The athleticism of professional athletes is rising as time goes by, and the 2013 NBA draft is an example of that.
Talent-wise, this year’s draft is weak compared to past classes. Athleticism-wise, it’s just as explosive as any other. Combine that explosiveness with a flashy skill set, and a human highlight reel is born.
Here are the most exciting prospects in the draft.
4. Victor Oladipo (SG, Indiana)
ESPN’s David Thorpe and Fran Fraschilla (subscription required) each compared Oladipo to Dwyane Wade. The high-flying Hoosier recorded the fifth-highest max vertical leap at the NBA combine at 42.0 inches. His athleticism will translate into him being a feared slasher and defender at the next level.
Oladipo would be higher on this list of human highlight reels with a more polished skill set.
3. Ben McLemore (SG, Kansas)
McLemore’s 42.0-inch max vertical tied Oladipo for fifth at the combine. The Jayhawk hero can not only leap over defenders, he’s a lights-out shooter from downtown, having shot 42.0 percent from long distance this past season.
2. D.J. Stephens (SF, Memphis)
Stephens isn’t a top-five lock like McLemore and Oladipo. He may not even be drafted. However, his 46.0-inch max vertical was an NBA combine record and his 2.98-second three-quarter-court sprint was the fastest time this year and one of the fastest ever. He is the best athlete in the class by far.
The only reason why he’s not No. 1 is because his entire highlight reel consists of dunks.
1. Shane Larkin (PG, Miami)
Would Larkin be the first PG drafted if his height wasn't a weakness?
Larkin finished second at the combine with a 44.0-inch max vertical, second in the three-quarter-court-sprint at 3.08 seconds, and seventh in the agility drill. He’s slightly less athletic than Stephens, only with elite shooting, dribbling and passing ability. If the 6’0” Larkin was two or three inches taller, he’d be a top-10 lock.
All stats provided by NBA.com.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.