2012 NBA Draft: 6 Prospects Who Could Eventually Lead the NBA in Scoring
The one aspect of the NBA that always seems to intrigue fans is the ability of elite scorers. Players like Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant have a way of mesmerizing us with their ability to put the ball in the basket in a number of ways.
With the 2012 NBA draft only a day away, there are a number of prospects that have the potential to become elite scorers in the league. Today we'll look at six of those players who could eventually lead the NBA in scoring.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
2011 Season Stats: 11.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG
Even though Michael Kidd-Gilchrist doesn't have an extremely polished offensive game, he has the potential to become a big-time scorer in the NBA due to his maturity, aggressiveness and athleticism.
Kidd-Gilchrist will enter the league as one of the better young players on the fast break. He has the ability to get to the rim almost effortlessly in the open court, and is nearly impossible to stop once he gets the ball in his hands.
What he'll need to improve on is his half-court game. He needs to develop into a more consistent mid-range scorer. He'll also need to improve his ball-handling and the ability to create his own shot.
Why I feel confident that he'll be able to do that is because of his dedication to the game of basketball. You can tell from watching him play that his greatest desire is to become a better player. While it may take a year or two for him to develop those offensive skills, you can guarantee that he won't stop until he has becomes the best player he can be.
The player that Kidd-Gilchrist could eventually develop into could absolutely end up leading the NBA in scoring one day.
Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
2011 Season Stats: 17.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG
Of all the prospects on this list, Harrison Barnes has the best chance to to lead the NBA in scoring. In fact, he could do it sooner than anyone would expect.
Barnes is leaving North Carolina as one of the best pure scorers in college basketball, and his overall offensive capabilities translate well to the professional level. His outside shot is already one of the best in the entire draft.
The one area that Barnes needs to improve in is his one-on-one game and creating his own shot. Luckily for whoever drafts him, he definitely took steps to improving that aspect of his game during the latter part of the season.
If Barnes can become a threat around the rim like he is on the perimeter, it won't be long before he is one of the best scorers in the NBA.
Perry Jones III, SF, Baylor
2011 Season Stats: 13.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG
The biggest issue with Perry Jones III has always been his intensity. There has never been a problem with his talent level or his potential, but his ability and desire to reach that is the big question.
However, if Jones reaches his full potential, he could end up completely dominating the league. Few players in the league have his combination of size and athleticism. At 6'11", Jones is athletic enough to play the No. 3 position in the NBA, which will give him an advantage nearly every single time he steps on the court.
His ability to not only get to the rim with ease, but to also hit jump shots will make him extremely difficult to defend. As long as whoever drafts him can get him to play at 100 percent, they could end up getting the best player in this draft.
Jones has been compared to a bigger Tracy McGrady, and that image alone should scare the heck out of teams if it comes true.
Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
2011 Season Stats: 15.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.1 APG
Austin Rivers entered college basketball as the No. 1 recruit, and while he didn't always perform like the best player in the country, there were definitely flashes of brilliance.
Rivers already posses an NBA ability to get past defenders on the perimeter and finish at the rim. He'll have to add some bulk to his body, but once he does that, he could become one of the better finishers in the game.
The biggest issue surrounding Rivers is where he'll exactly play in the NBA. At just 6'4", Rivers is a little undersized for a true shooting guard. If a team attempts to transition him to the point guard position, he definitely won't be leading the NBA in scoring.
However, if a team is willing to work with him as the No. 2 guard, they could end up getting a dynamic scorer.
Jeremy Lamb, SG, UCONN
2011 Season Stats: 17.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG
Of all the prospects on this list, Jeremy Lamb has the best all-around game. He was expected to have a much better 2011 season with the departure of Kemba Walker, and while he was great at times, he also struggled.
Lamb has good size (6'5") and the ability to score from anywhere on the court. It's his 7'1" wingspan that gives him such an advantage on offense, and if he can add some weight to his frame, he could become an even more dangerous scorer.
As long as Lamb can learn to be more aggressive when attacking the rim, which should happen when he bulks up, he has the potential to become a vicious scorer in the NBA.
Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor
2011 Season Stats: 10.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG
For Quincy Miller, it is all about potential. His freshman season at Baylor wasn't spectacular, but there were definitely times when you could see just how much ability was oozing out of this kid.
At 6'10" with a 7'3" wingspan, Miller has the ideal size to play small forward in the NBA. His length and athleticism will make him a difficult player to defend if he can reach his full potential.
Of course, reaching that potential won't be easy for Miller. He is still affected by a knee surgery that took place two years ago, and there are some out there who feel that he may never get back to 100 percent from that.
However, if he does, and if a team is willing to develop him properly, Miller could become a special player and scorer in the league.