NBA Draft 2011: 10 Sleepers Who Could Surprise You as Pros

Jeremy FiorettiContributor IIIMay 15, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: 10 Sleepers Who Could Surprise You as Pros

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    Carlos Boozer. Mo Williams. Gilbert Arenas. Rashard Lewis. Manu Ginobili. Michael Redd.

    What do all of these guys have in common?

    They have all been NBA All-Stars, and none of them were selected in the first round of the NBA draft.

    Every year there are players whose stocks fall, they fly under the radar and for whatever reason, they get drafted later than they should (or don't get drafted at all).

    So who are the sleepers this year? Here is a look at 10 players who could make a bigger impact than you think.

    Let's go gem hunting.

Kenneth Faried

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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 17:  Kenneth Faried #35 of the Morehead State Eagles looks on during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    NBA equivalent: Mini Dwight

    Dwight Howard is Kenneth Faried in high heels. If only he were a little taller, he would be projected as a lottery pick.

    But it's not like he can't reach the rim.

    Faried can bang. He dominated the glass last season as the nation's leading rebounder and guided an unlikely Morehead State to two NCAA Tournament wins in three years.

    Although he will be a project at the offensive end, his energy on defense makes him ultra valuable in a league that plays so little of it.

    Don't be surprised if this monster plays his way into big minutes for a team like the Bobcats, Timberwolves or Blazers, who have picks midway through the first round.

Jordan Williams

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    SPOKANE, WA - MARCH 21: Jordan Williams #20 of the Maryland Terrapins listens to head coach Gary Williams against the Michigan State Spartans during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Spokane Arena on March 21, 2010 in Sp
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    NBA equivalent: Paul Millsap

    Jordan Williams packs a lot of power into his bulky 6'10", 260-pound frame.

    The sophomore from Maryland improved dramatically in his second year and has room to grow even more in the near future. He has a high basketball IQ, runs the floor well and has nice enough footwork in the post to create his own shots and finish through contact.

    The most concerning drawback is his shape, but there aren't many professional players who aren't able to fix that in the weight room.

    As a late first rounder, a team like the Nuggets could really benefit from the tremendous potential Williams brings to the table for years to come.

Josh Selby

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    LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 29:  Josh Selby #32 of the Kansas Jayhawks in action during the game against the University of Texas Arlington Mavericks on December 29, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    NBA equivalent: Lou Williams

    Josh Selby could have foregone college altogether if the NBA didn't have their one-year rule.

    After a brief 26-game college career, the former No. 1 high school prospect in the nation decided to declare for the draft.

    Selby wasn't needed as a primary scorer for Kansas as a freshman because the Jayhawks were already established as one the best teams in the nation, so his stats might keep him on the board long enough for a team in the second round to hit the jackpot.

    Selby can stroke and get to the tin. He's got future starter written all over him.

Marshon Brooks

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    WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 5:  Marshon Brooks #2 of the Providence Friars takes a jump shot over Chris Wright #4 of the Georgetown Hoays during a college basketball game on February 5, 2011 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.  The Hoyas won 83-81.  (P
    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    NBA equivalent: Kevin Martin

    If volume scorers weren't coveted in the NBA, then Marshon Brooks wouldn't be on this list. Fortunately for him, they are.

    Marshon can fill it up. The senior from Vanderbilt was second in the country in scoring, behind only Jimmer Fredette. And he did it against tough Big East opponents, so you know he's no joke.

    He has incredible range on his jump shot, he's excellent at changing speeds with the dribble, and he is lengthy enough to finish in the paint regularly and efficiently.

    Marshon will make for a steal in the second round and will be able to make an instant impact as a scorer for any team.

Jereme Richmond

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    NBA equivalent: DeMar DeRozan

    Jereme Richmond is one of the youngest players in the draft, but also one of the most athletically gifted.

    The high flying freshman only managed six starts in a tough debut season at Illinois, where he had to share playing time with two senior forwards, but it's easy to see what scouts like so much about him.

    He's long and fast on both ends of the court and makes for a tough matchup against slower forwards and smaller guards.

    Picking Richmond could be perceived as a gamble because he is still lacking the build and IQ of an NBA player, but once he matures and gains experience, it could pay very rewarding dividends for whoever drafts him.

Demetri McCamey

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 11:  Demetri McCamey #32 of the Illinois Fighting Illini runs the offense against the Michigan Wolverines during the quarterfinals of the 2011 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 11, 2011 in Indianap
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    NBA equivalent: Kyle Lowry

    Demetri McCamey isn't the most athletic guy in the gym, but he will generate a lot of attention as a big point guard who can shoot.

    He lacks the quickness you'd like to see from an NBA guard, but he has NBA range on his jump shot and can connect from long distance consistently. His size allows him to see the floor well and his patience allows him to effectively run an offense, making him a great distributor.

    Many people question McCamey's attitude and effort, but if he can convince scouts that he is ready to commit himself to playing at a high level, he has the ability to be a sneaky pick late in the draft.

Scotty Hopson

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 11:  Scotty Hopson #32 of the Tennessee Volunteers drives to the hoop against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational at Consol Energy Center on December 11, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justi
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    NBA equivalent: Nick Young

    He received a lot of criticism from Tennessee fans for deciding to skip his senior year and go pro early, but Hopson is confident that he's a first-round guy.

    First round is likely a stretch for Hopson, and it's no guarantee that he even gets drafted at all, but if he does, he provides a tremendous amount of skill.

    Hopson possesses one of the most pure jump shots in all of the draft and would make for an outstanding wing player who can spot up or create his own.

    If he's able to add some muscle and be a bit more aggressive, he will be a nice complementary player at the end of the draft.

E'Twaun Moore

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    WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - DECEMBER 21:  E ' Twaun Moore #33 of the Purdue Boilermakers dribbles the ball during the game against the IPFW Mastodons at Mackey Arena on December 21, 2010 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    NBA equivalent: Marcus Thornton

    E'Twaun Moore is another guy who won't impress you with his athleticism, but he is a smart guard who doesn't make mistakes and can put the ball in the basket effectively.

    The senior from Purdue is too good an offensive weapon to be overlooked on draft night.

    He brings to the table a wide variety of ways to score, as he is creative off the dribble and can catch-and-shoot on kick outs as well as anybody.

    If he can bulk up to NBA size, the crafty 22-year-old can make plenty of teams happy with his offensive prowess.

LaceDarius Dunn

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    HOUSTON - MARCH 28: LaceDarius Dunn #24 of the Baylor Bears looks to pass under pressure from Kyle Singler #12 of the Duke Blue Devils during the south regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Reliant Stadium on March 28, 2010 in Hou
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    NBA equivalent: Toney Douglas

    LaceDarius Dunn sure isn't afraid to shoot.

    The Big 12's all-time leading scorer was known for putting the ball in the net, but many criticize Dunn's shot selection, as well as the frequency at which he heaved.

    Consistency is key for jump shooters, which Dunn primarily is, but he struggled in that department during his final season at Baylor, and he is a bit undersized for a two-guard, which he projects to be at the next level.

    He is undoubtedly one of the most exciting players to watch in the draft and can really provide a boost down the stretch of games for teams looking for that player with killer instinct, but he'll have to work on refining his jump shot.

    If Dunn is able to work out a couple of kinks in time for team workouts, he can be a gunslinger in the NBA for years to come.

Jerai Grant

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    TAMPA, FL - MARCH 17:  Jerai Grant #45 of the Clemson Tigers dunks in the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 17, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    NBA equivalent: Hakim Warrick

    Most experts have Jerai Grant going undrafted, and if he does it will be a mistake.

    Even if Grant doesn't get drafted, he's a big enough workhorse to battle through some camps to earn a job somewhere, the same way Udonis Haslem and Ben Wallace did after they went undrafted.

    He is considered to be weak when isolated one-on-one against a defender or when defending the ball, but he excels at team defense and does the little things on offense that NBA teams look for in terms of gaining extra possessions.

    Grant will help an NBA team at some point, you can count on it.