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NBA Draft 2013: Sleeper Prospects to Watch at NBA Combine

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NBA Draft 2013: Sleeper Prospects to Watch at NBA Combine

Many of the major names won't participate in the drills at the NBA Combine on Wednesday and Thursday in Chicago, but there are a few sleepers who you should keep your eye on.

Much like 2012-13 Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard grabbed attention in last year's event, sleeper prospects this year have an opportunity to raise their stock.

Here are a few players who could really turn heads.

 

Nate Wolters—PG, 6'4" 195 pounds—South Dakota State

What We Know

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Wolters' size is great for the point guard position. At 6'4", he will be able to match up with big lead guards and even some shooting guards.

This could be key for Wolters, as smaller, quicker point guards could be an issue for him to guard.

If we don't know anything else about Wolters, we know he can score. He averaged 22 points per game as a senior.

He puts the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. The three-point shot is definitely among the weapons in his arsenal. Wolters shot 38 percent from deep and 48 percent from the field overall.

His five free-throw attempts per game lead you to believe he knows how to get to the line consistently as well.

 

What He Needs to Prove

The only real question for Wolters is his athleticism. No one expects him to suddenly show up with world-class speed or with a 40" vertical leap.

But if he could just surprise general managers with a bit more athleticism than they expect, it would do wonders for his draft stock.

 

C.J. McCollum—PG, 6'3" 190 pounds—Lehigh

What We Know

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Much like Wolters, McCollum can fill it up. He has a bit more speed and agility to his game, though.

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He can play either guard spot, and he reminds me of Jamal Crawford in some ways, but he's less of a straight gunner. Before a foot injury ended his senior season, he was averaging 23.9 points per game,

His season only lasted 12 games, but he shot an insane 51 percent from three-point range in that time.

Most mock drafts have him in the late lottery, but McCollum is one of the two best scorers in the draft.

 

What He Needs to Prove

More than anything, McCollum has to show he's healthy. The injury was a broken foot, so it isn't something that should be a major concern as a lingering injury.

Still, in order for McCollum to make up for missing almost an entire season, he needs to be at 100 percent to show his best.

 

Glen Rice Jr.—SG, 6'6" 205 pounds—Georgia Tech

What We Know

The son of former three-time All-Star Glen Rice Sr. can shoot the three. It seems only logical that would be the case considering it was his dad's forte.

The younger Rice is a far more explosive athlete than his dad, though. He has the bounce to finish above the rim with authority. He has seemingly rebounded from off-the-court troubles that led to his dismissal from Georgia Tech.

While playing in the Developmental League, Rice averaged 25 points and 9.5 rebounds per game for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers during the postseason.

 

What He Needs to Prove

Rice Jr. must show general managers he's matured and grown from his issues. Character concerns can be very detrimental to a prospect's stock.

If he shines in workouts and in interviews, he could make himself a first-round selection.

 

Jamaal Franklin—6'5" 195 pounds—San Diego State

What We Know

Elsa/Getty Images

Franklin plays much bigger than 6'5". He averaged 9.5 rebounds per game this past season to go with 17 points.

His motor is exceptional on both ends of the floor. Coaches will likely love having him on their team because of this. His elite-level athleticism will make him a crowd favorite when he's in the open floor.

 

What He Needs to Prove

Jump shot shooting is Franklin's Achilles heel right now. His three-point shooting percentage has gotten worse every year. As a junior, he made just 28 percent of his shots from deep.

If he can show teams he can make NBA threes consistently, he could climb into the late lottery.

 

Don’t forget to catch the 2013 NBA Draft Combine action on Thursday, May 16th and Friday, May 17th.

The event will be broadcast both days from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET on ESPN 2.

For reairs of the NBA Combine, NBATV will be airing Day 1 coverage on Saturday, May 18 at 12pm ET. Day 2 replays will be Sunday May 19th at 12pm ET.

 

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