Nevada's Luke Babbitt: The Best NBA Draft Prospect You Don't Know About

Kevin RobertsSenior Writer IMay 24, 2010

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 18:  Luke Babbitt #5 of the Nevada Reno Wolf Pack drives against Justin Hawkins #31 of the UNLV Rebels during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center November 18, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 88-75.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Let's face it. When you read the title, the first two things that popped into your head were, does he mean Jim Abbott? As in, the former one-handed pitcher?

No, not even close.

Or maybe Lorena Bobbitt, the woman who cut off her husband's member and tossed it out of a moving car?

Eek. No, not that one, either.

Sadly, Luke Babbitt , although extremely skilled and polished, just isn't at the top of the pecking order. Of course, when you consider his competition with people who have names that sound (or come off as sounding) a lot like his, then it's only natural.

One-armed man and a penis-cutter-thrower. How could he top that?

Alas, I digress.

The point is, the 2010 NBA Draft is but a month away. Players are participating in team workouts, NBA combines and jockeying for position.

Are they a lock in the lottery, a first-rounder or will they even get drafted?

Babbitt, despite the fact that few people out of Nevada have even heard of him, much less actually have seen him play, is projected to be a first-round pick.

He's actually a projected top-20 pick, with a slight chance of squeezing into the lottery

But why haven't you heard of him? If he's so good, why isn't he all over ESPN?

Well, he played for his hometown school, Nevada, and he's a white kid playing a wing position. And he played at Nevada .

Truly, when you think of Nevada, the first two things that come to mind are Ramon Sessions and Nick Fazekas.

And when you put Fazekas and Nevada together and watch a new white kid tearing it up for Nevada, you immediately compare the two.

But Babbitt isn't Fazekas. He's not a wiry power forward with a nice shooting touch.

He's a complete, polished, offensive package. He's regarded as an unathletic offensive genius with great range, no defensive capabilities and a great work ethic.

In essence, he's what every other white guy is when they're trying to make it in pro basketball—good, but not good enough.

But is that really the case here?

No, not if you take a good, hard look at Babbitt.

He's not an elite athlete. He won't be running coast-to-coast or routinely breaking ankles with an insane handle, and he won't be jumping from the free-throw line trying for a ridiculous dunk.

But he is athletic. He does run the floor well. He loves to finish at the rim.

And he's pretty damn good at doing all of it.

In fact, if you mirror-imaged Babbitt with Ohio State's Evan Turner , you'd be shocked to see they bare an uncanny resemblance. They both can handle the rock, rebound the ball well, get to and finish above the basket, and score from anywhere on the floor.

Babbitt played at a low level of competition, but he averaged over 21 points and 10 rebounds a game while doing so.

He has the size, length and feel for the game to develop into a mighty fine player at the next level. He just needs to get past all the stereotypes.

Do the guy a favor. Talk about him.

Watch tape on him. Come to your own unbiased conclusions.

Because he's not Nick Fazekas. He's not Adam Morrison. He's not just some white guy who can "kind of ball", has a "never-ending" motor, or has deceptive athleticism.

He's Luke Babbitt, and he's quite possibly the most gifted offensive player in this year's draft.


For more NBA Draft articles, profiles, rankings, and mock drafts, go to NBA Soup. com