NBA Draft: Potential Second-Round Prospects with the Best Futures
Every year, there are guys that slip past the first-round yet end up having solid NBA careers. Some of these guys include Manu Ginobili, Gilbert Arenas, Stephen Jackson, Michael Redd and others.
Ginobili has gone on to win multiple championships with the Spurs and is likely the best Argentinian basketball player in NBA history. Gilbert Arenas was once one of the premier scorers in the NBA before a few off-the-court incidents tremendously hurt his career.
Stephen Jackson has been one of the most underrated players in the last decade or so. Although he has played for a number of teams, Jackson has always been able to come in and play exceedingly well. Michael Redd was the face of the Bucks franchise for a number of years before injuries derailed his career. Over his tenure with Milwaukee, Redd recorded five straight seasons of averaging more than 20 points per game.
Then, to make up for those guys, there are the first-round prospects that wound up becoming busts. That list includes players like Adam Morrison, Patrick O'Bryant, Darko Milicic, Michael Olowakandi, Troy Bell and many, many others.
When the draft starts June 28th, there will likely be some future busts chosen in the first-round. There will also be some second-round prospects that eventually turn into solid players at the professional level. It's just the way it works.
In the following slides, I will feature some of the potential second-round prospects that I believe will have decent NBA careers.
PG Scott Machado, Iona
This is one of my favorite players in the entire draft. Simply put, Machado can do marvelous things with the basketball.
It vastly hurts him that he plays for the small college of Iona, proud property of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. If he had played in a tougher conference such as the Pac-12, Big 12, Big East or the SEC, he would likely be a first-round selection.
Regardless, Machado is still one hell of a player that can dish out the basketball. It's quite reminiscent of Steve Nash, arguably the best point guard of the last decade.
Machado has never been one of those guys that continuously lights up the scoreboard. Instead, he benefits with his insane ability to assist his teammates.
Two seasons ago, Machado averaged just 13.2 points per game, but he also accumulated 7.6 assists per game. In his senior campaign last year, he was even better as he registered averages of 13.6 points per game and an NCAA-high 9.9 assists per contest.
Machado has exceptional floor vision and has a great first step. There are weaknesses in his game like every other player, but he should be able to conquer some of those errors as time progresses.
I don't know if he will ever be a prototypical starter at the professional level, but he will be a great back-up in the NBA. I can guarantee that.
PF/C Robert Sacre, Gonzaga
Gonzaga's Robert Sacre has the ability to become a great player in the NBA. He just needs to use solid work ethic, which is something that has been a problem over the course of his collegiate career.
Sacre has legitimate size standing at 6'11"/7'0" and also weighing 260 pounds. Needless to say, he's got the prototypical body that can bang in the paint with the likes of Dwight Howard, Tyson Chandler, Andrew Bynum, Marc Gasol and others.
However, the main thing that hurts him is the numbers he put up at Gonzaga. With such big size, Sacre should have been a lock for at least eight rebounds per contest.
That was not the case though. Over the last three seasons, Sacre's rebounding numbers have gotten slightly better as he has averaged 5.4, 6.3 and 6.3 rebounds per game, respectively. He also sprinkled in 10.3, 12.5 and 11.6 points per game in that time span as well.
The main thing that helps him is that he is a fairly solid shooter. He has shot over 50 percent from the field in two of his last three collegiate seasons, and according to his averages, Sacre makes about three out four free throws. Two seasons ago, Sacre shot a healthy 82.3 percent from the free-throw line.
That's usually a rarity for a player of his size. More times than not, a big center is a horrible free-throw shooter, as evidenced by Dwight Howard's lackluster shooting abilities.
Sacre is also a solid defender and above-average in blocking shots. He is also a quality shooter from inside the three-point line, which is something most teams covet for a player of his size.
There's no doubt that Sacre will be going in the second-round, and he should be gone before the 45th selection. He definitely has the capabilities of becoming a legitimate player in the NBA. I really like his chances of succeeding.
PF JaMychal Green, Alabama
Of course, since I'm an Alabama fan, JaMychal Green is undoubtedly my favorite player in the draft. So, there was no doubt from the very beginning that he was going to be on this list.
Even if I weren't an Alabama fan, Green would still be on this list. He definitely has the capabilities of becoming a very successful player in the NBA.
Although considered to be under-sized, Green has a great wingspan—the former Tide player stands at just 6'9" but has over a 7'2" wingspan. Needless to say, he has exceptional length and athleticism for a player of his size.
Additionally, Green is a solid finisher inside the paint, and he isn't afraid to mix it up with some of the bigger players at the four-position. He plays with surprising power inside the paint as well, which gives him ample opportunities to get easy baskets.
Green is also a very gifted defender that has been forced to guard some of the best players in the SEC Conference. He's also a very explosive dunker and has continually displayed that since his freshman year in Tuscaloosa.
Over the last three seasons, Green has accumulated averages of 14.1, 15 and 14 points per game. He has also recorded averages of 7.2, 7.5 and 7.4 rebounds per game. Additionally, over the last three seasons, Green has registered 255 offensive rebounds in 91 games, which amounts to a healthy average of 2.8 per game. Clearly, he is very consistent in the rebounding department.
He has also shot over 50 percent from the field over the last two seasons and shot 49.5 percent from the field during the 2009-10 campaign. Green has an exceedingly decent mid-range game and has proved that time and time again by his averages.
Green possesses tremendous strength, as evident by his 19 reps of 185 pounds, which ranked only second behind Marquette's Jae Crowder.
Green may not ever become a true starter at the professional level, but he can become an amazing back-up for whichever team is lucky enough to acquire him.
SG John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
*Jenkins could become a first-round draft choice, but in more recent mocks, he has been envisioned as an early second-round pick.
Personally, I believe Vanderbilt's John Jenkins is one of the most underrated prospects in the entire draft.
Because there are other shooting guards in the draft such as Bradley Beal, Austin Rivers, Dion Waiters, Doron Lamb and others, Jenkins becomes a lesser-known commodity. However, I believe Jenkins has the ability of becoming one of the best shooting guards in the entire draft, maybe even better than Beal, Rivers or Waiters.
Jenkins is a tremendous shooter, hands down. He is perhaps the best jump shooter in this year's draft class as he was a career 46.8 percent shooter for the Commodores. Not to mention, he was a career 43.8 percent shooter from beyond the arc for Vanderbilt.
Jenkins has the ability to become a prolific jump shooter in the NBA without a doubt. He was constantly able to light up the scoreboard, whether he was coming off of a screen, going off the dribble or simply shooting, whether someone was guarding him or not.
He has an amazingly quick release that is tremendously hard to block. Jenkins also had solid length, standing at 6'4". Once he dons an NBA uniform, he will immediately become one of the taller "true" shooting guards in the NBA. Over his final two seasons at Vanderbilt, Jenkins recorded averages of 19.5 and 19.9 points per game, respectively.
Jenkins definitely has the capabilities of mimicking someone like Ben Gordon or Michael Redd. In other words, Jenkins could come out and score 30 points without even seemingly breaking a sweat. There's no doubt in my mind that Jenkins could become a great shooter at the professional level.
SG Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette
Some may not like what Marquette's Darius Johnson-Odom brings to the table, but I personally like what he may be able to do at the professional level.
There's no doubt that Johnson-Odom will likely ever become a day-to-day starter for an NBA team, but he has the potential of becoming a quality role-player for whichever team is lucky enough to grab him.
Johnson-Odom is a decent shooter that has gotten better as each season wore on. During his three years at Marquette, his scoring averages jumped from 13 to 15.8, and then to 18.3 in his final season last year. During his tenure at the school, he shot a decent 44.4 percent from the field. However, he will need to better those numbers slightly if he wants to have a solid professional career.
DJO is a decent passer and rebounder averaging 2.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game during his collegiate career.
His height definitely hurts him, as he would be considered a little small for a shooting guard. However, he has still be one of the best spot-up shooters in the NCAA over the course of the last couple of seasons.
Johnson-Odom also has a high basketball IQ and strong leadership qualities, both of which will come in handy once he reaches the professional level.
As I stated above, DJO may not ever become a tremendous player at the NBA level, but he has the capabilities of becoming a solid role player.
SF Kostas Papanikolaou, Greece
I'm usually not a fan of most European players, but I really like Kostas Papanikolaou's game. Papanikolaou has played an intricate part for Greece's powerful Olympiacos over the last couple of seasons.
Papanikolaou has excellent size for a small forward, currently standing at 6'9" and a solid 230 pounds. The left-handed shooter also has good fundamentals and great maturity, both of which will help his professional career grow.
Papanikolaou also has excellent defensive capabilities and has been above-average at that aspect of the game over the last couple of seasons. Because he has been playing for a powerful team overseas, Papanikolaou has more experience than most players in the June 28th festivities.
The main thing he will need to work on is his offensive game inside the arc. Papanikolaou spends most of his time on the perimeter, and if he wants to become a legitimate scorer in the NBA, he will need to definitely work on his inside game.
He will not be able to flourish by just primarily standing near or outside the three-point line.
It also remains unclear as to whether Papanikolaou will be ready to play in the NBA this season or if he will do what most European guys do: going overseas to play for a year or two. The Raptors' first-round selection last year, Jonas Valanciunas, immediately went back overseas once he was drafted, but he is expected to compete in their 2012-13 campaign.
Papanikolaou could do the same thing, although he is coveted a lot less than Valanciunas. Regardless, Papanikolaou has the potential of becoming a very good player at the NBA level, much like Andrei Kirilenko.
Be Sure to Also Look At..
There are definitely some other guys that have decent potential of becoming great players at the NBA level.
Here are some additional guys that ya'll will need to keep an eye on:
* C Henry Sims, Georgetown
* SG Kim English, Missouri
* C Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt
* SF Kris Joseph, Syracuse
* PG/SG Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas