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Portsmouth Invitational 2013: NBA Draft Prospects with Most to Gain

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIApril 10, 2013

Portsmouth Invitational 2013: NBA Draft Prospects with Most to Gain

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    The 61st annual Portsmouth Invitational will transpire from Wednesday, Apr. 10 through Saturday, Apr. 13. Some of the top seniors in college basketball will take center stage as they attempt to raise their draft stock in a showcase of ability.

    The question is which NBA draft prospects have the most to gain?

    B/R's Alex Kay provides a list of participants, as well as the dates and times for those interested. It's there that you can find the names of countless players with NBA dreams but unproven upside.

    So who needs to perform the best at the Portsmouth Invitational?

Larry Drew II, UCLA Bruins

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 23

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 180 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    13.60 PER, 7.5 PPG, 7.3 APG, 2.4 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 43.3% 3PT

     

    During the 2012-13 college basketball season, UCLA Bruins point guard Larry Drew II was sensational. The 6'2" lead guard finished with averages of 7.5 points, 7.3 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals on 43.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

    At the Portsmouth Invitational, Drew II has the opportunity to prove his worth as an NBA draft prospect.

    Drew II has quality size at 6'2" and has proved to be one of the better facilitators in this draft class. He can work the drive-and-dish game well and facilitates at a high level in transition.

    At the next level, he could be a quality second unit lead guard—performing well in Portsmouth could solidify that status.

Richard Howell, North Carolina State Wolfpack

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 22

    Height/Weight: 6'8", 261 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    24.99 PER, 12.7 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.0 SPG

     

    Richard Howell of the North Carolina State Wolfpack is one of the most productive players in this draft class. He's a fundamentally sound player with his back to the basket that can pass out of the post and score with both hands.

    As a dominant rebounder with an NBA body and a consistent face-up game, Howell's talents could translate to the next level—even at 6'8".

    Howell isn't the most explosive athlete, but he's similar to Jared Sullinger in terms of playing style and body mass. As a player who thrives in boxing out and gaining position, Howell should be able to overcome his size disadvantage.

    Keep in mind, rebounding is a trait that translates well to the next level—especially when the next generation of power forwards is significantly shorter than the previous generation.

Elijah Johnson, Kansas Jayhawks

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    Position: Guard

    Age: 22

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 195 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    12.28 PER, 9.9 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.1 RPG, 0.9 SPG

     

    Elijah Johnson has a future in the NBA, the question simply pertains to what position he's meant to play. With his size, build and defensive prowess, however, Johnson should be able to thrive regardless of his position.

    At the Portsmouth Invitational, Johnson can prove his versatility as an off-ball player on offense after spending his senior season as an out-of-position point guard.

    There's no denying that Johnson must bulk up in order to truly make an impact at the next level. There's also no way around the questions in reference to his shot selection.

    With that being said, Johnson has elite defensive gifts due to his range, length and athleticism—that's a valuable piece of information for a contender looking to breed a quality defender.

    Furthermore, if Johnson is to play point guard, he's a 6'4" player with exhilarating athleticism. With his feet set, he's also a dangerous three-point shooter.

    No matter which way you cut it, Johnson is an intriguing prospect with much to prove—how dominant he is could determine where he's drafted.

Peyton Siva, Louisville Cardinals

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 22

    Height/Weight: 6'0", 175 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    17.35 PER, 10.0 PPG, 5.7 APG, 2.4 RPG, 2.3 SPG

     

    Peyton Siva has been one of the best defensive players in the nation for quite some time. Not only is he explosively quick, but he makes the type of plays that the average player wouldn't even think of attempting.

    Unfortunately, Siva is also 6'0" tall on a good day and has never been forced to carry his team as a facilitator. That's an issue that Siva can prove to be of little relevance with a great performance at the Portsmouth Invitational.

    After witnessing Siva hold his own against National Player of the Year Trey Burke during the national championship game, we like his odds.

    Siva is the type of player who will chase a play down and turn a transition layup attempt into a turnover by utilizing his quick hands, non-stop motor and superb timing. He's also the type of player who will pick an elite ball-handler up off of the outlet pass.

    Every single time.

    Siva has world-class endurance and is a legitimate game changer on both ends of the floor. With a national championship to his name, he now has the chance to build a draft portfolio.

    Performing well here could be what's necessary to push him into draft conversations.

Khalif Wyatt, Temple Owls

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 21

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 210 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    23.80 PER, 20.5 PPG, 4.0 APG, 2.9 RPG, 1.7 SPG

     

    Khalif Wyatt is one of the best pure scorers in this entire draft class. With a strong frame and an uncanny ability to enter the paint, Wyatt compensates for his lack of elite athleticism by playing angles as well as anyone in the nation.

    That's led to his season averages of 20.5 points, 4.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 7.2 free-throw attempts per game.

    What is most impressive about Wyatt's success is that he's played at an elite level against top-tier opponents. He scored 33 against Syracuse, 31 against Indiana, 31 against North Carolina State, 30 against VCU and 26 against Kansas—all in 2012-13.

    This young man is legitimate.

    At the Portsmouth Invitational, however, Wyatt has something to prove as he attempts to outclass the other scoring guards in attendance. If he does so, Wyatt could work his way up draft boards and land in a more favorable position.

    This young man could be a genuine star at the NBA level—that journey starts in Portsmouth, Virginia.

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