2012 NBA Draft: 5 Great Prospects Who Are Being Undervalued
The 2012 NBA draft is right around the corner, and there are some prospects who aren't quite getting the media attention they deserve.
While guys like Kentucky's Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are getting all the hype at the top of the draft, some players like Connecticut's Jeremy Lamb deserve more than they are receiving.
Here is a look at five draft prospects who are being undervalued by NBA scouts and could make teams regret passing over them on draft day.
SG Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut
While Jeremy Lamb is sure to be a lottery pick, he isn't getting some of the hype that other prospects in that range are getting.
A combination of UConn's disappointing season and Lamb's lack of assertiveness on the offensive end at times has scouts a little worried about how he will transition to the NBA game.
Lamb is a superb athlete at 6'5" 185 lbs. and is a great weapon on the fast break. While he only shot 34 percent from three-point range this season, he has a smooth jumper and that percentage will improve with added reps and better shot selection at the next level.
An underrated aspect of Lamb's game is his ability on the defensive end of the floor. With his 6'11" wingspan and quick first step, Lamb is effective at getting in the passing lanes and creating turnovers.
While he needs to toughen up and add some weight to his frame, Lamb has all the skills to be a successful shooting guard in the NBA.
SG Evan Fournier, France
In a weak year overall for international draft prospects, Evan Fournier is the best of the crop. Projected to go sometime late in the first round, Fournier has a unique skill set that could have some teams regretting passing him over.
While he doesn't possess the freakish athleticism of some draft prospects, Fournier is a 6'7" shooting guard who can handle the rock like a point guard.
His jump shot is a work in progress, but he has made significant improvements on it and he should become a decent shooter at the NBA level.
Where Fournier is at his best is getting into the lane, as he does an excellent job of using his strength and quickness to get to the basket, where he has no problem finishing around the hoop.
Don't expect Fournier to go early in the 2012 NBA draft, but don't be surprised if he earns important playing time on a good team next season.
PG Scott Machado, Iona
Not a lot of people knew who Scott Machado was before this year, but he put himself on the map with a big senior year at Iona.
The nation's assist leader this past season, Machado has superb floor vision and does a great job of creating open shots for his teammates with his ability to drive in the lane and dish.
A magician on the fast break, Machado shows great body control with his sturdy 6'2" frame, although he doesn't have great athleticism.
Machado's long-range shot made great strides this season, and he has a fluid shooting motion that leads scouts to believe he will have success shooting the ball in the NBA.
Machado is making a strong move up draft boards as there are several teams in need of a pure point guard, and he has the ability to be a good contributor in his rookie season.
PG Tony Wroten, Washington
There are few players at the point guard position with the size and athleticism that Washington's Tony Wroten possesses.
An absolute nightmare on the fast break for opposing teams, the 6'6" Wroten profiles as a John Wall, Rajon Rondo type of point guard in the NBA.
While he sometimes tries to play outside himself and force the issue, Wroten has about as much potential as any player in the 2012 draft.
With excellent vision combined with his ability to get to the hoop, Wroten can make virtually any pass look easy and has the potential to be a great offensive facilitator in the NBA.
The biggest weakness in Wroten's game is his long-range jumper as he shot just 18 percent from beyond the arc. While he could improve on his touch and mechanics, don't expect perimeter shooting to be a major part of his game.
With his great size and athleticism added to excellent point guard skills, Wroten could be a steal for a team late in the first round or early in the second round of the NBA draft.
PF Eric Griffin, Campbell
If you watch the first two dunks in the video above, you can see that Campbell's Eric Griffin has elite athleticism in his 6'8" frame.
Griffin is much more than just a high flyer, however. He showed a much improved low-post game during the season at Campbell, and he presents a matchup nightmare for opposing teams with his length and quickness.
If Griffin draws a bigger defender, he has the skill set to take his defender out on the perimeter. He has good handles for a lanky big man and can get to the basket easily against slower defenders.
Griffin also has a very nice mid-range jumper and he could develop a solid three-point shot as well in the NBA.
A former junior college transfer, Griffin is extremely raw and he could take several years to reach his full potential.
Any team willing to take a chance with a second-round pick in the 2012 NBA draft could be getting a steal in Campbell's Eric Griffin.
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