NBA Draft 2013: Sharpshooters Who Will Work Their Way into the 1st Round
When it comes to the NBA draft, the average fan perceives the process as one of maximizing value and landing the best player available. Outside of the lottery, however, the strategy often changes as the stars disappear and teams target the players that fit their most specific needs.
In 2013, those needs will be filled with one of the most valuable breeds of player possible—shooters.
Players ranging from Ben McLemore to Glen Rice Jr. appear to have solidified their status as top-30 selections. With that being said, countless shooters appear to be on the bubble, thus creating the notion that they will fall out of the top 30.
Here's who will find their way back in and why they'll do it.
Reggie Bullock, North Carolina Tar Heels
Position: Small Forward
Height & Weight: 6'7", 200 pounds, 6'9" wingspan
2012-13 3PT FG%: 43.6 (88-202)
Clinching Factor: Defensive Versatility
Reggie Bullock is one of the most intriguing shooters in the 2013 NBA draft. Not only is he a 43.6 percent shooter from beyond the arc, but he stands at 6'7" with a 6'9" wingspan.
Bullock can light it up from beyond the arc and, paired with NBA-caliber athleticism, has the high rise, quick release and length to finish over the competition.
The key for Bullock is that he's more than just another shooter, as his length and athleticism permit high defensive potential. For that reason, Bullock has a higher probability to become a consistent rotational option than the average marksman.
In fact, Bullock is one of the few three-point specialists with the upside to start in the NBA.
Even if he is to remain a bench player throughout the duration of his career, the combination of defensive prowess and three-point ability is a rare combination in the NBA. Those who do possess those collective traits often carve out long, decorated careers.
Bullock has all the makings of becoming that caliber of player.
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State Racers
Position: Point Guard
Height & Weight: 6'0", 188 pounds, 6'5" wingspan
Career 3PT FG%: 41.9% (304-725)
Clinching Factor: Point Guard Skills
Isaiah Canaan was one of the top point guards in the nation entering the 2012-13 college basketball season. Unfortunately, he followed up a masterful 2011-12 campaign with a quiet 2012-13 season.
By quiet, of course, I mean to say that he averaged 21.8 points and 4.3 assists on 37.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The difference from 2011-12 to 2012-13 was the defensive pressure Canaan faced. After taking on a rather unknown approach in 2011-12, Canaan was unable to surprise defenses and instead drew double-teams at every turn.
I would classify 21.8 points per game on 37.0 percent shooting from three-point range as a pretty strong response.
The reason that Canaan is going to crack the first round has more to do with his well-rounded skill set than his shooting ability alone. Not only can Canaan shoot at a clip above 40.0 percent from beyond the arc, but he's a legitimate point guard with a strong defensive base.
A player that can handle the ball, facilitate, shoot the three and defend is not only a safe pick but is as close to a sure thing as you'll find.
Tony Snell, New Mexico Lobos
Position: Small Forward
Height & Weight: 6'7", 198 pounds, 7'0" wingspan
2012-13 3PT FG%: 39.0 (64-164)
Clinching Factor: Elite Athleticism
Tony Snell is one of the most tantalizing players in this year's draft, as he possesses the rare mix of elite athleticism and three-point marksmanship. Snell rebounds and defends at a less-than-elite level, but his frame permits an improvement in both areas.
If nothing else, every team needs a dynamic athlete that can shake things up in transition, and Snell can be that player.
On top of possessing a massive 7'0" wingspan and explosive leaping ability, Snell is lethal from beyond the arc. He shot 39.0 percent from distance during the 2012-13 college basketball season and thrives in catch-and-shoot situations.
For contenders that need to get younger and shoot at a higher clip from beyond the arc—and there are quite a few of those teams—Snell is the ideal choice.
Teams that Snell fits in with include the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and even the Phoenix Suns at No. 30. There may be more established players, but Snell is an elite athlete that shoots from the NBA's three-point line.
Snell is on the bubble now, but come draft night, he'll be a safe first-round draft choice.
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