2010 NBA Draft: Potential Draft Steals
The upcoming NBA Draft is just around the corner. You have NBA teams drooling like a kid in the candy store when it comes to this upcoming draft.
You have John Wall, Evan Turner, the other fantastic Kentucky crew, Derrick Favors, and many more prospects.
I’ve heard people compare this draft to the 2003 draft that produced LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. I agree, there are a few players with a ton of superstar potential but this is the deepest draft I’ve seen in a while.
There are many superstar players that are said to be taken on the board in the late first or early second round.
I know the first couple of picks in the draft are exciting, but it’s all about who you get in the late first or early second round that matters. They are what we all like to call draft steals.
A draft steal can occur at any point. Let’s say the Nets pass on Wall and he falls to Indiana, that’s an old-fashion draft steal. Or Dexter Pittman goes off as one of the best big men in the NBA, but was selected in the late second round, draft steal. Now you get what I’m saying?
Here is my list of draft steals in the upcoming 2010 NBA Draft….enjoy!
Greivis Vasquez (Second Round to Undrafted)
And the Bob Cousy Award goes to Greivis Vasquez, from the University of Maryland.
Hold on. Above it says that a Bob Cousy winner could possibly go undrafted in the NBA? This year’s award was well deserved because on the court Vasquez was the model player.
He is so passionate and brings his intensity to every game. He likes to control the game, and sometimes has the ability to take games over.
Take a look back at their last game against Michigan State. Vasquez scored the team's last nine points and if it wasn’t for the shot by Lucious, the 'Terps would have advanced.
He is an advanced type passer and his court vision follows suit as well. He is very aggressive towards the rim and his high motor allows him to stay in complete attack mode.
He is 6’6’’ and 197 pounds; talk about bringing big point guards back. He works on just about all of his game and is a very good rebounder at the point guard position.
Must Improve: his decision making sometimes can be really questionable. Also he needs to expand his range to survive in this league. Something is telling me they’ll live with his shot at the next level.
Denis Clemente (Second Round to Undrafted)
With me being a K-State fan it’s easy to understand how much potential Clemente has. Around the internet not many people have him in their mock drafts.
Now let’s be honest with ourselves, Clemente is one heck of an athlete.
Over his senior season at K-State he was paired with Jacob Pullen. He and Pullen turned this Kansas State team around and made them contenders once again.
Many may think it was all about Jacob Pullen, but Clemente is the one who stepped up when it counted. In the NCAA Tournament, where names are made, Kansas State was down at the half to Xavier and in that second half Clemente wheeled the Wildcats all the way back with his leadership.
Also in the Butler loss, Clemente is the one who stepped up and brought the Wildcats back into the game.
Clemente is a true point guard with true point guard skills. He has average vision—something he needs to improve—good ball-handling skills, and my god one of the deadliest shots I’ve ever seen.
He doesn’t need space to fire it, and he knocks them down. I’ve witnessed it countless times over the year. Many people cannot question his shot selection because he makes the crazy shots. J.R. Smith, Willie Warren or any other player who takes errant shots misses.
Undrafted or a second round pick, Clemente could be a force in the NBA.
Must impove: Cannot fall in love with the three. At the college level Clemente lived by the three, in the NBA he should look to attack more and get to the line more often. I know his shot is very crisp and proficient but mix it up. He cannot be one-dimensional.
Dexter Pittman (Early to Mid Second Round)
I had high hopes for Dexter Pittman all season. According to many during the season before the meltdown, Dexter Pittman was a lottery pick. Now he is being projected to go late first or early second round.
The biggest reason why Pittman is a draft sleeper is because of his work ethic. When he stepped foot on campus he weighed in about 360 pounds.
Before he could touch the court he had to drop over 70 pounds. That’s exactly what he did.
So why does this matter?
Because it shows you how much he cares and how well he responds to his coaches. With that he also wants to keep his frame in top shape.
He is still quick on his feet for a player of his size, very defensive, and can get after it on the offensive end.
Pittman has very soft hands in the post, and likes to play above the rim. If you give him the slightest space in the post, he’ll be happy to throw it down on you.
He is also a rebounding machine, on both ends of the floor.
Many complain about his fatigue and how it affects the way he plays the game. Need I remind you about his work ethic? In about two years fatigue won’t be a problem.
Must improve: Ball-handling in the post; he brings it down too low allowing people to rip at it and create steals. Also needs to quit committing unnecessary fouls.
Jerome Dyson (Second Round to Undrafted)
Jerome Dyson is a 6’3’’ guard that you could say was stuck between the one and two as many sources say but that just shows his versatility. People are often critical about his lack of lift on his jump shot. Last time I checked he had a deadly three point stroke, regardless how far he lifted off the ground.
Look at Leandro Barbosa for the Phoenix Suns. Look what he has achieved over his career and he barely gets off the ground on his shot as well. But he still produces, not to mention, he is also 6’3’’.
Dyson's first dribble is deadly. He can blow past you and his leaping ability allows him to finish strong at the rim. This is also great because he draws a lot of fouls, and with that he is a very good foul shooter.
He can be in lock down mode on defense, he has long arms, and knows when to jump into the passing lanes.
Talk about a player with heart. I guarantee you he’ll take on any player regardless the size or talent.
Dyson is a great addition to a team that needs an aggressive scorer that can also stretch the defense with his shooting.
Must Improve: Stay under control when driving in the lane. Sometimes he gets a bit crazy when driving in for the layup. Although he is a very good prospect, what scares teams away the most is his inconsistency. He needs to stay more consistent and make better decisions to excel.
Sherron Collins (Early to Mid Second Round)
Many teams usually pass on a player that is undersized for his position; especially at the point guard position. Most teams see a guard like Sherron Collins and immediately pass on him because he is only 5’11’’.
Let’s not make the same mistake the teams in the 2009 draft did when they passed on Ty Lawson.
In my opinion, Ty Lawson and Sherron Collins are very similar but Collins is a better athlete.
Collins spent his whole career as a Jayhawk. Through the years he was said to come out for the NBA draft but he stuck with school because he was committed. That there shows you how committed he can be.
With him staying at Kansas all four years, he faced the toughest opposition of all and gained great experience as well.
He is a very good point guard that likes to push the tempo and run in transition. He is probably the fastest point guard behind Denis Clemente and John Wall.
He has great ball-handling skills, and is very explosive. He is a stocky point guard at 5’11’’ so he stays aggressive with his offensive attack.
Not to mention, he can knock down threes as well as make clutch shots in tight game situations. Collins is a very mature and NBA ready point guard.
Must Improve: Collins has blazing speed but when on defense he gets beat off the dribble a lot. He needs to tighten that up, and also expand his range on his shot. Not too many teams are going to allow him to get in the paint at will, so expanding his shot is a must.
Jarvis Varnado (Early Second Round)
Jarvis Varnado is the NCAA All-Time leader in blocked shots.
Varnado is a very defensive forward. He is very long, and at 6’9’’ he is able to run the court very well.
He improved his offense. He is a much more back to the basket guy, although he still doesn’t have many go to moves in the post.
In the NBA, he will strive in the pick and roll situation and his soft hands allow him to catch the ball in traffic.
Varnado is a very good rebounder on both ends of the floor. His high motor allows him to snatch down rebounds in late game situations when most players have been affected by fatigue.
Varnado is a very good player that is getting the lesser end of a forward-oriented draft.
He is the ultimate protector of the paint, and that is going to translate very well in the NBA.
Must improve: Varnado needs to gain more weight, and add bulk to his frame. He is currently listed at 210, which is not NBA size. He also needs to improve his offensive game, as well as his fundamentals.
Lance Stephenson (Early Second Round)
This upcoming draft is very forward-oriented. Many teams are building, adding bulk, or just acquiring a monster to play on their frontline.
Let’s say Lance Stephenson goes back to school for one more year—he’d be a definite lottery pick. But since he came out this year he is looking at possibly going early in the second round.
Similar to Xavier Henry, Lance Stephenson is a 19 year old that has surpassed his peers. He is 6’5’’ and 210 pounds—now that’s an NBA body.
At 6’5’’ he displays power and quickness on the court. He attacks the basket at will, and with that he gets sent to the charity stripe.
He has go to moves like most guards in the league. He has a very quick first step and when he gets into the lane he uses a nucleus of moves such as a spin, dominant crossover, or change direction really fast to make the play.
He can shoot three point balls at the next level efficiently and displays good court vision, which benefits well when in trouble.
Let me go on record saying this: Lance Stephenson in my opinion will have a better pro career than Xavier Henry.
Must Improve: Needs some leg strength. Unlike most players in the draft Stephenson is not a very good leaper. He also needs to work on his character. Think Terrell Owens but a tad bit worse. He is often whining and throwing baby fits on the court, arguing with refs, or turning on his teammates.
Eric Bledsoe (Late First, Early Second)
Eric Bledsoe falls down this far for one reason and one reason only: GM’s don’t trust his ability to lead.
Bledsoe was brought out of high school as a true point guard but this year since John Wall was on campus, he played more of the two role. Nobody really got to see his leadership abilities, or what he could do at the point guard position.
He is only 6’1’’ so he cannot play the two position at the NBA level, so he is in trouble right? Wrong.
Bledsoe is one of those surprising players. He is that rare talent that everyone is going to wish they didn’t pass on. It is similar to what happened last year with Brandon Jennings. He was selected with the tenth pick and those nine teams before are probably bumping their heads.
Not only did he lead the Bucks to the playoffs he was the first rookie since Chamberlain to drop 55+.
Do I believe Bledsoe can match this? Yes I do believe he can. He has great speed, tremendous length, and a lot of explosiveness.
His game is pure in every way.
Must Improve: Turnovers will pose a problem in the NBA. Bledsoe was a turnover prone at the two position. Sometimes he plays too fast; he’ll need to slow it down. Also learn to create shots, as well as make his jump shot better.
Willie Warren (Late First, Early Second)
With Willie Warren you’ll get a very experienced combo-guard. He is sometimes compared to Ben Gordon because of his shooting ability. Nice touch on a good looking shot. Or sometimes you’ll hear them comparing his game to Rodney Stuckey, the big guard that can play either position.
Well there is another thing you can label Warren as, and that’s a draft steal.
Many are expecting him to be taken off the board before the first round is over, but many are not. Before the NCAA season started he was a lottery pick. Many suspect that experts found something wrong with his game, but no; he is still the same old Willie Warren.
Warren can stretch the defense with his streaky shooting. He has a lot of range and as a shooter, he likes to find that unspoken range. He can pull up consistently from the NBA three point line, the question is will it be good or bad shots.
Warren is very aggressive with his offensive attack. He is not a predictable player; he often switches up his offensive game to keep the opposition guessing.
He can use both hands effectively, finish at the rim, and score.
Must Improve: He has to improve his shot selection. In college the coach may have lived with his shot but not too many NBA coaches are going to play you that much if you take bad shots all the time. Decision making is also a question too. Sometimes he gets too crazy on offense and throws bad passes.
Luke Babbitt (Late First Round)
Luke Babbitt, the guy no one knows about.
Babbitt is a 6’8’’ forward that can play both the three and four. What turns teams away is he has no definite position at the NBA level. Sources say he can’t hold the threes because he doesn’t have lateral quickness and he is too small to hold the fours.
Well let’s do some searching here for a possible similarity. Donatas Motiejunas.
Check out where Motiejunas is projected at—lottery pick; although he is very weak, cannot hold defense, doesn’t rebound well, and is all offense.
Now let’s look at Babbitt. They can often say Babbitt is skinner than most but he is still adding muscle to his frame. He defense is picking up, and he can rebound the ball well on both ends of the court.
He has ball-handling skills some 6’8’’ players crave. He can run the court, finish in transition, and score well inside the paint.
He is also equipped with the ability to knock down three point jumpers. Did I mention he had a high motor?
Must Improve: Must improve his defense on the next level. He is not the quickest or strongest athlete so he must do a good job of always keeping his defender in front of him. He needs to use his long arms to advantage.