For all the talk about the 2013 NBA draft class lacking a superstar, the fact that it projects as a deep crop of NBA talent is being overlooked.
It is true, there aren't many—if any—franchise players in the class, but there are a number of players who can and will play significant roles on NBA teams during their careers.
That depth will extend down into the second round of the draft.
Here are a few players projected as second-rounders by most draft prognosticators who will make an impact in the NBA.
(Height, weight, stat and combine references per Draft Express).
C.J. Leslie, North Carolina St.
As pure athletes go, Leslie is one of the best in the NBA draft. He projects as a second-rounder because at 6'9" 209 pounds, he's seen as too lean for the power forward, yet he doesn't possess the game of a small forward.
The athleticism Leslie displayed at the NBA combine would lead you to believe he can defend small forwards in the NBA. His 10.19-second performance in the lane agility drill was the fastest of any prospect at any position, and he also recorded a vertical leap of 40.5".
At N.C. State, Leslie was forced to play in the post and he did have some success at the position. He averaged 15 points, 7.4 rebounds, a block and a steal per game. Even with that success, his best role would be as a small forward in the NBA.
With uber-athletic lineups taking over much of the league, a player like Leslie should get looks from teams in the second round. If he can prove he can make shots on the perimeter consistently, he'll be able to play the wing position without issue.
If he does play power forward, he could be an asset when a team goes small. In either case, Leslie has a real chance to surprise people with his versatility in the NBA.
Erik Murphy, Florida
Murphy does one thing well, and that's shoot the ball from three-point range. He's not a great athlete, he doesn't put the ball on the floor all that well, but at 6'10", 240 pounds, he's strong enough to defend in the low post.
Offensively, he looks like the quintessential stretch-4.
He shot 45 percent from three-point range for the Gators during the 2012-13 season and his shooting accuracy will translate to the NBA.
Perhaps the best thing about Murphy is that he knows who he is. He's not a power forward who really believes he can be a wing player. He knows his game is to shoot the three and to defend in the post.
He also added nearly 40 pounds of muscle before his senior season in Gainesville. This proves he's a hard working, dedicated prospect who understands the game and knows how to put himself in position to succeed.
That is the makeup of a productive second-round pick.
Erick Green, Virginia Tech
Simply put, Green gets buckets. At 6'3", he could be called a point guard, a shooting guard or a combo guard. But one thing is for sure: When he's on the floor, he's looking for his offense.
The confusion about his position will probably be the reason he doesn't hear his name called until the second round.
At Virgina Tech, Green averaged 25 points per game as a senior. He shot 39 percent from three-point range and made 81.6 percent of his free throws. He did raise his assist total to 4.0, but in the NBA, Green's worth will be as an instant-offense player off the bench.
In some ways his game is similar to the San Antonio Spurs' Gary Neal, but he gets to the basket a little easier than the former Towson standout.
If a team is looking for player who can give their bench scoring punch, Green would be an excellent pick.
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