There has been some speculation among analysts and talking heads alike that this year's NBA Draft is not very top-heavy. Some feel that this year, instead of superstars emerging from the top of the draft, 2013 will be measured by the steals that come from the middle-to-late picks of the first round. Here are some players that could make more than a few teams feel silly for passing on them:
1) Livio Jean-Charles, F/C, France
An under-the-radar prospect before pre-draft workouts began, Charles impressed many scouts with his performances in practices at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit. After scoring 27 points and 13 rebounds in the game at the Summit against other top prospects, Jean-Charles soared onto the radar of several teams, including the San Antonio Spurs.
The 6'9", 217-pound teenager is still considered somewhat raw, but if any team has experience bringing up young foreign talent, it's the Spurs (Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili rank as proof of that). Alex Kennedy of hoopsworld.com says that San Antonio, drafting 28th overall, might keep him overseas for at least a year, which would "give them one more open roster spot next season and allow the 19-year-old to develop before joining the team."
2) Erick Green, PG, Virginia Tech
Green was the NCAA scoring leader in 2012-13, scoring 25 points per game for the bottom-dwelling Hokies while also pulling down four rebounds and almost four assists each contest. This senior star had an outstanding 9.2% turnover rate while winning ACC Player of the Year honors.
Though most mock drafts still put Green in the high second round, the 6'4" guard worked out for the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, according to nuggets.com. With the 37-year-old Andre Miller nearing the end of his career, Green, an excellent jump-shooter, could be an ideal fit to back up starting point guard Ty Lawson.
3) Tony Snell, SG/SF, New Mexico
In a draft full of swingmen with great potential (Georgetown's Otto Porter, Kansas' Ben McLemore, etc.), Snell is flying under-the-radar. After hitting 39% of his three-pointers in his junior season with the Lobos, Snell won Most Outstanding Player honors in the Mountain West Conference Tournament while averaging 17.6 points a game during that span.
"I just have a chip on my shoulder," Snell told Dime Magazine after several outstanding pre-draft workouts, which included finishing second in the shooting and lane efficiency drills at the NBA Combine in Chicago. "I have to go to these workouts and compete against the best players...so I have the mindset to compete as hard as I can and be dominant in everything I do."
After originally being thought of as a second-round prospect, Snell is now considered a first-round prospect, drawing interest from teams such as the Cavaliers and Nuggets who would be able to play the 6'7" guard-forward immediately off the bench. Snell will be working out with the Kings on Monday, alongside other prospects such as Mountain West opponent Chase Tapley of San Diego State.