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Stock Up, Stock Down for Top 2013 NBA Draft Prospects

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterJanuary 10, 2013

Stock Up, Stock Down for Top 2013 NBA Draft Prospects

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    It's stock watch time for the 2013 NBA draft.

    Time to check up on who's been making plays and who's been fartin' around.

    The rankings of our top prospects are unlikely to drastically change from a week-to-week basis, but there's usually some shuffling based on recent performances and results.

    This week it was Ben McLemore and Glenn Robinson III who made the most noise, while Cody Zeller and James McAdoo continue to raise doubts about their NBA potential.

16. Trey Burke, Michigan: 6'0'' PG ↑

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    Stock Report: Up

    Trey Burke hasn't shot the ball overly well the past few games, but he's still managing to score and stay effective as a floor general.

    One thing he doesn't get enough credit for is his ball security. Burke hasn't turned the ball over more than two times in seven straight games—an incredible number when you consider how ball-dominant he is. He's averaging 1.8 turnovers per game in 33 minutes, valuing every possession, pass made and shot taken.

    He's scoring 18.2 points and dishing out 7.3 assists per game, and is starting to close in on the title of top point guard in the college game.

15. Otto Porter, Georgetown: 6'8'' SF ↓

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    Stock Report: Down

    Georgetown is now 0-2 to start Big East conference play, and Otto Porter hasn't done much to help.

    Porter grabbed three rebounds and made two field goals in a blowout loss to Pittsburgh, after a quiet 13-point, six-rebound line in a one-point loss to Marquette.

    He's been held in check on the boards, and without the ability to consistently create his own offense, Porter is vulnerable to disappearing throughout important stretches of games.

    He's not to blame for Georgetown's poor start, but it just goes to show he's more of a role player or glue guy than someone capable of taking control.

14. James McAdoo, North Carolina: 6'9'' SF/PF ↓

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    Stock Report: Down

    James McAdoo's shot selection is starting to take a toll on his draft stock. His perception of good shots to bad shots is puzzling. Despite combining the most potent blend of athleticism and size, McAdoo has been playing like an undersized shooting guard.

    A player with McAdoo's physical attributes should be shooting over 50 percent from the floor (he's at 46 percent). Too often does he try and show off his shot-creating abilities by taking off-balance fadeaways or tough runners on the move.

    Before he starts trying to emulate Kobe Bryant, it might be smart to develop an 18-foot spot-up jumper or expand his range out to the arc. He still hasn't taken a three-pointer all season.

    If McAdoo wants to log minutes at the 3 in the pros, he's got to develop a better outside shot and perimeter game off the dribble.

13. Mason Plumlee, Duke: 7'0'' C

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    Stock Report: Down

    Mason Plumlee's scoring opportunities are being taken away by defenses, and it's starting to affect his performance.

    Suddenly, Plumlee can't make a free throw or get a clean look at the rim. This is a time where having a mid-range jumper would really help out, so that he's not forced to take contested hook shots or squeeze into clogged lanes for layups.

    It's just a bump on the old roller coaster for Mason Plumlee, whose extraordinary physical tools and clear head should allow him to bounce right back into National Player of the Year conversations.

12. C.J. McCollum, Lehigh: 6'3'' PG ↓

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    Stock Report: Down

    It's possible C.J. McCollum's college career could be over after breaking his foot against VCU, and while it shouldn't factor into his NBA outlook, it allows other prospects to make their move up the board while he watches from the sidelines.

    He's been a volume scorer for the past two years now, so it's not like scouts are unaware of his skill set.

    Getting back to full strength for the NBA combine, athletic testing and pre-draft workouts will be the goal for for the guard, so he can provide scouts with one last reminder why he was second in the country in scoring before the injury.

11. Glenn Robinson III, Michigan: 6'6'' SF ↑

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    Stock Report: Up

    I still have Glenn Robinson III as a 2014 prospect, assuming he wants to take advantage of the extra showcase time a lineup without Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. will offer.

    Robinson double-doubled with 20 and 10 against Iowa and went for 14 and six over Nebraska. He's a superior athlete with ideal size for the wing and a balanced physical mix of explosiveness and body control.

    With his opportunities limited in being third in the Wolverines offensive pecking order, Robinson has still managed to flash his NBA potential. Right now he's making plays as a finisher, whether it's cutting backdoor, on put-back dunks or spotting up from behind the arc.

    He'll have more freedom as a sophomore to create off the dribble. Robinson is a lottery prospect, but will most likely have to wait for his time to shine.

10. Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse: 6'6'' PG

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    Stock Report: Steady

    Michael Carter-Williams played a complete game against Providence Wednesday night, finishing with 17 points, five assists, six boards and five steals.

    He's actually starting to heat up from downtown, making eight of his last 18 three-point attempts over his last four games.

    It's becoming more and more noticeable just how effective his length really is. It helps him pass around defenders, get his shot off over outstretched arms, and disrupt passing lanes on defense. 

    The next step for Carter-Williams is developing a consistent pull-up jumper, to make him a triple-threat offensive weapon as an attacker, distributor and shooter.

9. Isaiah Austin, Baylor: 7'1'' PF/C ↑

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    Stock Report: Up

    Isaiah Austin is starting to put up numbers with consistency, taking advantage of his unique physical gifts and natural feel for the game.

    He's scored at least 17 points in his last three games, gaining comfort and confidence from inside and outside the arc.

    His NBA outlook is still to be determined, as it's unclear whether he'll play more on the perimeter or the interior. Either way, there's a spot in every rotation for a 7'1'' athlete who can cover both grounds.

8. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State: 6'4'' PG/SG ↑

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    Stock Report: Up

    Marcus Smart is illustrating why he's eligible for the combo-guard label and isn't just limited to playing one position or the other.

    Over his past three games, Smart is averaging 20.6 points on 67.7 percent shooting, playing with an offensive mindset as the team's lead guard.

    Oklahoma State needs him to score, so that's what he's doing. But Smart's natural mentality is pass first. With teams today willing to incorporate a point guard, passive scorer or playmaker at the off-guard slot (e.g. Jason Kidd, Alexey Shved, Devin Harris), there seems to be an ideal fit for Smart's skill set in the NBA.

    Think James Harden, only more distributing and less scoring.

7. Archie Goodwin, Kentucky: 6'5'' SG ↑

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    Stock Report: Up

    Archie Goodwin's stock inflation is unrelated to his statistics. He's making NBA-caliber plays on a regular basis that aren't documented on box scores.

    Louisville's defense closely simulates the pressure Goodwin will see at the next level, but that didn't seem to bother him, finishing with a game-high 22 points in their matchup last month.

    He sliced through the Cardinals defense like a hot knife through butter, getting to the rim and finishing with regularity. Goodwin turns difficult scoring opportunities into easy ones because of his athleticism and ability to explode at the rim before defenders can set their feet.

    In a draft where most of the scoring guards are perimeter-oriented, Goodwin offers an attack mode that most of his competitors can't offer.

6. Alex Len, Maryland: 7'1'' C ↑

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    Stock Report: Up

    Alex Len went for 16 and nine and 15 and 10 in Maryland's two conference games so far. He's not scoring in volume, rather with efficiency and consistency.

    Maryland has finally started to feature Len a bit more in the offense, looking for him in the post, where he has a distinct offensive edge.

    The fact that he's taking advantage of his touches is a promising sign for scouts who question whether he's a top two or three scoring option at the next level.

5. Anthony Bennett, UNLV: 6'7'' SF/PF ↑

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    Stock Report: Up

    It's gotten to the point where scouts are lined up on the regular to see Anthony Bennett in action.

    Bennett won the individual battle with James McAdoo last week, and earned a target on his head in the process. Defenses have started to game-plan for Bennett, and offenses are attacking him.

    UNLV suffered a tough loss to New Mexico, who went at Bennett early and forced him into foul trouble. It's a credit to Bennett, whose power and agility have been simply overwhelming at times this year. 

    Before the season, he was believed to be a potential 2014 first-rounder, and now he's in the conversations for first overall pick in 2013. It's safe to say his stock is up.

4. Cody Zeller, Indiana: 6'11'' C

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    Stock Report: Steady

    Cody Zeller is pretty much a lock for 15 points and five boards a night, but as a sophomore, scouts are looking for improvement.

    Although he's averaging 1.3 more rebounds and almost a point more over last season, there just isn't a visible difference from one year to the next.

    He's still scoring at a high rate in the post and beating his man down the floor for easy baskets. It would just be nice to see a little face-up game and a stronger presence on the glass.

    Zeller has six or less rebounds in five of his last six games, which almost seems impossible when you consider his size, athleticism and time spent inside.

    His stock remains steady, but the ice is getting thin.

3. Ben McLemore, Kansas: 6'5'' SG ↑

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    Stock Report: Up

    I'm willing to bet that a lot more people are familiar with Ben McLemore after his heroics on national television in Kansas' overtime win over Iowa State this week.

    McLemore went for 33 points on 6-of-6 from downtown, including the game-tying (bank) shot at the end of regulation to send the game into extra minutes.

    He displayed flawless catch-and-shoot rhythm reminiscent of Ray Allen, with no wasted motion and a quick, clean release.

    With NBA 2-guard athleticism and the explosiveness in the open floor, McLemore is making a case for a top-three bid. There's no sign of risk or question marks—only room for growth with a high, satisfying basement.

    Worse comes to worst, he's a lethal spot-up shooter, explosive slasher and defensive ball-stopper.

2. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky: 6'11'' C

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    Stock Report: Steady

    Nerlens Noel hasn't made many dents on the scoreboard in recent weeks, but he's rebounding and blocking shots, and that's the only thing that matters.

    He's nearly averaging a double-double at 10.3 points and 9.3 rebounds, while blocking 3.5 shots a game.

    His stock isn't likely to fluctuate from now till the June draft since we already know what he is—an offensively raw big man with incredible athleticism and defensive instincts.

    He'll remain a projected top-five pick regardless of his statistics.

1. Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA: 6'6'' SG ↑

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    Stock Report: Up

    Shabazz Muhammad continues to put up points though different avenues of offense, whether it's in the post, scoring on the move or spotting up from 25 feet.

    His scoring average is up to 19.6 points a game, and he's not even featured as a go-to option in the Bruins offense. Muhammad is settling in, and UCLA is starting to win games.

    He's the top wing scorer in the country in terms of creating his own offense from all different angles.

    If the team who selects first overall is in the market for offense, Shabazz Muhammad's services will likely be targeted.

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