Every year, there are those prospects who scouts have a pretty good handle on, and then there are the lesser-known prospects, whether they come from small schools or overseas.
Former Weber State star Damian Lillard soared up draft boards in 2012, and part of the reason was that his explosiveness translated nicely to the NBA. He ended up being the No. 6 overall pick in last year's draft, and he went on to win the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
The NBA combine has a way of showcasing these lesser-known talents and boosting the most athletic prospects up draft charts.
Here's a look at the players who stand to gain the most from the 2013 NBA Combine, which begins on Thursday, May 16 at Attack Athletics in Chicago.
*Complete combine participant list can be found here.
Pierre Jackson, PG, Baylor Bears
There are concerns about Pierre Jackson's size, but the Chicago Bulls' diminutive point guard Nate Robinson—who has averaged 15.8 points and 4.3 assists in 11 postseason games so far this season—couldn't have shown that size doesn't matter at a better time.
Jackson may be short for the NBA at 5'10", but he has similar explosiveness and determination to Robinson. He's blazing fast, he can get into the paint almost at will and he's an excellent passer. He does need work on his jumper, but he's proven that he can go on scoring surges at any time.
The 21-year-old's blinding athleticism will be on full display at the combine.
Rudy Gobert, PF, France
As an international prospect, Rudy Gobert has the opportunity to come into the combine and open some eyes. Watching game tape and mix tapes is one thing, but an athlete's explosiveness can't truly be measured until you see him up close.
Gobert is certainly explosive. He's 7'1", but he runs the floor extremely well and he can attack the rim, whether it be thundering it home or crashing the glass. He also has a ridiculous 7'9" wingspan.
The 20-year-old Frenchman is raw (he averaged 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in the French League this season, according to EuroBasket.com), but he has a chance to excite scouts at the combine given his impressive athleticism.
Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
Like Rudy Gobert, there haven't been many chances for NBA scouts to get an up-close-and-personal look at Germany's Dennis Schroeder, but he is sure to show off at the combine.
Schroeder has electric speed, quickness and athleticism, which is a combination that allows him to attack the paint and either finish strong or dish out to his teammates. He also has incredible length for a 6'2" point guard (6'7" wingspan), has nice handles and sees the floor well.
The 19-year-old must add strength and he still needs to learn the game better, but he has NBA-level athleticism. Don't be surprised if he's picked in the first round, along with Gobert and Jackson.
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