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NBA Draft 2013: Under-the-Radar Selections Who Will Make Instant Impact

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NBA Draft 2013: Under-the-Radar Selections Who Will Make Instant Impact
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The 2013 NBA draft is officially behind us, with 30 franchises taking the world by storm with stunning selections and landscape-altering trades. When it was all said and done, all eyes were left on the stars of the evening.

The question is, which under-the-radar selections were able to make an instant impact?

 

Reggie Bullock, Los Angeles Clippers

Drafted: No. 25

Position: Guard/Forward

Age: 22

College: North Carolina Tar Heels

2012-13 Season Averages

24.13 PER, 13.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.3 SPG, 43.6% 3PT

 

The Los Angeles Clippers are a borderline title contender with a superstar point guard and a perennial All-Star at power forward. They also have a former Sixth Man of the Year award winner, dynamic defensive athletes and one of the top 10 scoring offenses and scoring defenses.

What they lack is a consistent three-point shooter.

That truth makes Reggie Bullock, the No. 25 selection, a player who could enter the rotation by season's end. Not only is he an elite jump shooter, but he possesses excellent size at 6'7" and the athleticism necessary to play the 2 or 3.

Seeing as the Clippers struggle in the half court, running the pick-and-roll would become significantly easier with a three-point specialist, Bullock, routinely knocking down the three-ball.

There could be a learning curve for Bullock, specifically as he adds more weight to his frame. With that being said, Bullock is one of the top pure shooters in the nation, rebounds well and even handles the ball at a high rate.

By season's end, Bullock could be a consistent rotational plug as the Clippers pursue the title.

 

Isaiah Canaan, Houston Rockets

Drafted: No. 34

Position: Point Guard

Age: 22

College: Murray State Racers

2012-13 Season Averages

24.28 PER, 21.8 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.5 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 37.0% 3PT

 

Many will evaluate Jeremy Lin's 2012-13 campaign as a failure, citing his failure to produce at the level expected of him. With that being said, there was more to it than just lackluster play, as the Houston Rockets' true point guard is James Harden.

The player who serves as the point guard on the depth chart simply must be able to convert jump shots with consistency—how better of a situation could Isaiah Canaan have possibly entered?

While Lin's success is contingent upon his ability to handle the ball and run the pick-and-roll, Canaan is an elite three-point shooter. His down year saw him hit 37.0 percent from beyond the arc, a strong mark that saw him hit 94 three-point field goals.

During his first three seasons at Murray State, Canaan shot 48.2, 40.3 and 45.6 percent, respectively, from three-point range.

With Harden running the show and dishing it out to the perimeter, Canaan rivals Patrick Beverley as the best fit at point guard for Houston. Lin has his strengths, but jump shooting isn't one of them, which leaves the two young guns behind him in prime position to break through.

Beverley already has, while Canaan projects to be the perfect fit in Houston. If that's not enough for you, there's one clinching factor.

According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the Rockets are shopping Lin on the trading block—there's no better time for Canaan to step up than now.

 

Jeff Withey, Portland Trail Blazers

Drafted: No. 39

Position: Center

Age: 22

College: Kansas Jayhawks

2012-13 Season Averages

27.23 PER, 13.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3.9 BPG, 58.2% FG

 

The Portland Trail Blazers are currently in the market for a center, as J.J. Hickson becomes a free agent and Meyers Leonard is hardly ready for starter's minutes. More specifically, the Trail Blazers are in dire need of a shot-blocking rim protector.

Suddenly, selecting Jeff Withey at No. 39 overall makes perfect sense.

Withey will need to add a significant amount of weight before the season starts, as he'll need to be in the range of 240 pounds to play the center position. Currently at 222, that may damage Withey's chances of seeing early minutes.

Just don't hold your breath on that.

Withey is one of the draft's top shot-blockers and, arguably, the most NBA-ready defender selected. Not only does Withey block shots at an elite clip, but he plays the pick-and-roll well and overcomes his lack of elite athleticism with pristine footwork.

Unless the Blazers shock the world and sign a high-profile center in free agency, Withey is in prime position to receive early playing time on a postseason contender.

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