NBA Draft 2011: 5 Most Overrated Prospects

Max MinskerCorrespondent IMay 7, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: 5 Most Overrated Prospects

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    NEW YORK - JUNE 24:  NBA Commisioner David Stern speaks at the NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    The 2011 NBA draft is fast approaching, and as we get closer and closer, scouts have to make final evaluations of prospects. 

    While there are still potential stars to be found in this class, this year's draft is unquestionably weaker than most, pushing some undeserving players higher up the draft board. Here are five prospects whose production will not match their draft position.

5. Klay Thompson

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10:  Klay Thompson #1 of the Washington State Cougars walks off the court after the Cougars lost to the Washington Huskies 89-87 in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Many NBA scouts see Klay Thompson as an interesting prospect. He has ideal NBA size, possesses a sweet jumper and is a smart player who should be a decent scorer from the outside in the NBA. 

    The problem with Thompson is that he's just not all that athletic. He doesn't have the explosive athleticism that many other players in this class have. He is going to have to play shooting guard in the NBA, and without the necessary quickness and speed, it's going to be tough for him to defend his position and get to the basket on offense.

    Thompson projects as a mid-first round pick, and I see him as a Marco Belinelli type player in the league as pretty much the best-case scenario. Those players are valuable to a team, but you would hope a mid-first rounder would have a little more upside.

4. Kawhi Leonard

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Kawhi Leonard #15 of the San Diego State Aztecs dunks the ball against the Connecticut Huskies during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, Calif
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Kawhi Leonard isn't like Thompson in a sense that he has crazy athleticism. The problem with Leonard is that we don't really know what he is going to do well in the NBA. At SDSU last season, he showed great rebounding skills as well as decent moves and some serious range on his jumper for a big guy. 

    In the NBA, Leonard is going to have to adjust his game to more of a perimeter style. He isn't going to be able to rebound as effectively because everyone is just so much bigger. He has to change up his whole game, and although he is athletic, changing his game is going to be hard to do. 

    Right now, scouts say that Leonard is a lottery pick because of his potential. I think he will be a Trevor Ariza-type player at his peak. Best case scenario, he might be a starter as the fifth option, but not much more than that. He's long and athletic, but in the NBA you need more than that, and he just doesn't have the skills.

3. Terrence Jones

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats goes to the hoop against the Connecticut Huskies during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Housto
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Jones is another athletic big man who will likely make the transition to small forward in the NBA. He destroyed college defenses from the post, but if he doesn't play down low in the NBA, it's hard to tell where he fits in an offense. 

    Jones is a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none forward. He is pretty good at everything, but he's not great at anything. He is a pretty good shooter with good range for his size. He is also a solid distributor and has good athleticism. He might be considered great down low, but in the pros he won't be down there often.

    In the league. Jones could be a good sixth man. I think he could be almost as good as Lamar Odom if he improves his jumper. So a super sixth man of sorts. He could be solid, but if a Lamar Odom-type is his ceiling, he probably isn't worth a top-10 pick. He could very easily be a bust because of his lack of a go-to scoring method and tweener reputation.

2. Bismack Biyombo

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    Many people compare Biyombo's game to a young Ben Wallace. He does have upside, anyone will admit that. Biyombo has an absolutely freakish wingspan and elite athleticism. He will be a good shot blocker in the NBA.

    The problem with Biyombo is that he is just extremely raw. The physical tools are there, but he is going to need to be developed. We also aren't sure how old he is. His agent claims he's 18, but of course he's going to claim he is as young as possible. The same thing happened just a few years ago with Yi Jianlian. We simply don't know all that much about Bismack Biyombo and that's what makes him such a big risk.

    He is currently projected in the top 10, but with scouts gushing about his athleticism, there are whispers he could be taken in the top 5 or even the top 3 in this weak draft. Biyombo has the potential to be Ben Wallace, but he could just as easily be the next Hasheem Thabeet. 

1. Kemba Walker

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04:  Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies handles the ball against the Butler Bulldogs during the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011 in Houston,
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    I know, I know. Kemba Walker was one of the best players in college basketball this season. However, that doesn't mean he's going to be a good pro. Kemba is very quick and good on his feet, and he is tough. He can drive the lane and get in the paint. There is no doubting his explosiveness. 

    The biggest problem with Kemba is his size. He is a shooting guard in a point guard's body. He isn't even a big point guard. He definitely doesn't have the vision or the handles to play the point in the NBA, meaning he will have to play off the ball. The question then becomes who does he guard? It's tough to have two players on the floor shorter than 6'2.

    A common misconception of Kemba is that he is a great shooter. Well, he's not. He shot 43 percent from the field this year and 33 percent from behind the arc. He is by no means dominant from the field. He was amazing in non-conference play, but once Big East play started, he wasn't nearly as good. He is an undersized shooting guard who shoots in high volumes and struggles to finish. I don't understand why he is a consensus top-5 pick.

    He is a leader and a scorer, but the lightning quick Kemba will struggle to find a place in the NBA. I think he could be a Ben Gordon type player in the future. He isn't as good of a shooter, but he's a better driver. Neither can do all that much outside of scoring, and both attended Uconn. They can score in bunches, but ultimately neither will be worth their top-5 status at the end of their career.

     

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