Every player goes into the draft with a few question marks. Maybe they are undersized, their defense is a bit subpar, they have problems off the court, etc.
But some players are just built (either physically or mentally) for NBA success. As always, nothing is a guarantee. There are definitely a few players in the 2013 draft class who are most likely to find a place for themselves in the NBA.
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
The 6’4”, 225-pound freshman certainly has the physical attributes for the NBA. Smart is a 96 overall on nbadraft.net, which compares his game to that of James Harden. It describes him as a “combo guard with a team oriented, winner’s mentality” and a “strong, determined competitor.”
Smart had a solid freshman season with the Cowboys, averaging 15.8 points per game and 5.8 rebounds. His team may have been bounced in the second round of the NCAA tournament by a hungry Oregon squad, but that does not diminish the impact Smart had on the college basketball world and will probably have on the NBA.
Ben McLemore, Kansas
Whose game is more NBA ready?
According to nbadraft.net, Kansas coach Bill Self once described McLemore as “the most talented kid he’s ever coached.” This is from a man who has been coaching college basketball since 1985 and had Deron Williams on his team at Illinois.
The site describes McLemore as an “ultra smooth shooting guard with a lethal combination of athleticism and scoring ability” and even goes as far to liken him to Ray Allen.
McLemore has the potential to be a source of instant offense whenever he enters games. He can occasionally disappear in games (like a two-point effort against North Carolina in the tournament), but when he is on, his game is NBA ready.
Victor Oladipo, Indiana
The ESPN mock draft has Oladipo going ninth overall, but his game is more NBA-ready than players expected to be taken before him like, say, Trey Burke or Alex Len.
Nbadraft.net describes him as “an explosive athlete with great leaping ability” and “a very tough and gritty player who fights for everything.” It compares him to Tony Allen, a guy known for his hard-nosed defense and explosive personality.
As the site says: “Defensively he should be able to translate to the NBA quite easily."
Oladipo will enter the NBA and immediately make any team he is on tougher. He may be more of an athlete than a basketball player at this point, but his defense and attitude will carry him far in the NBA.