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NBA Lottery 2012: Damian Lillard Is Sleeper Teams Will Regret Passing on

LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 17:  Tre'Von Willis #33 of the UNLV Rebels goes for a steal between Damian Lillard #1 and Matt Washington #33 of the Weber State Wildcats during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center December 17, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIMay 30, 2012

Weber State point guard Damian Lillard is racing up draft boards and could be the top player taken at his position in the 2012 NBA draft. On draft night, he will certainly be a lottery pick and could have the biggest impact on the league as a rookie.

During his senior season at Weber State, the 21-year-old Lillard averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He hit 46.7 percent of his field goals, 88.7 percent of his free throws and 40.9 percent of his three-pointers. Basically, he is an all-around point guard who can do it all.

Lillard is an outstanding penetrator who can score on the inside, but also has great range on his jumper. At 6'2" and 185 pounds, he has enough size to mix it up in the paint and not get overwhelmed by bigger defenders. 

He is a really good athlete, who is strong and physical as well as quick. More importantly, he is a hard worker with a high basketball IQ, who will make those around him better.

In the NBA, Lillard will need to improve his awareness offensively, but that shouldn't be a problem for a guy who works as hard as he does and takes his craft seriously. 

Lillard was the second-leading scorer in college basketball last season as he was primarily a scoring guard. However, at the next level, I really don't think he will have a problem operating as a guy who makes plays for others. 

According to ESPN's Chad Ford, Lillard has been outstanding in workouts and has only improved his stock throughout the pre-draft process. While some may hold the fact that he faced lesser competition in college against him, teams in need of perimeter help will regret passing on Lillard.

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