NBA Draft 2013: Players Who Will Make Immediate Impact on New Teams

Ethan GrantAnalyst IJune 27, 2013

Feb 27, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA;    UCLA Bruins guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad (15) in the first half of the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Pauley Paviliion. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For some NBA franchises, finding a player who can make an immediate impact is a top priority in the league draft every year. Depending on strategy and philosophy within the organization, drafts are handled very differently. 

The 2013 NBA draft isn't considered one overflowing with top-notch talent, but immediate impact and NBA-ready are two phrases you will hear a lot concerning several prospects selected during Thursday night's incoming player show. 

Lottery picks are often expected to make an impact right away, but often times that isn't the case. It's never easy to predict how franchise expectations, roles and specific cases will impact the future of the new crop of draft picks. 

We'll take that uncertainty out in this piece. 

Regardless of where these players end up to start the 2013-14 NBA season, they will make an immediate impact on their new franchise during their rookie season. 


SG/SF Victor Oladipo, Indiana

Oladipo looks like the one player in this draft that will struggle more to fail than he will to succeed. 

Not a big-time scorer in college, he still shot nearly 60 percent from the field as a junior. Yes, that position to the left of his name is correct—he shot 60 percent as a wing player on his college team. 

A rugged defender who will likely be asked to guard three positions at times at the next level, Oladipo will be one of the best players in this draft if he can continue to develop his offense game while he continues to grow as a player. 

Even without that growth immediately, he has the hustle, intensity and well-roundedness to contribute to any franchise that takes him in the first round on Thursday night. 

In the right situation, Oladipo would have the makings of a star in the NBA when his offense game rounds into form. Even without the luxury of that perfect situation, he's going to make waves and likely play 25-plus minutes per game as a rookie next season. 


PG/SG C.J. McCollum, Lehigh

McCollum has a chance to be the next mid-major star in the NBA. 

The path before him is one graced by Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry—two guys that are starting to be stars and could very well headline the next wave of point guard talent. McCollum falls right in line with their prospects, largely because of information obtained in tweets like this one from NBA on ESPN:

An injury cost McCollum the majority of his senior season, but the damage of his career was done well before that happened. Key to beating Duke in the NCAA tournament and a four-year resume at Lehigh that includes over 21 points and six rebounds per game, McCollum is no ordinary "better-than-competition" player. 

His attention to detail on the court and ability to score with any player in the game will be hard to stop at the next level, especially once he's fully healthy. 

McCollum looks like a darn-good sixth man to me in the future, but he's got the head on his shoulders and the scoring ability to contribute to the franchise that selects him whether it's in a starting or reserve role next year. 


SF Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA

Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld said it best when it comes to Shabazz Muhammad:

Dime Magazine also chimed in about what has been nothing short of a fall from grace for one of the best high school prospects in the nation coming into the 2012-13 college basketball season:

Muhammad averaged just under 18 points per game during his lone season with UCLA, but several factors about his personal situation and the one-sided nature (offense) of his game led him to shoot down draft boards as fast as others were shooting up it. 

Don't forget—Muhammad was once a candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick. Straight out of high school, he would have been a consensus top-three pick. 

But his propensity for stopping the ball in the offense (27 assists in 32 games) and having a me-first attitude for the Bruins led some to believe that he wouldn't be able to survive in the NBA. As sad as it is, there's plenty of me-first guys thriving in the league right now.

Among them are Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and to a smaller degree Michael Beasley, but the difference between the first two guys and the third one is that the first two have figured out how to pass the ball when they need to and they know how to win in the NBA.

Muhammad obviously needs work—anyone who totals less than an assist per game despite being one of the best scorers in his conference needs work. Heck, you could find fans in the stand willing to share the ball more than that clip.

But the talent is undeniable, and this left-handed youngster has the potential to be a long-time scorer in the NBA. With the right coaching he'll shine, but even without it there's little doubt he gets at least 15 points a night in some role next year.  


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