NBA Draft 2011: Kemba Walker and 10 Players with the Most Bust Potential
The NBA Draft is full of many things—including potential draft picks.
One of the biggest parts for NBA scouts is whether or not these players will pan out.
Every year players are drafted on potential. Then a few years later, the general manager figures out what a big mistake was made. Case-and-point is Hasheem Thabeet.
Players like Anthony Randolph, Tyrus Thomas, Greg Oden, and Marvin Williams are drafted on potential. For their respective teams, the reality of wasting a Top Five pick is crushing. It can set franchises back several years, severely damaging their playoff potential.
This years draft will be no different.
Plenty of guys possess high end athleticism, causing scouts to worry. Some general managers are willing to take a risk, while others prefer to draft more polished college players.
Here is a sneak peak of 10 players with the highest bust potential in this years draft.
10. Harrison Barnes
It's really hard to say that Harrison Barnes has high bust potential.
Barnes has a great shooting stroke, supreme athleticism, underrated defensive abilities, and has the "silent assassin" mentality. The way Barnes has come along the last couple months really shows his maturation.
However, the fact that it took him so long to make an impact causes concern.
The conversion from high school basketball to college basketball is very hard. On top of that, the step up from college to pro is much more difficult.
Barnes needs to prove to scouts he's ready to play at the next level. General managers are getting more and more hesitant to draft players that take longer to develop.
This freshman has low bust potential, but it's certainly lingering above him
9. Kyrie Irving
Scouts fell in love with Kyrie Irving really quick.
The way that Irving was tearing up college basketball so abruptly impressed NBA scouts.
Kyrie Irving has extreme quickness, athleticism, charisma, shooting ability, and quality decision making.
Then, it happened. Kyrie Irving went down with a gruesome toe injury.
The injury was so bad, Irving had to sit out the entire regular season before returning for the Big Dance. Irving made his way back to the rotation for the post season, but the chemistry wasn't there.
Irving and Smith didn't mesh, causing Duke to fall early against Arizona.
The number one concern on scouts radars is durability. Whether the injury is something that will reoccur or was strictly a freak incident, is something an NBA team will have to risk.
8. Terrence Jones
Terrence Jones' stock is rising as quick as anyone's right now. However, as fast as his stock is rising, his bust potential is going right with it.
Jones is seen as a "point-forward" type of player, which may or may not work to his advantage.
In recent years we have seen "point-forwards" like Anthony Randolph and Marvin Williams become major busts. Jones needs to do everything he can to avoid being compared to them.
Jones is long, lanky, can dribble the ball, guard multiple positions, and all around very versatile. His ability to impact the game in several ways makes him an enticing pick.
Whoever drafts Jones needs to have a spot open where he can showcase his skills. It wouldn't be wise to restrain him to one position in particular.
Jones should be seen as medium to high risk pick, with a possibly very high reward.
7. Kemba Walker
"America's player," Kemba Walker, does everything on the court a casual fan loves. However, NBA scouts see big holes in his game.
Walker doesn't appear to have a "true" point guard mentality, constantly committing questionable decisions.
As a point guard, the last thing you want scouts ripping you for is your decision making. Unfortunately for Kemba, that is just the case.
With the recent success of UConn, Walker's stock has risen. However, with rising stock comes rising pressure.
One of Kemba's biggest strengths is his ability to finish around the bucket. Walker gets to the rim relatively easily, being able to finish more often than not. Though Kemba is solid around the basket in college, those skills don't always translate to the NBA.
Kemba is 6'0" on a good day and tends to get his shot blocked frequently. In the NBA players are much bigger, making it that much more difficult for an undersized player.
NBA scouts need to be careful with Kemba, as there is a lot of bust potential here.
6. Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams has done nothing this tournament but solidify himself in the top three picks. He exploded in almost every game, especially when it mattered.
Against Duke, Williams stole the show. The sophomore had 32 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
Not only did he stuff the whole stat sheet, it was more so the way he did it.
Williams threw down vicious dunks, went 5-6 from three point territory, and shut down Duke's post players in the process.
Even though Williams had a good NCAA tournament, he isn't out of the woods quite yet.
Williams is seen as somewhat of a "tweener," and will need to shake that label quick.
Williams true position in the NBA is small forward, so the sooner he can transition the better. Williams has gone down a very similar road as Michael Beasley, who was a converted player from college.
After Beasley measured in at 6'7" at the combine, scouts panicked. Nobody knew if Beasley was able to make the transition to the perimeter.
Beasley slipped to the second pick, having a rough first few seasons. Now Beasley is comfortably playing in Minnesota, scoring baskets in bunches.
For Derrick Williams, it all comes down to whether he can make the transition the the perimeter or not.
5. Jimmer Fredette
Jimmer Fredette has been one of the most exciting players in college basketball this year. Literally being able to shoot from anywhere on the court has made him exciting to watch.
Jimmer has converted from shooting guard to point guard over the past year. The transition has went well, but not perfect.
"The Jimmer" still has plenty to work on to become an NBA point guard.
Let's do a quick mental recap. Try to think of a mid-major player who converted to point guard, came back for his senior season, and now plays in the NBA at a high level.
That person is Stephen Curry, and the similarities are plentiful.
Both Curry and Fredette are amazing shooters, with Jimmer possibly having the edge. They both went to mid-majors hoping to mature significantly in four years of college. Last, they both converted from shooting guard to point guard their senior years.
The differences? These could scare people off.
Jimmer is definitely slower, less agile, and can't play as well of defense. All of these things can be worked on but not cured completely.
Jimmer needs to go to a team where he can play a combo guard position, possibly alongside Tyreke Evans in Sacramento or Monta Ellis in Oakland. After all, Golden State's front office did say they were looking to deal Curry.
4. Donatas Motiejunas
Nobody has higher potential in this draft than Donatas Motiejunas. The smooth, athletic seven footer brings everything to the table.
Everything besides 100% that is.
Just 20 years old, Donatas is already being criticized for his lack of mental motor. Motiejunas appears to have several mental lapses in his game.
Donatas can be seen visibly taking himself out of the game, not giving it his all, and even not dominating down low like he is very capable of.
Besides the fact that Donatas doesn't play extremely hard, the Europeans preceding him aren't helping his cause.
Now don't get this wrong, I have nothing against European basketball players.
What scares me if the fail rate on foreigners we have seen over the years. If you check draft recaps for the last 10 years, there is more than a handful of guys who never even made it to the NBA.
However, the reward of selecting the next Dirk Nowitzki or Andre Bargnani is extreme. At the same time, you don't want to end up with another Darko Milicic or Fran Vazquez.
The combination of his age and lack of desire make Donatas a very risky pick.
3. Enes Kanter
Enes Kanter appears to be the most well rounded top seven pick in the draft. Kanter, a native of Turkey, is a "do it all" guy.
Kanter can score, rebound, alter shots, play defense, use his body, and play mistake free basketball. When watching Kanter play overseas, it's hard to find a true weakness in Kanter's game.
However, Kanter comes in with plenty of question marks.
He hasn't played this entire year, so who knows what to expect? Kanter was suspended for the season after the NCAA learned of money he accepted while playing in Turkey.
Not only is him not playing this year a concern, durability questions have risen.
Kanter has a history of knee problems, which is freakishly scary for NBA scouts. The last thing scouts want to do is draft a player in the lottery who has the same knees as Brandon Roy or Greg Oden.
Kanter will need to impress scouts in his individual workouts, considering this is the only time they will see him play.
2. Perry Jones
Like Terrence Jones, the "point-forward" label can be scary.
Perry Jones is 6'11" small forward who dribbles like a point guard.
He has great quickness, being able to dribble by anyone on the perimeter.
He has all the athletic tools scouts want to see.
He is fast, has good hands, and plays with a smooth demeanor.
However, Perry Jones plays eerily similar to Anthony Randolph. Scouts are praying that Jones can become everything that Randolph was supposed to be.
Perry didn't have a stellar freshman season, and will be seen as a project in the NBA.
The sky is the limit for Jones, who could become a new version of Kevin Durant.
If Jones doesn't pan out to what he can be, the NBA will have one more Anthony Randolph on it's hands.
1. Jared Sullinger
Jared Sullinger got off to an extremely hot start this year.
However, as the year wore on, so did Sullinger.
Either he got tired, allowed his teammates more opportunities or just had lots of freshman moments.
Sullinger has the body of a bruising NBA power forward. Whether you want to compare his body to Kevin Love or Glen Davis is up to you. Which player he portrays in the NBA is up to him.
Sullinger will also need to capitalize on what his body is capable of. At 6'8", Sullinger weighs upwards of 285 pounds. Unfortunately for Sullinger, not all of that weight is muscle.
The freshman recently turned 19 years old, giving him plenty of time to develop "man" muscles. However, if Sullinger can't convert his weight to muscle, it could get out of control.
I hate to say it, but Sullinger's weight problems could be labeled Eddy Curry-esque if he doesn't treat it the right way.
Sullinger has a big summer ahead of him, starting with proving that he's the next Kevin Love.
Note: Since I wrote this, Sullinger has declared his intentions to return to Ohio State for his sophomore year. So it sounds like Jared agrees with me...if, of course, he makes good on his word and skips the 2011 NBA Draft.