7 Players That Made a Terrible Mistake Declaring for the 2013 NBA Draft

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterMay 5, 2013

7 Players That Made a Terrible Mistake Declaring for the 2013 NBA Draft

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    Every year there are a few players who make a terrible decision to declare—at least from an NBA draft stock point of view.

    Some players declare for personal reasons that aren't always made aware to the public.

    But for players looking to make the maximum amount of dollars, there's a right time to leave and a wrong time.

    The following guys picked the wrong time. Another year or two in school could not only allow them to develop further, but it could give them a chance to maximize their stock and increase their odds at landing a fatter or guaranteed contract.

Myck Kabongo, Texas, PG, Sophomore

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    A highly touted recruit out of high school, Myck Kabongo struggled to make the transition to the college game as a freshman. So he made the wise decision to return as a sophomore to become a better point guard and improve his draft stock in the process.

    But Kabongo was ultimately suspended for all but 11 games in 2012-13, which didn't give scouts a large enough sample size to reevaluate. He did play well in his return to Texas, but it won't be enough to move the needle.

    Kabongo would have had an opportunity to play a major role in the Big 12 next season and make some louder noise on the draft front.

    He's far from NBA-ready, and with a boatload of point guards all battling for first-round position, there's a strong chance Kabongo is on the outside looking in.

Adonis Thomas, Memphis, SF, Sophomore

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    When I heard that Adonis Thomas declared for the NBA draft, my first reaction was to give it the old Lee Trevino, Happy Gilmore head-shake of disapproval.

    Thomas decided to sell with his stock on the decline, not a move I'd recommend.

    At 6'7'' with an incredibly strong and athletic frame, he's a physical specimen, which is the best thing he's got going for him. But despite these extraordinary physical tools, Thomas somehow managed to shoot a disastrous 40.5 percent from the floor. His 4.5 rebounds per game would be a number to hide on his resume as well.

    Thomas showed little to no progression as an offensive player. With space, he's athletic enough to finish inside and he's got a soft enough touch where he can convert in the mid-range. But creating separation or using the dribble is not in the repertoire.

    He enters the draft trying to sell himself as a small forward who shot 29.2 percent from downtown.

    Another year at school to refine his offensive game seemed like a no-brainer. I'd call him a borderline second-rounder based on his physical gifts, but there's no guarantee he hears his name called on draft night.

Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, C, Freshman

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    Forget the fact that he's still a good three to four years from really getting a grip on the game. Steven Adams' stock just isn't that high right now, with many, including myself, projecting him as a late-first rounder.

    You could say it's never a mistake to turn down a guaranteed contract, but Adams didn't give himself the opportunity to maximize his draft stock. He averaged 7.2 points per game, just about all of which came off simple catch-and-finishes at the rim.

    Right now, he's just an athlete as opposed to a basketball player. Raw college freshmen typically make their biggest fundamental jumps as sophomores, which would have helped Adams out during pre-draft workouts.

    He doesn't currently have many moves in the post or touch on the perimeter, as his 44 percent free-throw stroke suggests.

    Even if Adams shows little improvement as a sophomore, chances are, his size and athleticism are strong enough to keep him in the first round anyway. He would have been better off improving his skill set at Pittsburgh and taking a risk in the 2014 draft.

Grant Jerrett, Arizona, PF, Freshman

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    Grant Jerrett shocked the NBA draft world when he announced his decision to declare in 2013.

    A freshman with a minimal role at Arizona, Jerrett averaged 5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds before deciding it was time to go.

    At 6'10'', he did most of his damage this season from behind the arc. In fact, he made 32 three-point field goals to only 31 two-point field goals. Considering he'll be auditioning for a power forward position, this isn't a stat scouts will be overly impressed with.

    Stretch-forwards are useful in any lineup, but they aren't going to draw a lot of first-round interest.

    You can pretty much consider the first 30 picks off limits. Without a shot at the first round, there's no reason for Jerrett to risk three years of college eligibility.

    Some guys need to return to improve their stock; others need to develop. Jerrett needed to come back for both reasons.

Andre Roberson, Colorado, SF, Junior

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    Andre Roberson is going to enter the NBA draft with his sales pitch centering around the idea that he finished second in the country in rebounding.

    But when you look at his size and frame, that skill won't be enough to trigger first-round looks. At 6'7'', 210 pounds, Roberson is more of a small forward than power forward, though he doesn't have the skill set to occupy that position exclusively.

    He showed no improvement on offense from one year to the next. Roberson averaged 10.9 points after averaging 11.6 points per game as a sophomore while seeing his three-point percentage drop from 38 percent to 32 percent.

    Roberson is good for off-ball slashing, but he's still unable to create off the dribble or generate offense on his own. The issue here is that his rebounding numbers don't appear likely to translate, and without many offensive services to offer, Roberson doesn't give teams a strong enough reason to draft him.

    One more year at Colorado would have allowed him to work on his offensive game and become more of a threat with the ball in his hands.

Vander Blue, Marquette, SG, Junior

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    I admire Vander Blue's strategy of selling high, but I'm not sure he had a grasp on his stock before he did so.

    Blue opened a ton of eyes during the NCAA tournament, showcasing his smooth athleticism and improved offensive scoring arsenal. But it wasn't until recently that he hit NBA radars, and he hasn't blown anyone away.

    Blue would have entered next season as a prospect to keep an eye on. His obvious weakness is his perimeter stroke, only knocking down 30 percent of his threes as a junior and 26 percent as a sophomore.

    I'm actually a fan of Blue's game and think one day he'll find a spot in an NBA rotation. But it's not what I think that matters. Scouts don't currently view Blue as a realistic first-round option, which means he'll be leaving Marquette without a guaranteed NBA job.

Phil Pressey, Missouri, PG, Junior

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    You could go either way with Phil Pressey's decision, but without a first-round guarantee, which he won't get, I just don't see the rush in leaving.

    Pressey has a few things working against him in terms of his NBA draft stock. The first is the influx of point guards who've made themselves eligible for this particular draft. He didn't show much improvement from his sophomore to junior year, and there's nothing exciting about a guy whose development has plateaued.

    Another issue working against him is the fact that his three-point percentage dipped to 32.4 percent this year. In order for a guard under 6'0" to be effective at the next level, they have to be able to shoot. At 5'11'', Pressey will have trouble finishing at the rim, and a jumper can help counter and neutralize his physical limitations.

    One more year at Missouri would have allowed Pressey to improve his shooting percentages and remove a tally under the weakness column on scouts' evaluations.