. I think he's going to be a very good player, I just don't see a huge, huge upside seeing as he's not a great athlete and is a good but not great shooter."

Alex Len, Maryland, C (multiple sources)

*" I think Alex Len will be really good. At Maryland, I think he was just out there. [Top-5] is crazy based on what he did this year. But, when you look at when he can do and how he can be used is much different than what he's shown he can do. I saw enough to think 'wow, he's got a chance.'"

*"[Duke center] Mason Plumlee is way tougher than Alex Len. At the next level, toughness is going to get you a long way. ...The upside is there, the potential is there, but I'm not a fan of Len."

*"If Len reaches his potential and with his size, wow."

Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, PG

*I think he will be either really good or in the D-League in six months. I've heard this from Syracuse people: he has a sense of entitlement. Either he's going to figure it out quickly and be really good or the D-League.

C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, PG/SG (Possible option if the Wizards trade down into the middle of the lottery)

*Jeff Jones, former American University and now Old Dominion head coach: "I certainly thought prior to his performance against Duke [in the 2012 NCAA Tournament] that he was a player that could play at the next level. Obviously he can score, but I think the thing that translates really well is that he can create, get his own shots or for other people. With his length and wingspan, I think he can be an effective defender. (What's his position?) "He can be the lead guard. There is no question he has a scorer's mentality, but I think he handles the ball well enough. In screen-and-roll situations, he can do a very good job there as the primary ball handler."

Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, C

*"He's a workout wonder right now. It doesn't translate to what I saw at Pitt. He's a major project, but he does looks good in workouts and has a good body, moves well when you start doing drills. Once you start playing 5-on-5, I don't see it all. I'm a little surprised he's shot up this high."

Second round backup point guard options (multiple sources)

*(Nate Wolters, South Dakota St.): "I think [Wolters] can be a solid, serviceable backup. He's got size, first of all, and he's skilled. He'll have challenges athletically on defense, but he knows how to play. He's got a little toughness to him."

*(Peyton Siva, Louisville): "No way. At that size, they are specialists. They either shoot the hell out of the ball, they set people up, are ultra pests on defense. He's just ok at everything. At that size, you have to be superior at something."

*(Siva, second opinion): "Realistically he's probably a third point guard at best. He's small, not a great shooter. But, he's tough. He's a winner. I'm not sure he's quite good enough to be a backup point guard on the NBA level."

*(Ray McCallum, Detroit): "I like him, think he's been under-the-radar because he played at a smaller school. He's got good size and is pretty athletic."

*(Lorenzo Brown, NC State): "Not a big fan. I think he's overrated. Makes bad decisions, can't shoot the ball and was the leader of a team that underachieved the last 2-3 years. That should tell you something."

*(Brown, second opinion): "I think in the second round it's worth it to take him. He's got the size and the playmaking ability. Inconsistent, I don't know how much he was hurt by the fact that he went to NC State and wasn't really getting the best coaching in the world."

*(Pierre Jackson, Baylor): "I loved him at Baylor, but he's also 5-foot-8 on a good day. He makes a lot of impressive plays. He was really impressive last year and the reason Baylor was as good as they were last year was because of him. They put him in a lot of good positions to score. He has the potential to be a Nate Robinson guy coming off the bench. He'll have those games where he's capable of getting 25 points, but he can also go 1 for 13 and be that guy who just doesn't stop shooting."

Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan, SG

*"I think he's a second round player and will get drafted higher than I think he probably deserves. He's not as good of a shooter as he should be. He's a shooting guard that doesn't make enough shots, that doesn't do enough other things well enough to justify where he may ultimately get drafted. Obviously he's got the pedigree and is well coached. If you look at his numbers good teams vs. bad teams, he struggled against better [competition]."

James Southerland, Syracuse, SF (multiple sources)

*Georgetown's Thompson: "In boxing you hear the phrase 'he's got a punchers chance.' He's got a shooters chance. He puts the ball in the basket. Because of his size, he'll be able to get [his shot] off. Traditionally, he's the type of player that could find a niche with a very good team, someone that can just come in certain situations and then eventually be a rotation player. With the right team, he's got a chance."

*"He's 6-foot-8, is really athletic and can shoot the ball at the NBA level. He's worth the risk in the second round. You saw what he can do what he gets hot like he did in the Big East Tournament."

C.J. Leslie, NC State, PF/SF (multiple sources)

*Virginia Tech head coach James Johnson: "Ultra talented. Long, athletic, a matchup problem. Able to put the ball on the floor and so quick around the basket. For the next level, increasing his range, being able to score more efficiently around the basket is going to be something he needs to improve on."

*"He's got a ton of potential, but I've never liked his work ethic. I've never been a fan of C.J. Leslie. I don't know if he's going to be a good enough defender or hard enough worker. If you can get him in the second round - he was what, a top-10 recruit coming out of High School. He certainly has the talent and if you can get him to live up to it, you'd have a pretty good player. I just don't see that happening."

Vander Blue, Marquette, SG

*"He's kind of in between positions. A little small for a two and I don't think he's a point guard. I just don't think he shoots it that well. He can guard the ball, but I worry about how he fits in. So inconsistent offensively, that's been my issue with him."