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Join Date: Dec 2007
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2011 NBA draft facing talent drain
NBA scouts project the 2011 draft to be lean on top talent, and the pool of prospects could be even more shallow if some college underclassmen and international prospects don’t enter the draft for fear of a potential lockout. One scout likened this year’s class to the 2006 draft, when the Toronto Raptors took Andrea Bargnani with the No. 1 pick. That draft has so far produced just two All-Stars: Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy (No. 6) and Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (No. 21).
North Carolina freshman swingman Harrison Barnes could go as No. 1 pick in 2011 and has the potential to be a difference-maker for an NBA team. But scouts are projecting few others.
“This is a bad draft,” one scout said. “There will be a lot of players there, but no one special.”
Here’s an early look at 10 of the top prospects rated by NBA scouts.
1. Harrison Barnes, SG-SF, North Carolina freshman, 6-8, 210 pounds – Scout’s take: “He can score the basketball in bunches, really score. But can he make people around him better? He’s also a good rebounder, but he needs to improve his passing and defense. There’s a lot of work to do. He’s not a readymade player.”
2. Perry Jones, PF, Baylor freshman, 6-11, 220 pounds – Scout’s take: “He’s very long and athletic. A lot of people say he is lazy and has a very low motor, but he does have a great skill set.”
3. Kyrie Irving, PG-SG, Duke freshman, 6-1, 172 pounds – Scout’s take: “He’s the next Rod Strickland. One-and-done players are kind of rare there, but he’s good enough to play in the NBA next year. He’s a real true point guard. He makes tough plays and is a good passer. He’s like Chris Paul, limited size-wise.”
4. Jonas Valanciunas, PF-C, Lithuania Lietuvos Rytas, 6-11, 230 pounds – Scout’s take: “Very long and can go to the glass on both ends. Can score in transition; plays above the rim. Nice hands. Still needs to work on strength against bigger players in the post. Playing big minutes in Europe against men.”
5. Donatas Motiejunas, PF-C, Italy Benetton Treviso, 7-0, 215 pounds – Scout’s take: “Long left-hander who can go to the post and score. Inconsistent, but can play above the rim. Like his skill set. Needs to get stronger. Could be special in time. Game more suited for NBA than Europe with his quickness.”
6. Jan Vesely, SF, KK Partizan Belgrade, 6-11, 240 pounds – Scout’s take: “He’s having a slow start for Partizan. He’s an energy player, high-motor kid. He’s receding a little. He hasn’t produced the way a top-five pick should. He’s an above-the-rim, hustle guy.”
7. John Henson, PF, North Carolina sophomore, 6-10, 200 pounds – Scout’s take: “He’s long with freakish arms for a 7-foot-1 wingspan. Very good ball skills. Used to be a point guard. Needs to improve his shooting and get in the weight room. He’s very thin with narrow shoulders.”
8. Mason Plumlee, C, Duke sophomore, 6-11, 210 pounds – Scout’s take: “Good athlete who had a solid freshman year and will be better this year. He has athleticism, size, great motor, finishes around the basket and toughness. Skill set not great, but he can improve.”
9. Josh Selby, PG, Kansas freshman, 6-1, 180 pounds – Scout’s take: “He’s a Jonny Flynn-type of point guard. High energy. He will pick up the pace of a game. Definitely likes to go to basket. He can apply a lot of pressure on defense.”
10. Enes Kantner, PF-C, Turkey, 6-9, 250 pounds – Scout’s take: “He set a scoring record at the Hoop Summit breaking Dirk Nowitzki’s mark. Scouts saw him be a dominant player. He is a very gifted player inside, solid rebounder. He will be a good, not great player. It might help his stock that he doesn’t play at Kentucky.”
- Yahoo! Sports