NBA Draft 2011: 10 Potential Sleepers Who Could Be This Year's Landry Fields

Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: 10 Potential Sleepers Who Could Be This Year's Landry Fields

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The New York Knicks selected Landry Fields with the ninth pick of the second round in last year's draft (39th overall).  

    Almost no one outside the Knicks organization could've foreseen the kind of rookie season Fields would have.

    He started 81 games, scored an efficient 9.7 points a game (50 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range) and is already one of the league's best rebounding guards (6.4 a game).

    With his attitude, effort, well-developed skill set and basketball IQ that a lot of veterans don't even possess, Fields could be a great pro for years to come.

    He was without a doubt 2010's best second-round pick.  Is there anyone in this draft class that might pleasantly surprise us the same way Fields did?

    Here are 10 guys who could be impact rookies despite being selected in the second round of this year's draft.

     

    You can follow Andy Bailey on Twitter  @_Andy_Bailey

JaJuan Johnson

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Height: 6'10"

    Weight: 221 lbs.

    Position: PF

    Age: 22

    Comparison: Amar'e Stoudemire/Hakim Warrick

     

    Purdue got knocked out in its second game of the tourney, but you can't blame Johnson.  He scored 41 points and grabbed 30 rebounds in those two contests.

    He had a great season at Purdue, and his solid all-around game could help him stay in the league for a while.

    He's shown great athleticism and a decent mid-range game all year.  In a best-case scenario, he could develop into a player like Stoudemire.  Or he could be a career backup like Hakim Warrick.

     

    Highlights

Shelvin Mack

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Height: 6'3" 

    Weight: 215 lbs

    Position: PG/SG

    Age: 22

    Comparison: Ben Gordon/Kyle Lowry

     

    Despite his shaky NCAA title game (one of the only players from that night who could be categorized as anything other than terrible), Mack has solidified his status as a legitimate pro prospect.

    He's a big-time shooter, handles well and plays really strong for his position.

    Right now, he doesn't really have a true point guard's mentality, but he's probably too small to be an elite shooting guard.  Sounds a bit like Ben Gordon to me.

    He's demonstrated that he has solid instincts and works hard.  Those are two of the traits that helped Fields be successful.

     

    Highlights

Chandler Parsons

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 218 lbs.

    Position: SF/SG

    Age: 22

    Comparison: Landry Fields/Gordon Hayward

     

    Chandler Parsons is one of the smartest players in the draft, but he almost certainly won't be selected in the first round because scouts have questioned his attitude at times.

    He's a great passer and rebounder for a wing, and he's also demonstrated the ability to knock down threes. Like Hayward and Fields, he needs to get more aggressive with his own shot selection.

    There are a few teams picking in the early part of the second round that need a small forward, and Parsons would have an outside shot at starting for all of them (Nets, Clippers and Wizards).

     

    Highlights

Demetri McCamey

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    Position: PG

    Age: 22

    Comparison: Deron Williams/Jason Kidd

     

    Over the last couple years, McCamey has put up some great assist numbers (6.1 per game this year and 7.1 last year).  And this year, he's added a three-point shot (45 percent from three-point range).

    He's a great distributor, and his size and strength make him comparable to Williams and Kidd.

    The Lakers are in desperate need of a point guard, and they have four second-round picks this year.  He would be an instant upgrade over Derek Fisher.

     

    Highlights

Ben Hansbrough

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 203 lbs.

    Position: PG/SG

    Age: 23

    Comparison: Luke Ridnour/Tyler Hansbrough

     

    Hansbrough was the Big East Player of the Year, but he's not getting much, if any, attention as an NBA prospect.

    He'll be a very mature rookie, with great leadership qualities.  He works and plays extremely hard and with a ton of intensity.

    He could be a low-risk selection in the second round.  One can only hope the Pacers take him with the 42nd pick, so we can see some pick-and-rolls with the Hansbrough brothers.

    He's a bit like Ridnour in terms of size and game, but his fiery demeanor is very much like his brother Tyler's.

     

    Highlights

Jon Diebler

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 205 lbs.

    Position: SG/SF

    Age: 22

    Comparison: Martell Webster

     

    Most people are saying that either Jimmer Fredette or Klay Thompson is the best shooter in this year's draft class.  Did those people forget about Jon Diebler?

    He hit nearly 400 three-pointers as a college player, shooting 42 percent over four seasons with Ohio State.  This year, he hit 50 percent from downtown.

    Most mock drafts don't have Diebler being drafted at all, but every team loves to have a pure shooter or two. If some team takes a chance on him, there's a good chance it would pay off.

     

    Highlights

     


Keith Benson

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Height: 6'11"

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    Position: PF/C

    Age: 22

    Comparison: Roy Hibbert

     

    Benson is a solid all-around player with good size and skills.  He's long, rebounds, defends very well and can knock down jump shots.

    His numbers as a senior were stellar.  He averaged 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game. Plus, he shot 55 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range.

    He may never be a star at the next level, but in a league almost devoid of elite centers, he could easily develop into a starter.

     

    Highlights

Julyan Stone

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    Position: PG

    Age: 22

    Comparison: Shaun Livingston

     

    This one is way off the radar.  Right now, it doesn't look like he'll get drafted, but that doesn't mean he can't make a team.

    Wesley Matthews was an undrafted free agent, and was the biggest sleeper of the 2009-10 rookie class.

    Stone's height would suggest he's a wing, but his mentality and numbers may make him this year's closest thing to a true point guard.

    As UTEP's all-time leader in assists, this guy is always looking to get the ball to his teammates.

    He would be a great complement to a backcourt with a smaller shooting guard.  Golden State desperately needs a backup point guard, and Stone looks like a perfect fit to me.

     

    Highlights

Jon Leuer

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Height: 6'10"

    Weight: 228 lbs.

    Position: PF/C

    Age: 21

    Comparison: Donte Greene/Matt Bonner

     

    Leuer moves, shoots and handles the ball from the perimeter better than any big man in this class.  Just watch the video at the bottom of this slide to see how he operates like a guard.

    The reason for Leuer's smooth game: he played guard for most of his high school career.  An insane 10-inch growth spurt prior to his senior year moved him to the post.

    He could cause matchup problems for a lot of the league's big men next year.

     

    Highlights

Scotty Hopson

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    Position: SG/SF

    Age: 21

    Comparison: Trevor Ariza

     

    Hopson was one of the most sought-after high school recruits back in 2008.  He was the ninth-ranked recruit in the country.

    As is the case with plenty of high-profile high school players, a lot of the luster wears off in college.  That doesn't always mean the player didn't deserve the recognition he got in high school.

    Sometimes a player can just find himself in the wrong situation.

    If Hopson can live up to the hype that surrounded him back in '08, he could become a solid NBA player. He's a great scorer, but he needs to polish just about every aspect of his game.

     

    Highlights

Who Do You Think Might Be This Year's Sleeper?

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    The 10 players I've named certainly aren't the only ones who might be good sleeper picks this year.  Who do you think might be this year's Landry Fields or Wesley Matthews?

    Let me know in the comments section.

     

    You can follow Andy Bailey on Twitter  @_Andy_Bailey