There’s plenty of impressive talent coming out of college and getting ready for the NBA, but some of these prospects are going to disappoint at the next level.
Players like Victor Oladipo and Anthony Bennett are likely going to become big names in the NBA, but a few guys likely won’t be able to progress at the next level. Whether it’s due to being unable to develop or playing against tougher competition, it simply seems like these guys won’t be the big names they want to be in the pros.
Here are a few players that likely will disappoint in the NBA.
Cody Zeller, PF/C, Indiana
The Indiana Hoosiers were glad to have a force like Zeller on their team for the past few seasons, but it seems like his skill set won’t transition to the pros.
Zeller did a good job of penetrating the paint and playing in the post in college, but he seemed too soft inside. When going up against stronger opponents, Zeller struggled greatly.
His small frame makes him less likely to play center, and focus more on playing as a power forward. If he does play as a forward, he will need to work on his jumper, which he rarely used in college.
It’s hard to see Zeller being a great player in the NBA unless he works on his jumper or becomes tougher inside. Until either of those happens, Zeller has bust written all over.
Alex Len, C, Maryland
Len is a sexy pick at center, listed at 7’1’’. However, Andy Katz of ESPN reported that Len had surgery due to a stress fracture.
News release comes from Sports International Group that Maryland's Alex Len (likely lottery) had surgery for a stress fracture in left ankle— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) May 3, 2013
For big men, injuries can be really bothersome. Names like Greg Oden and Andrew Bynum quickly come to mind. Even if Len is able to come back healthy and make plays for a time, it feels like Len will struggle to stay healthy in the long run.
Even at 7’1’’, Len struggles with playing in traffic as a big man. When he gets to the next level, he will have to be able to guard strong athletics guys like Dwight Howard and Roy Hibbert. Free-throw shooting is also a concern, but that’s not surprising for a big man.
You never want to see a player have a career cut short due to injury, but Len is certainly a very risky pick after two solid but not incredible seasons at Maryland.
Shane Larkin, PG, Miami
Larkin is an incredible athlete, and there’s no denying it. According to Steve Kyler, Larkin had some impressive numbers at the NBA combine.
Larkin measured is some of the most impressive athletic test results of the Combine... highest max vert, lane agility, and 14 bench reps.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) May 17, 2013
Even though Larkin is a freak athlete, that doesn’t always transition to the NBA. At 5’11’’, Larkin lacks the height he needs to have an edge on other point guards in the league. He still hasn’t developed an effective midrange game or a runner, and those are things you really need at the pro level.
Athleticism is always nice, but it feels like Larkin’s athleticism is making him too overhyped. He will likely disappoint quickly in the NBA when going up against point guards who are stingy defenders.