NBA Draft 2013: Underclassmen Who Should Have Returned to School

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2013

There are many college basketball players who believe they can make the immediate jump to the NBA, but not all are ready for the next level.

Underclassmen who declare for the draft hope that they are selected early in the first round. Players like Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo and Otto Porter made the right decision to leave school and will be rewarded with big-time contracts.

Unfortunately, this next group of players made the wrong decision and will regret not staying in college for at least another year.


Phil Pressey, PG, Missouri

There are times where Phil Pressey looks like he could be a starter on an NBA team. However, his lack of consistency is a concern for scouts.

He had a few 20-point games for Missouri last season, but he also had a few games with two points or less. Nine games with five or more turnovers is also nothing to be proud of.

To make matters worse, his lack of size at 5'11" will prevent him from doing much better at the next level.

If Pressey were to come back to school and prove he can be a steady point guard without turning the ball over, he could become a first-round pick. Instead, he will be lucky to be selected in the second round.


Deshaun Thomas, SF, Ohio State

There were few better scorers in college basketball this year than Deshaun Thomas. He averaged almost 20 points per game and reached double figures in every contest.

The problem is that this does not translate well to NBA.

Thomas often took a lot of shots to get his points, averaging 15.8 attempts per game. He is also not very athletic and struggles to score around the basket.

As a one-dimensional player who will not be able to score with the same consistency at the next level, this does not make him a very appealing prospect to pro teams.


Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan

With a great shooting ability and impressive athleticism, Tim Hardaway Jr. should get a look from some teams. Unfortunately, his flaws will prevent him from being a high pick.

The guard does not have great handle, which causes him to struggle at creating his own shot. He also did not have the best shot-selection during the season.

Trey Burke leaving will hurt Michigan next season, but Hardaway has the ability to take over as the team's leader. Raising his scoring average as well as his efficiency would allow him to make a big jump.

This would have helped his school as well as his draft stock. 


Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh

Unlike the others on this list, Steven Adams is still likely to be selected in the first round due to his massive potential. At 7'0" with defensive skill, he could be a starting center in the league.

The problem is that he is incredibly raw, especially on the offensive end. This year he averaged only 7.2 points per game, and most of that was on dunks and close finishes.

Next season, he will likely be buried on a bench and not get a chance to improve with the game experience. If he remained at Pittsburgh, he could have gotten a much bigger role and improved more quickly.

He might make some money next season, but this was a poor long-term decision for the New Zealand native.