NBA Draft 2013: Unheralded Prospects with Bright NBA Futures

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NBA Draft 2013: Unheralded Prospects with Bright NBA Futures
Jason Miller/Getty Images

The 2013 NBA draft scouting combine is in the books, thus resulting in the significant reshaping of this year's selection process. While measurements and drills may determine athleticism, however, we cannot ignore the full package.

For that reason, we must acknowledge the unheralded prospects that have legitimately bright NBA futures.

Certain players may not have impressed with their athleticism, but have done enough on a grander scale to warrant praise and consideration. Other players measured well, but didn't quite draw the attention of the stars set to go in the first round.

One way or another, these players have put it all on the floor and proven to be NBA-caliber players.

 

Vander Blue, Marquette Golden Eagles

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 20

Height & Weight: 6'5", 197 pounds, 6'6" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

16.50 PER, 14.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.0 SPG

 

Vander Blue is your quintessential Marquette Golden Eagles swingman. Not only is he a lethal slasher that explodes at the rim, but he's a well-rounded player that thrives defensively and has an unquestioned motor.

If you've followed the success of Dwyane Wade, Wesley Matthews and Jimmy Butler, you know to be intrigued.

Come the end of his career, you'll agree.

Blue is a leader on both ends of the floor, possessing the clutch gene offensively and versatility on defense. He can pick up players at both guard spots, as he's quick and explosive enough to handle either pace of play.

Assuming he adds the necessary bulk to his frame, Blue could also defend the 3 coming off rotations.

Blue needs to improve his jump shot, but his three-point field-goal percentage has increased in each of his three seasons at Marquette. That not only displays his work ethic, but the upside that Blue possesses.

If any school produces safe picks, we know it to be Marquette with their swingmen—Blue fits that bill.

 

Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State Redbirds

Position: Power Forward

Age: 23

Height & Weight: 6'9", 241 pounds, 7'2" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

27.31 PER, 17.4 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.1 BPG, 1.0 SPG, 52.7% FG

 

When a player possesses supreme athleticism, there is rationale in believing in their upside. When a player plays a physical, efficient brand of basketball and knows how to use their body, however, there's another word to use.

Safety.

Even if he does slip to the second round, Carmichael will be one of the top players from this year's draft class.

Jackie Carmichael may come from a small school, but he's a big-time prospect that knows how to impose his will. Not only is he a powerful interior presence, but he's an explosive athlete that can rise over defenders, all the while possessing the ability to step out for a mid-range J.

It doesn't hurt that he crashes the boards in a ferocious manner.

Defensively, Carmichael is one of the better players in this draft, mixing shot-blocking skills with a mature approach. When his man gets the ball in the post, both of his arms immediately go into the air as he bangs down low and keeps his man at bay.

Once the opposition commits to the shot, Carmichael will either keep his base to contest the shot without fouling or send it in the other direction if there is enough separation between he and his man.

All in all, Carmichael isn't just one of the best second round players. Instead, you could make the case that he's just one of the better players in general.

If you're looking for this year's Carlos Boozer—a second-rounder with All-Star upside—Carmichael is your guy.

 

Richard Howell, North Carolina State Wolfpack

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Position: Power Forward

Age: 22

Height & Weight: 6'8", 250 pounds, 6'10" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

24.99 PER, 12.7 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.0 SPG, 57.0% FG

 

Richard Howell isn't blessed with extraordinary height or athleticism. What he does possess, however, is an NBA body with the elite ability to do the one thing that translates from college to the NBA.

Rebound the basketball.

Howell has quieted critics concerned with his weight by developing a powerful low-post attack that displays intriguing elements of finesse. He can finish with both hand around the basket, and most important of all, has a strong face-up game with a consistent mid-range jumper.

Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat is a safe comparison,

High praise.

What Howell does similar to Haslem is crash the glass on both ends, using his body to gain position on his man. What he does better than Haslem is score out of the post and utilize his mid-range game to create opportunities for himself and others.

There will be questions about his ability to play in this small ball generation, but Jared Sullinger's success as a rookie should put an end to those concerns—Howell will be a strong rotational option at the next level with the upside to be a starter.

 

Peyton Siva, Louisville Cardinals

Position: Point Guard

Age: 22

Height & Weight: 6'1", 181 pounds, 6'3" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

17.35 PER, 10.0 PPG, 5.7 APG, 2.4 RPG, 2.3 SPG

 

Peyton Siva may not be the most statistically attractive prospect around, but he's got something else in his favor. Not only is more mentally developed than a majority of the top point guard prospects in this class, but he's better in one specific area.

Siva is the best defensive point guard in this year's draft—Michael Carter-Williams' upside is the only reason to consider otherwise.

Siva isn't your double-double point guard that will lead the league in assists, but he's something better. While other young point guards hope to fill a stat sheet, Siva will pick his man up off of the outlet pass every single possession.

By doing so, he'll force the ball out of his man's hands and create turnovers on a consistent basis—even at the NBA level.

The most intriguing thing about Siva is that he's proven to be a far superior athlete and physical specimen than previously believed. Not only did he weigh in at 6'1" with a 6'3" wingspan, but Siva is one of the most athletic players in the draft.

Just check the numbers.

This is yet another instance of reputation preceding facts.

Siva is vicious defensively, using a strong 6'3" wingspan and constantly shifting feet to remain in front of his man. He's more than capable of picking your pocket, swiping the ball as you go up for a layup or chasing you down in transition.

Siva is the player that makes the plays that the average point guard wouldn't even consider attempting—he's all about effort and defense, so there will always be a place for Siva in the NBA.

 

Khaliff Wyatt, Temple Owls

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

 

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 21

Height & Weight: 6'4", 215 pounds & 6'9" wingspan

2012-13 Season Averages

23.80 PER, 20.5 PPG, 4.0 APG, 2.9 RPG, 1.7 SPG

 

Khaliff Wyatt made his name known during the 2013 NCAA tournament, scoring 62 combined points in two games against North Carolina State and Indiana. During the latter game, he was defended by Victor Oladipo and still managed to go for 31 points on 12-of-24 shooting.

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Just don't fool yourselves into thinking this was a fluke—Wyatt topped 30 points in seven separate games.

The teams that Wyatt topped 25 points against include Indiana, Syracuse, Kansas and VCU. Not only are those four schools considered to be elite programs, in some regard, but all but VCU is producing multiple NBA prospects.

Wyatt held his own—and then some.

The key for Wyatt is that he compensates for a lack of elite athleticism by knowing how to play the angles. Wyatt attacks the basket off the bounce in an unstoppable manner, as he utilizes his own and his defender's footwork to his advantage.

One way or another, he's getting by you and finishing at the rim.

His jump shot needs to improve, but there's reason to believe it will seeing as he's an 83.6 percent free-throw shooter. If that's not enough, Wyatt has a 6'9" wingspan and plays disruptive on-ball defense.

Wyatt plays an old man's game, possesses a high basketball IQ and is an unquestioned leader on the floor—he's the type of player you look back on as the steal of this draft.

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