NBA Draft 2012: 5 Second-Round Picks Who Will Turn out to Be Steals
When a player drafted in the first round of an NBA draft, high expectations are to follow. However, second-round picks are more or less expected to be hit-or-miss players. There have been times when players drafted in the second round have exceeded expectations and made a splash in the NBA.
Notable examples of this are Manu Ginobili and Marc Gasol, both second-rounders-turned-All-Stars in the NBA. Even this season, Chandler Parsons and Isaiah Thomas were both picked in the second round only to rise above the low expectations and become valuable members of their respective teams.
With the 2012 NBA draft coming up later this month, let's take a look at five players who have the potential to make teams look foolish for not drafting them earlier.
1. Draymond Green, PF, Michigan State
Something that has damaged a lot of Green's draft stock this year is his lack of size for the power forward position. Standing at just 6'7", he is not the ideal size for a typical NBA big man.
What Green did show in his senior season at Michigan State is that he can make up for his height deficiency with a nice shooting touch from the perimeter. By being a threat to shoot the ball, Green gives himself more opportunities to score at the next level even with his lack of size.
His smaller frame doesn't deter his rebounding ability, however, as Green was able to grab an impressive 10.6 rebounds per game last season against larger opponents.
Green could potentially wind up being a player much like Jeff Green (no relation), a forward with a good shooting touch and not too much of a post game involved on offense.
2. Kevin Murphy, SG/SF, Tennessee Tech
Now, you may not have heard much about Kevin Murphy or even the college he went to, but there is reason to believe that you will know who he is come the end of next season.
Murphy is a flat-out scorer who can put the ball in from just about anywhere on the court. He has a versatile game that uses good perimeter shooting along with taking advantage of his good 6'6" size. Murphy is able to hit spot-up shots and contested shots, and work well in isolation plays.
Scoring may not always transfer from college ball to the NBA, but when a player has such a diverse offensive skill set such as Murphy, it is very possible that he can continue his offensive onslaught even against the pros.
3. Jae Crowder, SF/PF, Marquette
Similar to the criticism of Draymond Green, Crowder is not seen as a top prospect due to his relative lack of size in the positions he plays.
At Marquette, Crowder was able to get by being a 6'5" small forward/power forward since a lot of the competition he played was not nearly as big or polished as the players he will be seeing in the NBA. However, that reality will soon sink in and Crowder will most likely have to settle himself into a small forward role on a team.
What gives Crowder the potential to be a contributor to a team is his tenacity and hustle while on the court.
Though he may not have offense run through him, he moves well off of the ball and can get open near the basket for easy points. Crowder is also a solid shooter, which is something he will have to continue to develop if he wants to maintain long-term success in the NBA.
Generally speaking, what Crowder lacks in size for his position, he makes up with heart and effort that are the kind of intangibles that can take a player to the next level in the pros.
4. Kyle O'Quinn, PF, Norfolk State
After a huge upset over second-seeded Missouri in the NCAA tournament this year, Kyle O'Quinn and Norfolk State helped to put themselves on the map.
O'Quinn did well in the tournament and definitely built up some draft stock. However, he is still coming out of a mid-major school, which is maybe why teams may be hesitant to draft him before the second round.
Last season, he put up 15.9 points per game with 10.3 rebounds and an impressive 2.7 blocks. O'Quinn's excellent shot-blocking ability could be attributed to his ridiculous 7'5" wingspan.
While he is still a little raw in his scoring and post game in general, O'Quinn has shown that he is competent enough down low to play either the power forward or center position.
Additionally, his high basketball IQ and ability to find open teammates on offense could be contributing factors to O'Quinn being a great pick in the second round of the NBA draft this year.
5. Casper Ware, PG, Long Beach State
I have certainly talked a lot about these prospects being undersized, but none more than the 5'9" point guard from Long Beach State, Casper Ware.
By far the shortest player in the NBA draft this year, Ware has had to play against bigger opponents virtually his entire college career. He has met and embraced the challenge of being the smallest player on the court by using his tremendous speed and agility to weave his way in and out of defenses and play some good defense of his own.
Ware can shoot relatively well from the perimeter, but he is perhaps the deadliest when driving into a defense where he can blow past a defender for a layup or floater in the paint.
With Long Beach State playing several nationally ranked opponents last season, Ware has had a lot of chances to prove himself against other elite point guards in the nation like Kendall Marshall and Tyshawn Taylor.
On top of that, Ware found himself winning the Drew League MVP last summer over other NBA talent, like James Harden and J.R. Smith, who frequently play in the LA-area basketball organization.
With such a big resume for a little guy, Ware could prove to be a gamble worth taking for a team in the second round of the 2012 NBA draft.