NBA Draft 2011: Grading the Top 20 Prospects on Their NBA Readiness

Chris FaigCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: Grading the Top 20 Prospects on Their NBA Readiness

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    With the NBA Playoffs right around the corner and the NCAA tournament now under way, many NBA fans and scouts are already beginning to eye some of the most dominant and talented players in college basketball.

    Players such as Jared Sullinger, Terrence Jones, Derrick Williams and Perry Jones are guaranteed to be high draft picks in the 2011 NBA Draft after having impressive and consistent seasons.  The upcoming draft class is unbelievably deep with talent, although some players are more NBA-ready than others.

    Jared Sullinger seems to have the body-size and techniques capable of being a solid player in his first season, while Josh Selby could benefit from staying in Kansas another year.

    The following slides exhibit a power ranking of the top 20 players entering the draft next season, along with grades for each player based on NBA readiness.

     

    **Stats as of March 13, 2011

20. SF Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt Commodores

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    Height: 6'7''

    Weight: 225 pounds

    Class: Junior

    Season Stats: (2008-09') 12.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.7 APG, and .9 SPG in 26.0 MPG

    (2009-10') 13.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.7 APG, and 1.1 SPG in 26.8 MPG

    (2010-11') 15.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, and 1.1 SPG in 31.6 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B-

    Jeffrey Taylor shows great potential, but he must work on his consistency if he wants to be successful at the next level.  He has proven to be a dominant scorer and at times a solid rebounder, but Taylor must prove that he can be reliable on a nightly basis.

19. SF Tyler Honeycutt, UCLA Bruins

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    Height: 6'8''

    Weight: 188 pounds

    Class: Sophomore

    Season Stats: (2009-10') 7.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.5 SPG, and 1.2 BPG in 27.7 MPG

    (2010-11') 12.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.7 APG, and 2.0 BPG in 34.9 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): D

    Tyler Honeycutt is a fierce competitor, but he still has a lot of room for improvement.  Honeycutt has the talent to score over 20 points every night, but has only scored over twenty in one game this season, which is why Honeycutt should return to UCLA for another season.

18. PF JaJuan Johnson, Purdue Boilmakers

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Height: 6'10''

    Weight: 221 pounds

    Class: Senior

    Season Stats: (2008-09') 13.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.5 SPG, and 2.1 BPG in 26.9 MPG

    (2009-10') 15.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.9 SPG, and 2.1 BPG in 31.2 MPG

    (2010-11') 20.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.9 SPG and 2.3 BPG in 35.3 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B+

    JaJuan Johnson has had a spectacular senior season at Purdue, leading the Boilermakers to a 25-6 record and a No. 6 seeding.  Johnson is very likely to be selected in the mid-late first round after scoring over 20 points in 20 of his 31 games as a senior.

17. PG Demetri McCamey, Illinois Fighting Illini

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Height: 6'3''

    Weight: 200 pounds

    Class: Senior

    Season Stats: (2009-10') 15.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 7.1 APG, and 1.5 SPG in 34.5 MPG

    (2010-11') 14.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 6.1 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 33.3 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B-

    Demetri McCamey has exhibited some strong leadership qualities with Illinois, as he has led the Fighting Illini in PPG, APG, SPG, and Three-point-percentage.  McCamey has helped to anchor Illinois to a impressive 19-12 record, and a likely NCAA tournament-bid.  Without McCamey at the point, the Fighting Illini would be lucky to win 15 games this season.

16. SG Alec Burks, Colorado Buffaloes

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    Height: 6'6''

    Weight: 185 pounds

    Class: Sophomore

    Season Stats: (2009-10') 17.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.8 APG, and 1.2 SPG in 30.2 MPG

    (2010-11') 20.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.9 APG, and 0.9 SPG in 31.3 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): C+

    Alec Burks is a very streaky scorer that will record 36 points on some nights, and only eight points on others. Burks has proven to be one of the best shooting guards in the nation this season, but may need to add some pounds of strength to keep up with the premiere talent in the National Basketball Association. One more year at Colorado may boost his overall draft value.


15. PF Kyle Singler, Duke Blue Devils

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    Height: 6'8''

    Weight: 230 pounds

    Class: Senior

    Season Stats: (2008-09') 16.5 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.5 SPG, and 1.0 BPG in 32.2 MPG

    (2009-10') 17.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 0.8 BPG in 35.9 MPG

    (2010-11') 17.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 34.9 MPG 

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B

    Throughout his four years with the Duke Blue Devils, Kyle Singler has been an extremely reliable and consistent big man, although he will need to improve his defensive presence at the next level.

14. F Marcus Morris, Kansas Jayhawks

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Height: 6'9''

    Weight: 235 pounds

    Class: Junior

    Season Stats: (2009-10') 12.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, and 0.9 SPG in 24.7 MPG

    (2010-11') 17.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.6 APG, and 0.8 SPG in 27.9 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B+

    Marcus Morris is a physical, versatile, and athletic forward, who's game is very similar to Wilson Chandler's.  Morris has recorded six double-double's this season, scoring over twenty points in 10 games this season.

13. G Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young Cougars

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    Kent Horner/Getty Images

    Height: 6'2''

    Weight: 195 pounds

    Class: Senior

    Season Stats: (2008-09') 16.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 4.1 APG, and 1.5 SPG in 33.0 MPG

    (2009-10') 22.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 4.7 APG, and 1.2 SPG in 31.1 MPG

    (2010-11') 28.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.2 APG, and 1.4 SPG in 35.3 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B+

    Jimmer Fredette has quickly made a name for himself, scoring over 30 points eleven times this season. Fredette has the pure skills necessary to make an immediate impact at the next level.  

12. PF Jan Vesely, Czech Republic

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    Height: 6'11''

    Weight: 230 pounds

    Age: 20

    Season Stats: (2010-11)(EURO League) 9.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.1 APG, 1.4 SPG, and 0.8 BPG in 26.9 MPG(14 games played)

    (2010-11')(ADRIATIC League) 9.7 PPG,  4.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 0.7 BPG in 23.7 MPG(20 games played)

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): C

    Many NBA scouts rave about this guy, but Jan Vesely may be a Darko Milicic-type bust.  After deciding to not enter the 2010 NBA Draft, Vesely is still one of the top European basketball players. Lacking impressive numbers in Europe, however, may lead one to think that he wouldn't fair well in the NBA.

11. PG Kemba Walker, UCONN Huskies

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    Height: 6'1''

    Weight: 172 pounds

    Class: Junior

    Season Stats: (2009-10') 14.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.1 APG, and 2.1 SPG in 35.3 MPG

    (2010-11') 23.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.3 APG, and 1.9 SPG in 37.5 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B+

    Kemba Walker has been absolutely magnificent this season, exhibiting many aspects of his game that should help him transfer well at the professional level.  The way Kemba Walker has led UCONN this season is quite impressive, often carrying the Huskies on his back.  Walker will be much like a John Wall, with the way that he drives and attacks the lane.

10. F C.J. Leslie, NC State Wolfpack

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    Height: 6'8''

    Weight: 206 pounds

    Class: Freshman

    Season Stats: (2010-11') 11.0 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, and 1.3 BPG in 24.6 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B-

    As a freshman C.J. Leslie has put up some solid numbers, but another year in college would be best for him and his NBA draft value.  Leslie could use an extra year to add some muscle and further develop his game. He would then have a better chance to make an immediate impact for his NBA team.

9. PG Josh Selby, Kansas Jayhawks

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    Height: 6'2''

    Weight: 183 pounds

    Class: Freshman

    Season Stats: (2010-11') 8.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.4 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 21.5 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): C+

    Josh Selby would be a valuable pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Nevertheless, if he decides to leave early, it would be most beneficial for the Baltimore-native to remain at Kansas for another year, with such a talented 2011 draft class and the way that he's been playing so far this season.  Selby is an unbelievable talent, but if he remains in school for another year he certainly has the potential to be a top 5 pick in next year's draft.

8. C Enes Kanter, Turkey

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    Height: 6'11''

    Weight: 272 pounds

    Age: 18

    Season Stats: (ruled as permanently ineligible by NCAA)

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B

    With his impressive play overseas, Kanter has received a lot of hype from NBA scouts.  Once he enrolled at Kentucky he was ruled permanently ineligible after receiving unnecessary and excessive funds from his professional team in Turkey.  The SEC would have been the perfect setup for Kanter to exhibit his talents, and potential value in the NBA, but the Turkish big man should remain a lock for a top 15 selection.

7. Harrison Barnes, UNC Tar Heels

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Height: 6'8''

    Weight: 210 pounds

    Class: Freshman

    Season Stats: (2010-11') 15.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.4 APG, and 0.6 SPG in 28.6 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B-

    Harrison Barnes hasn't been very consistent in his freshman season, but has proven that he has the capability to take over a game after scoring 40 points against Clemson.  

6. Terrence Jones, Kentucky Wildcats

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    Height: 6'8''

    Weight: 244 pounds

    Class: Freshman

    Season Stats: (2010-11') 16.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 1.9 BPG in 31.4 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): A-

    Terrence Jones is one of those fascinating talents that probably could have had an impact at the professional level this season. Jones has proven to possess a solid all-around game, recording 11 double-double's throughout the course of his freshman season.  Terrence Jones may not currently be a top 5 pick in this year's draft, but if he has an amazing tournament and/or NBA workouts this summer he will most likely become one of the best rookie's of the 2011 NBA draft class.

5. G Brandon Knight, Kentucky Wildcats

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Height: 6'3''

    Weight: 185 pounds

    Class: Freshman

    Season Stats: (2010-11') 17.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.6 SPG and 35.8 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B+

    Brandon Knight has turned out to be one of the best performing and most consistent Freshmen this season.  Knight's contributions to Kentucky have been essential to the Wildcats' recent success, in winning the SEC Title after beating Florida by a score of 70-54 in the conference championship.

4. SF Jordan Hamilton, Texas Longhorns

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    Height: 6'7''

    Weight: 220 pounds

    Class: Sophomore

    Season Stats: (2009-10') 10.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.5 APG, and 0.8 SPG

    (2010-11') 18.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, and 0.8 SPG in 32.1 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): A

    Who knows if Jordan Hamilton will declare for the NBA draft after this season, but it would probably be in his best interest after having such an impressive sophomore year.  However, if Hamilton stays at Texas another season he may become even more dominant, after improving in every major statistical category from his freshman year.

3. F/C Perry Jones, Baylor Bears

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    Height: 6'11''

    Weight: 235 pounds

    Class: Freshman

    Season Stats: (2010-11') 13.9 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, and 0.9 BPG in 33.9 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): B+

    Perry Jones is very likely going to be the first power forward selected in the 2011 NBA draft, but another year in school would be the wiser choice for the Texas-native.  If Jones is to declare for the pros this season then he will have to gain some weight to compete with the elite big men in the NBA.  

2. F Derrick Williams, Arizona Wildcats

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Height: 6'8''

    Weight: 241 pounds

    Class: Sophomore

    Season Stats: (2009-10') 15.7 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 0.7 APG, and 0.6 SPG in 28.2 

    (2010-11') 19.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.1 APG, and 0.9 SPG in 29.9 MPG

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): A

    Derrick Williams has been having a fantastic season recording 10 double-double's, along with scoring at least 20 points in 14 games this year.  Williams has been an incredibly accurate shooter this season, shooting 61.5 percent from the field and 60.3 from three-point range.  What makes him so desirable at the next level is his reliable rebounding efforts to accompany his outstanding shooting capabilities.

1. PF Jared Sullinger, Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Height: 6'9''

    Weight: 280 pounds

    Class: Freshman

    Season Stats: (2010-11') 17.3 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 1.2 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 31.7 MPG 

    Grade (On NBA Readiness): A+

    After averaging a double-double throughout his freshman season, there is no doubt that Jared Sullinger is the real deal.  Sullinger has helped to make Ohio State one of the best teams in the nation this season, and has aided the Buckeyes to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.  Out of any player entering the 2011 draft, Jared Sullinger is hands down the most NBA-ready.