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Cream of the Crop to NBA Flop: A Look at the 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Busts

Ryan TolmichCorrespondent IIJuly 21, 2016

Cream of the Crop to NBA Flop: A Look at the 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Busts

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    With the always-tedious NFL draft already out of the way, the sports world’s focus is now set upon North America’s other resident “pick me, pick me!” extravaganza: the NBA draft. 

    While picking players is far from an exact science, there are always a few guarantees: There will be surprises, there will be God-thanking and most importantly, there will be busts, especially among the early entrants.

    For every Kevin Durant that dominates the NBA after a college cup of coffee, there is a Hasheem Thabeet who has you wondering what another year of psychology classes, and more importantly basketball classes, could have done. 

    Here is a look at four players in this year’s draft who appear to be a little more Adam Morrison than Russell Westbrook:

Shabazz Muhammad—UCLA

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    While Shabazz Muhammad is as talented as they come, his brief stay at UCLA has raised some doubt about his potential as a pro.

    Off the court, he has already been in the middle of a Danny Almonte-like birthday controversy, while his father was recently charged with federal bank fraud.

    On the court, he is not exactly a creator—averaging less than an assist per game—while there’s nothing wrong with a good gunner, will that work for him in a league where he is unlikely to be the go-to guy on his team?

    That leads to another issue: He isn’t exactly a good teammate. In a February game against Washington, UCLA guard Larry Drew hit a buzzer-beater to lead the Bruins to an always-important conference victory. However, instead of celebrating with his teammates, Muhammad sulked in the corner because he wanted the ball.

    Let’s see how the “me first” mentality of Muhammad can handle being just another player once he hits the big leagues.


Phil Pressey—Missouri

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    At first glace, the Missouri Tigers looked to be a contender to make a run for a national championship.

    With a backcourt featuring Phil Pressey and strong performances from Jabari Brown, along with a frontcourt of Laurence Bowers and UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi, Missouri had as much talent and experience as anyone.

    They were a disappointment. 

    Pressey did little to impress, as both his field-goal percentage and three-point percentage went down from the year before. He averaged a turnover more per game and disappeared throughout the SEC schedule—most notably when he only scored two points against Texas A&M.

    While Pressey isn’t the most highly touted prospect in the draft, he’s also one that shouldn’t be in it in the first place.


Cody Zeller—Indiana

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    Everyone has seen the highlights by now.

    Indiana’s Cody Zeller was last seen getting absolutely manhandled by a tough Syracuse defense. While Syracuse is always one of the top defenses in the country, NBA big men won’t be any nicer, nor will they be more compliant with Zeller’s weakness in the low post.

    Zeller is going to have to show he can play against elite defenses, and players, if he will ever be more than a bench player in the NBA.


Vander Blue—Marquette

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    Every year, there are one or two entrants that have people saying, “What are you thinking?”

    Vander Blue has jumped out as this season’s to enter the draft and fade into obscurity.

    Blue has an NBA-level name, but far from an NBA-level jump shot, as he shot a putrid 3-of-15 against the Syracuse zone, which practically invites someone like Blue to beat it through perimeter shooting.

    Blue had a great season for an overachieving Marquette team, but NBA level? Hopefully Blue enjoys his future time in the D-League as much as his time in Milwaukee.


    Which of this year's hopeful draftees do you think is destined for the label of "bust"? Leave your comments below and join the discussion of this year's NBA draft.

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