Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
What He Needs to Prove: That he's ready for the rigors of an NBA backcourt
When you watch Zach LaVine on a good night, his NBA potential is eye-popping and his future looks bright. He's got more than enough foot speed and leaping prowess to hang with the best athletes in the world, and his length and jump shot look like they could do some damage down the road.
However, he's battled through a few slumps in conference play, shooting just 38 percent from the field against Pac-12 competition. He finished the regular season with a goose egg, going 0-of-8 from the field against Washington State.
Does he have what it takes to warrant a lottery pick this summer? ESPN.com's Chad Ford (subscription required) said some scouts are doubting his 2014 value and NBA-readiness:
"LaVine's shooting woes and overall play in the Pac-12 continues to decline, causing scouts to question how ready he's going to be for the NBA next season. They love the raw physical tools, but the production of late has been so off..."
During the Pac-12 and NCAA tourneys, he needs to prove that he can create and make a variety of shots, no matter the opponent.
A productive showing could buoy his draft value back to elite status, resulting in a late-lottery selection. Inconsistency could lead to a late first-round pick or withdrawal until 2015.