5 Former Top NBA Draft Picks Who Will Finally Live Up to Their Hype in 2012-13
There are always going to be draft busts in the NBA, but some guys who have struggled from recent drafts look ready to prove they were worth their high selections.
Whether it's Hasheem Thabeet ready to prove he's a capable NBA center or Jeff Green eager to show he can contribute in Boston, here are five players who have a chip on their shoulder and want to make a big difference this season.
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
Enes Kanter was drafted third in the 2011 draft and looked like a solid addition down low for the Utah Jazz. He has all the physical tools to succeed but was buried on the depth chart behind Al Jefferson.
Kanter really didn't get a fair chance to show his talent and should get more minutes to do so this season.
Current starter Al Jefferson will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, and the Jazz will need to see if Kanter is ready to step into the starting spot.
His season might not be much better statistically, but I expect a much stronger year from Kanter as he gets more and more accustomed to the NBA game.
Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
Michael Beasley came off an unreal freshman year at Kansas State to be drafted second by the Miami Heat in the 2008 draft.
He showed potential, but several run-ins with the law stunted his growth as a player and he struggled on the floor.
He was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he saw his role reduced significantly. He became an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Beasley signed with the Phoenix Suns and looks to be a big part of the franchise's future. He will be a featured scorer and Phoenix's wide-open style of play should suit him.
If Beasley comes in with the right mindset, he could really shine as a Sun.
Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE
Bismack Biyombo is an extremely raw talent, but the seventh pick of the 2011 draft has a ton of potential.
Biyombo has the length and athleticism to be a Serge Ibaka-type of player on defense, but needs to be better coached. That might be tough in Charlotte, but owner Michael Jordan is determined to make this team better.
Biyombo only played around 23 minutes per game and had averages of 5.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 1.8 BPG. Those numbers should only go up as he gets a more prominent role on the team next season.
It wouldn't surprise me if Biyombo solidified himself as the starting power forward of the future for the Charlotte Bobcats during this upcoming season.
Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
Hasheem Thabeet was drafted second by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2009 draft—behind Blake Griffin but before James Harden and Ricky Rubio.
Thabeet looked to be that rare blend of size and athleticism, but he struggled on both ends of the court and was quickly moved out of Memphis.
He bounced around, going to the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers before signing a free-agent deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder this offseason.
Thabeet steps into the backup center role, and I think he'll emerge this year. He goes to a proven team that only needs him to make an impact on defense and won't ask for much more than that.
Playing behind Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka will be a huge plus, as he can really polish his offensive game while learning defense from two of the better defensive big men in the league.
The Thunder hope that he can harness the raw talent that made him so enticing to NBA scouts.
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Green went from starting power forward on the Oklahoma City Thunder, to backup small forward on the Celtics, to missing last season with a heart problem.
No one has every questioned his talent, but inconsistency has plagued him.
Green re-signed with Boston this offseason and looks entrenched as the backup small forward behind Paul Pierce.
While he has struggled in his brief time with the Celtics, he's been around the team for almost two years now and should be more familiar with both Boston's defensive and offensive schemes.
That familiarity combined with a bigger role off the bench should lead to a productive year from Green in Boston.