Finding a diamond in the rough in the NBA draft is a sweet, sweet thing, especially considering it generally doesn't happen as often in the Association as it does in other major sports.
Teams like the San Antonio Spurs have made a habit out of grabbing lesser-known prospects and turning them into legitimate contributors.
There are several prospects in the 2013 draft class that could surprise in the NBA. Here are three that I like the most, widely slated for the late first round or second round.
Shane Larkin, PG, Miami (FL)
It's still up in the air whether Shane Larkin will declare for the draft or return to the Miami Hurricanes for another season, but if he declares, I expect him to raise some eyebrows in his first pro season.
Larkin's size (5'11", 176 pounds) is the main thing hurting his stock, but we've seen smaller point guards excel in the NBA before. Larkin was one of the most consistent point guards in the NCAA tournament last season.
He's a solid shooter with great range, shooting 48 percent from the field and 41 percent from beyond the arc last season with the Hurricanes. But, more than anything, his speed, ball-handling, vision and passing skills set him apart. You only had to watch him in the NCAA tournament driving and dishing to know what he can offer an NBA team.
Sergey Karasev, SG, Russia
After declaring for the draft in April, Sergey Karasev has drawn interest throughout the Association.
Karasev not only has NBA size at shooting guard (6'7"), he has a versatile game. He can play multiple positions, slash and finish, pass with precision and knock down the jump shot. At just 19 years old, that's very impressive.
The Russian is shooting 48 percent from downtown in Eurocup play so far this year (11 games), as well as 48 percent from the field in the Russian League (18 games), via EuroBasket.com. That shooting touch has been on full display at the Nike Hoop Summit practices.
Don't be surprised if Karasev is drafted in the first round and goes on to be an important member of a team right away. This kid has skills and smarts.
Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas
Myck Kabongo clearly needs to work on his jump shot more and missing 23 games of his sophomore season at Texas due to NCAA infractions certainly didn't help his cause, but when you look at what he can do it's easy to see a future in the pros.
Kabongo averaged 5.5 assists and 2.0 steals last season at Texas. He also upped his free-throw percentage considerably, suggesting his shooting form may be coming around.
The 20-year-old is clearly still very raw, but a team that needs a pure point guard as a backup may be surprised by what he brings to the floor. Kabongo possesses the floor vision, passing ability, athleticism, quickness and tenacity on defense to find a home in the NBA and emerge as a decent player. He's widely projected to be a second-round pick right now.