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NBA Prospects Who Have Raised Their Draft Stock During 2013 Offseason

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterSeptember 3, 2013

NBA Prospects Who Have Raised Their Draft Stock During 2013 Offseason

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    All might be quiet on the NBA front, but the younger prospects remain awfully busy in the summer. Between the LeBron James Skills Academy, Elite Youth Basketball League, Under Armour Invitational, NBPA Top 100 Camp, FIBA World Championships, Adidas Nations and the Under Armour Elite 24, there are a number of different showcase events for young prospects to get recognized.

    The following are high school seniors, incoming freshmen and returning sophomores who've all helped their draft stocks with strong offseasons.

Myles Turner, Trinity High School, 7'0'', C

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    Recruiting Class: 2014

    College: Undecided

    Projected Draft Class: 2015

    B/R Draft Projection: Top Three

    Signature Summer Performance: Under Armour Invitational

     

    Myles Turner's emergence into the top tier of prospects can be traced back to May, when he drew rave reviews from scouts and writers at the Under Armour Invitational in Arlington.

    A few weeks later, he made similar noise at the NBPA Top 100 camp, which hosts the top-100 prep players in the country. 

    Turner continued to flash his potential on numerous occasions at Adidas Nations going head-to-head with Jahlil Okafor.

    A dominant rim protector with great length and instincts, Turner has two-way upside as an NBA prospect. Offensively, he's got the confidence, stroke and comfort level to knock down 20-foot jumpers. While his post game lacks polish, he's shown promise as a face-up scorer.

    Because of his size, offensive skill set and ability to change a game defensively, Turner offers teams a No. 1-overall ceiling. He's also an articulate, high-character individual, which will have NBA general managers salivating come draft day.

    No prospect in the country moved the needle more than Turner did this summer.

     

Dante Exum, Australia, 6'6'', PG/SG

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    Recruiting Class: 2014

    College: Undecided

    Projected Draft Class: 2014

    B/R Draft Projection: Top Five in 2014, Top Three in 2015

    Signature Summer Performance: FIBA World Championships

     

    Dante Exum averaged 18 points a game at the FIBA World Championships, leading Australia to an impressive bronze medal. 

    He's simply unguardable in the open floor and one-on-one off the bounce, where he sports one of the most explosive first steps you'll ever see. A combo guard who can separate from anywhere on the floor, Exum has shown he can take over games as a scorer or a playmaker.

    Earlier in April, Exum poured in 15 points at the Nike Hoops Summit against some of the top incoming American freshman in 2013-14.

    He finishes up his scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport in December. At that point, he'll decide whether to accept one of his many college offers or simply prepare himself for the 2014 draft.

    For what it's worth, Exum would be No. 1 on my 2015 board if he chose to delay his eligibility another year.

Jahlil Okafor, Whitney Young Magnet, 6'10'', PF/C

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    Recruiting Class: 2014

    College: Undecided

    Projected Draft Class: 2015

    B/R Draft Projection: Top Three

    Signature Summer Performance: FIBA World Championships

     

    This summer only confirmed what we already know—Jahlil Okafor is an elite, can't-miss NBA prospect.

    Okafor fit right in with college stars like Marcus Smart and Spencer Dinwiddie on USA's FIBA Under-19 World Championship team. He was a major contributor to their gold medal, averaging 10.8 points on 77-percent shooting while coming off the bench.

    Okafor was rewarded for his efforts with an All-Tournament mention.

    He later showcased his size and offensive skill set in the finals of the annual Adidas Nations.

    At 6'10'', Okafor has an overwhelming upper body with broad shoulders and a 7'3'' wingspan. Offensively, he's shown he can play back to the rim at the block or high post and even face up for a mid-range jumper.

    All of his shots seem to be high percentage, and he's quickly expanding his ability to create them.

    He's got work to do with conditioning and improving his body, but Okafor is a premier NBA prospect thanks to his offensive upside.

Emmanuel Mudiay, Prime Prep Academy, 6'5'', PG

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    Recruiting Class: 2014

    College: Southern Methodist

    Projected Draft Class: 2015

    B/R Draft Projection: Top Seven

    Signature Summer Performance: Under Armour Elite 24

     

    Emmanual Mudiay was named co-MVP of the Under Armour Elite 24 game in Brooklyn, after he dropped 22 points in electrifying fashion.

    At halftime, he made crazy waves in the recruiting world when he verbally committed to SMU to play for coach Larry Brown, passing on offers from Kentucky, Kansas, Baylor and Oklahoma State.

    Mudiay stands 6'5'' with smooth athleticism and uses his size and strength to bully his way for easy baskets at the rim.

    A willing passer with a promising scoring repertoire, Mudiay clearly has big-time upside once he refines his skills as a point guard.

Cliff Alexander, Curie High School, 6'8'', PF/C

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    Recruiting Class: 2014

    College: Undecided

    Projected Draft Class: 2015

    B/R Draft Projection: Top 10

    Signature Summer Performance: LeBron James Skills Academy

     

    Cliff Alexander emerged from the LeBron James Skills Academy as the prospect to watch moving forward.

    He's what I like to call a power athlete—one of the violently explosive big men you fear will rip down the rim with a slam. Alexander finishes above traffic or through it without contact affecting him.

    Alexander brought his overwhelming presence to the EYBL, where he dominated other Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams playing alongside Jahlil Okafor.

    While he's starting to show signs of a low-post scoring game, Alexander is mostly all physical tools at this point. If he's able to complement those elite tools with some offensive moves, he'll offer top-five upside as a long-term NBA prospect.

Tyler Ennis, Syracuse, 6'2'', PG

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    College: Syracuse, Freshman

    Projected Draft Class: 2016

    B/R Draft Projection: First Round

    Signature Summer Performance: FIBA World Championships

     

    A year ago, Tyler Ennis looked more like he'd be a solid four-year college guard. Now, it's looking like the NBA might prevent him from lasting that long as a student.

    Ennis led all players in scoring at the FIBA World Championships, averaging 20.9 points per game for Canada. He went for 42 points in a wild triple-overtime win over China, carrying his team like a veteran lead guard.

    Despite putting up points in volume, Ennis still maintains the reputation as someone who can orchestrate the offense.

    He makes up for a lack of athleticism with savvy ball-handling and a high-basketball IQ. Ennis can make shots from all over the floor and wiggle his way to the rim.

    With the floor-general qualities NBA teams covet, Ennis should be a valuable addition for the Syracuse Orange. I'll give it two years before NBA teams start envisioning him as a desirable addition as well.

     

Stanley Johnson, Mater Dei, 6'7'', SG

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    Recruiting Class: 2014

    College: Undecided

    Projected Draft Class: 2015

    B/R Draft Projection: Lottery

    Signature Summer Performance: Nike Peach Jam

     

    A year ago, Stanley Johnson had the reputation as being a hustle athlete whose motor translated on the boards and defensive side. But after leading all players in scoring with 25 points per game at this year's Nike Peach Jam, he's now starting to look like a dynamic offensive weapon.

    Johnson followed the Elite Youth Basketball League circuit with 17 points in the Adidas Nations' final and a co-MVP award at the Under Armor Elite 24.

    At 6'7'', he's got your prototypical shooting-guard tools and passes the NBA eye test. Johnson really improved his jump shot over the course of the year, as he's been sticking them with confidence all summer long.

    He's got a number of top schools showing interest, including Arizona, Kentucky and UCLA. Johnson has lottery upside down the road and remains a likely one-and-done candidate in 2015.

Montrezl Harrell, Louisville, 6'8'', PF

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    College: Louisville, Sophomore

    Projected Draft Class: 2014

    B/R Draft Projection: Top 20

    Signature Summer Performance: FIBA World Championships

     

    After playing a significant role in Louisville's national championship run, Montrezl Harrell helped Team USA win gold at the FIBA World Championships.

    He's really just a different breed of athlete than most kids his age. Though his offensive game is completely unrefined, Harrell's unparalleled explosiveness allows him to consistently make plays above the rim. If he's got room to launch himself at the basket—forget about it. Harrell is an easy-bucket machine in both the half court and transition.

    With his role expected to expand, so should his game. I'd throw him into first-round conversations with the lottery as a reachable goal.

Kelly Oubre, Bush, 6'7'', SF

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    Recruiting Class: 2014

    College: Undecided

    Projected Draft Class: 2016

    B/R Draft Projection: Lottery

    Signature Summer Performance: Elite Youth Basketball League

     

    Kelly Oubre became a prospect to keep an eye on after a strong run during this summer's EYBL. Oubre's athleticism and versatility is what drives his NBA appeal, as he's proven he can shoot, handle the ball and create off the dribble.

    He's got a basketball frame that just needs a little bit of muscle, but his diverse offensive skill set is easy to pick up on.

    Oubre flashed his potential in the Under Armor Elite 24 game and has established himself as a prize on the recruiting trail. The smooth lefty is currently sifting through a variety of different offers, including ones from Connecticut, Kansas, Baylor, UCLA, Georgetown and Arizona.

    I'm not sure he's a one-and-done prospect, but he's got lottery upside whether he offers it in 2015 or 2016.

     

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