NBA Draft 2013: Stars Who Will Fail at the Next Level

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIJune 24, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09:  Alex Len #25 (L) of Maryland looks to drive around while being defended by Willie Cauley-Stein #15 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the Barclays Center Classic at the Barclays Center on November 9, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images)
Jason Szenes/Getty Images

The 2013 NBA draft is rapidly approaching, with mere days separating us from the annual selection process. With such limited time between now and the draft, scouts and general managers are left with difficult decisions.

The question is, which of the college stars involved in the 2013 NBA draft will be unable to make the transition to the next level?

Certain players are storming up draft boards, becoming potential lottery picks in the waning moments before the draft. Others may not have built their draft stock up as high, but have pulled debatable moves by entering the draft to begin with.

Regardless of why they're where they are, there are players that teams simply must stay away from.


Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece

Why are we even talking about him?

Giannis Antetokounmpo may have intriguing size, but he's a raw player with no skill that sets him apart from the pack. He's viewed as a point forward, yet is a below average facilitator. He's revered for his ball-handling, yet struggles with turnovers.

Did we mention that his current level of competition is parallel to a Division III college?

Antetokounmpo is a 6'9" small forward that displays defensive upside, which could make him an effective player in the end. With that being said, he has no semblance of a jumper and would have a very difficult time getting into the lane in the NBA.

The best way to put it is that Antetokounmpo's revered athleticism would be average in the NBA.

There is potential for the 18-year-old to develop into the player teams believe he can be, but that's at least a three-year project. Not only must Antetokounmpo develop translatable skills, but if he is to stand any chance in the NBA, it's imperative that he becomes a more responsible player.

Highlight videos are nice, but they also tend to focus on only the good—Antetokounmpo has a long way to go before he even scratches the surface of an NBA player's talent level.


Rudy Gobert, France

Much like Giannis Antetokounmpo, size and length have many labeling Rudy Gobert as one of the prized possessions of this draft. With a 7'2" frame and a 7'9" wingspan, how could we blame scouts and general managers for being intrigued?

Unfortunately, this is yet another case of upside without promise.

Gobert's length could permit him to become one of the top shot blockers in the NBA. He certainly projects to be that type of player from an ability perspective, as Gobert does an excellent job of contesting shots that come his way.

Unfortunately, there truly isn't much else there.

Gobert isn't an elite athlete, nor is he a skilled offensive player. Defensively, his ability to block shots is met with rather underwhelming results as a rebounder.

All in all, this pick is entirely based on what could happen.

Gobert shouldn't be written off as a player unworthy of a pick, but take away his length and you're looking at a late second-round draft choice. Even with his length, he'd still fall into the second round in a stronger draft class.

Upside is all fun and well, but when there's nothing but length, you're taking a major risk.


Alex Len, Maryland Terrapins*

There's an asterisk here for a reason.

Alex Len has every physical gift and basketball ability to be a dominant force at the next level. He stands at 7'1" with a 7'4" wingspan, works well out of the post, is a strong passer and even blocks shots at a respectable clip.

Unfortunately, Len can be described by the one adjective that has limited countless superstar talents from reaching their true potential—passive.

When Len is on the attack, he's one of the best players in the nation. Not only is he athletic enough to finish above the rim, but he's crafty around the basket and displays the ability to put the ball on the court.

When it comes down to it, however, I'd rather teach my player how to shoot than how to assert his dominance.

There's a chance that I eat my words, and Len develops the mean streak that he lacked at Maryland. If he doesn't, however, Len will find it very difficult to adjust to life as a top-10 draft choice.

The ability is there, but a passive nature is a deadly thing.