NBA Draft 2013: Prospects Who Will be the Biggest Steals of the First Round
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The NBA draft is less than two weeks away, and Shane Larkin is one of a few prospects who will be overlooked by teams and turn out to be the steals of the 2013 draft.
Everyone will focus on the first five picks of the draft, and it is tough to predict how the rest of the prospects in the lottery will do. There have been plenty of top-five picks who have been busts, but teams have drafted much better in recent years.
Nerlens Noel, Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller will be the prospects to keep an eye on on draft day. The rest of the draft is filled with talented players, but there are question marks surrounding many of them.
Being a steal can mean a couple of things. The player could drop further than expected, but the biggest steals are usually those who are picked near the end of the lottery or even after.
Miami's Larkin fits the description of being the steal of the draft. Which other prospects will be steals in this year's draft?
Shane Larkin, PG, Miami (FL)
On a team nobody expected to do much this year, Larkin led the Hurricanes to the best season in program history. The team made it to No. 2 at one point in the season and got a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.
The Hurricanes also won the ACC title and the ACC tournament. The biggest reason: Larkin.
As a sophomore, Larkin received an increase in minutes and had a roster full of seniors to work with. He responded by increasing nearly all of his numbers.
He averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and two steals as a sophomore. The point guard also shot 47.9 percent from the floor, including 40.6 percent from three-point range.
Larkin was named first-team All-ACC and second-team All-American. He declared for the draft while his stock was extremely high.
The point guard showed up for the big games. He scored at least 18 points in four of the five games combined against North Carolina and Duke. He also showed the ability to come through in the clutch, like against Illinois in the NCAA tournament.
At the combine, Larkin displayed his athleticism. He had one of the highest vertical jumps ever recorded at the combine and was the fastest player there. ESPN's Chad Ford named Larkin the best athlete in the draft.
Shane Larkin going to test as best athlete here. No. 1 Max vert jump. No. 1 sprint. No. 4 lane agility.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
He showed great improvement from his freshman season, so he has the work ethic to keep improving his game.
With his insane athleticism, Larkin will be the steal of the draft. The earliest he will be drafted is likely at No. 14, which is when the Utah Jazz will be on the clock. The point guard could fall even further, but he will be a steal for whatever team picks him.
Reggie Bullock, SG, North Carolina
Despite having a chance to return to Chapel Hill and make a run at the title as a senior, Reggie Bullock surprised many by declaring for the draft.
As a junior, Bullock was the most consistent offensive player on his team for the entire season. The Tar Heels struggled when Bullock wasn't getting much help, but he did his best to carry the team.
Bullock isn't going to be a superstar, but he has the ability to be a very good player at the next level.
Like Larkin, Bullock increased his numbers in every season. He shot 48.3 percent from the field and 43.6 percent from three-point range as a junior. He dished out 2.9 assists and grabbed 6.5 rebounds per game, so he can do a little bit of everything.
The 6'7" Bullock may be a small forward at the next level, but he will spend the majority of the time on the perimeter.
He isn't the best ball-handler, however, his shooting will be a great addition to a team late in the first round. He can come off the bench and put up some points, so teams should take a long look at him after the lottery ends.
Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
Unlike Larkin and Bullock, Trey Burke is expected to be a top-10 pick. However, it would be somewhat of a surprise if he was taken within the first five picks.
Burke helped his stock tremendously in the tournament. He showed that he can lead a team at a quick tempo and come through in the clutch.
The point guard has unreal range. He isn't afraid to shoot a deep three-pointer, and he can get hot and carry a team.
Burke was named the top player in the nation as a sophomore. He was a scorer (18.4 points per game) and a distributor (6.7 assists per game). He increased his steals and cut down on the turnovers, so he is turning into a good all-around player.
Steals are usually late picks, but Burke would be a steal if he fell to the New Orleans Pelicans at No. 6. With Noels, Oladipo and Otto Porter all expected to be top-five picks, Burke could find himself on the board at No. 6.
Burke is the best point guard in this year's draft, and he will show it to whatever team drafts him.
*All stats are courtesy of ESPN.com
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