DeMarcus Cousins has all the talent in the world, but will maturity issues prevent him from reaching his full potential?
It was an interesting rookie season for the 6'11", 270-pound Cousins. He averaged 14 points per game and over eight rebounds, but also was suspended a game for an altercation with teammate Donte Greene.
With his massive size and brute strength, Cousins should be able to back his way into the paint at will. He has a chance to be one of the few elite centers in this league.
And it looks like Cousins is finally getting it, coming off a career-high 30 points against the Thunder. But some GM's prefer to shy away from players with as much risk as Cousins brings.
Here are 10 talented, but risky, players in the 2011 draft who could be next year's DeMarcus Cousins.
Last Season's Stats: Sat Out Season Due to NCAA Violation
Just think if the Wildcats had Kanter's talents last season to pair with Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones.
The Turkish big man was ruled ineligible by the NCAA after receiving improper benefits from his Turkish club team, but he is still considered a top-10 draft pick.
He has size, long arms (and soft hands) and is very athletic for someone his size. He works very well in the post, but can also hit jumpers from inside 15 feet.
Scouts rave about his basketball intelligence and work ethic. Still, there are plenty of risks.
As with all Euroleague players, it remains a question whether he will adjust to the American style of play. Also, Kanter has a history of knee problems; durability may be a concern.
Bottom Line: Kanter is the highest-ranked big man by many scouts despite not playing last season; his God-given talent should make him a top-five draft pick.
Last Season's Stats: 28.9 PPG, 4.3 APG, .453 FG
Fredette's NBA future is very much up in the air.
Fans of the sharpshooter will point out his great range, ability to drive to the lane with either hand and great basketball IQ.
Doubters will look at his awful defense, poor ball-handling skills and lack of overall athleticism.
Bottom Line: Fredette's strengths will either make him a solid NBA role player, or his weaknesses will cause him to become a bust. Even for a late lottery pick, there's a lot of risk.
Last Season's Stats: 20.5 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.3 BPG
Johnson is an incredibly athletic big man who excels at shot blocking and running the floor in fast-break situations.
He also shoots at a high percentage (over 70 percent for his career) from the free throw line, a big plus for a big man.
But his weight (220 pounds) is worrisome. He will likely get pushed around at the next level. He also lacks a variety of moves in the post (his only real move is a right jump hook).
Bottom Line: His offensive game is as polished as Cousins' was coming out of college. But his small frame may limit his upside at the next level.
Last Season's Stats: 23.5 PPG, 4.5 APG, .428 FG
No one doubts Kemba's ability to play, but at only 6'1", some doubt whether he will be able to play point guard at the next level.
He will instantly become one of the fastest players in the league, and his fluid way of getting into the lane is impressive.
He is a winner, leader and good teammate. But in a point guard-driven league, his small frame is a real hindrance on defense.
His jump shot is still not completely there yet, although it vastly improved from his sophomore to junior season.
Bottom Line: Still has some holes in his game, but if he fixes them, he could be one of the better players in this draft.
Last Seasons Stats: 11.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.8 APG
Parsons is the type of player who does a lot of things well, but nothing great.
He is a good but streaky shooter. Parsons tends to score all his points in bunches. He has good height, which is helpful because he is not the most athletic player.
Kyle Korver and Gordon Hayward are good NBA comparisons.
Bottom Line: He is a great "glue" player who would fit in great coming off the bench for a playoff contender, but lacks the overall skills to be a major force in the NBA. Still, great risk-reward pick for the second round.
Last Season's Stats: 14.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.4 APG
Taylor is a great athlete and dunker. He was one of the best perimeter defenders in college basketball last season, and his great defense will surely earn him playing time as a rookie.
But Taylor's shooting is very inconsistent. He is regularly left open, dared to make open jumpers. He lacks three-point range, so he will be unable to spread the floor.
Worst of all, like Cousins, Taylor's work ethic is often called into question. He appears to take entire stretches off during games, and can be very passive without the ball in his hands.
Bottom Line: Taylor will provide defense, but at the expense of lost offense. Still has plenty of upside left however.
Last Season's Stats: 15.7 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 1.9 BPG
Jones has great touch for a big man (33 percent from three), a variety of post moves and great ball-handling skills.
But you can't teach height, and at 6'8", Jones is undersized to play the PF, and lacks the pure shooting stroke to play SF.
Bottom Line: Too much talent offensively and athletically to not be a top-10 pick. Probably the most multi-dimensional big man in the draft.
Last Season's Stats: 18.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, .9 BPG
Leuer shoots great from three (.370) and has great height (6'10"), a great combination for an NBA big.
His diverse skill set would fit in best for an offensive team that likes to run the floor, like the Knicks or Thunder.
He is a very smart player, despite not being overly athletic. He averaged only one turnover and two personal fouls per game in his college career.
Bottom Line: He is not the prototypical big man who camps in the post and uses size and strength; he is more of a finesse player. How well he does in the NBA will largely depend on what system he is drafted into.
Last Season's Stats: 17.3 PPG, 14.5 RPG, 2.3 BPG
Faried led the NCAA in rebounding and field goal percentage last season, a great accomplishment.
He does a lot of dirty work down low; most of his points come on putbacks.
No one doubts his passion for the game and defensive ability, but he is offensively challenged to say the least.
He shoots around 60 percent from the free throw line for his career, and has few post moves.
Also, playing in the Ohio Valley Conference, against weaker competition, has some worried as to how he will fare against NBA talent.
Bottom Line: Very similar to DeJuan Blair. Still needs to work on his offensive game. Coming from a mid-major, there will be a lot of risk drafting Faried.
Last Season's Stats: 16.9 PPG. 6.8 RPG, 1.6 APG
Singler is a great shooter, proven leader and was coached by one of the all-time greats at Duke.
His height (6'9") allows him to get his shoot off with ease, and he is more than just a straight up jump shooter.
He displays a variety of runners and floaters that make him a challenge to guard defensively.
But he is also a liability on defense. He is rather slow and easy to get around. Although he averaged close to seven rebounds, he tends to get boxed out by more physical players.
Bottom Line: Singler's shooting is what will make or break his NBA career. If he can hit his shots, teams will be more lenient with his defensive struggles.