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NBA Draft 2011: 15 Boom or Bust Prospects in the Draft

Nigel BroadnaxCorrespondent IJune 9, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: 15 Boom or Bust Prospects in the Draft

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    The 2011 NBA Draft will be held in a few weeks. There are several prospects who are expected to have fulfilling careers with very few struggles along the way.

    There is always a handful of prospects who are predicted to be projects. They are hit or miss and have perhaps a 50 percent chance to become a bust.

    Here are 15 players in this year's draft who fit that description.

Jan Vesely, Czech Republic

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    Jan Vesely is a really long combo forward who has potential on the offensive end. With his size advantage over many wings, he plays extra big on both ends.

    He could, however, face problems because of his current skill set. His offensive repertoire is far from polished. His jump shot is also inconsistent despite his solid form.

    His lack of strength and muscle on his frail frame combined with his sub-par rebounding skills could hinder his transition into the NBA.

Enes Kanter, Kentucky

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    Enes Kanter has generated much buzz. He provides much of what you would want from a big man such as power, rebounding and a menu of post up moves.

    One thing that could slow down his progress is that his resume is filled with holes. Everywhere he has played, for the most part, has been met with limited time on the court or an abbreviated tenure.

    When he has played, his competition has not been near the talent level of NCAA basketball—which he was banned from competing in last season.

    His experiences so far might not have been quite enough to prepare him for the NBA.

Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania

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    Jonas Valanciunas is another lanky prospect. He pairs his extended frame with stout athleticism. Throughout his career in Lithuania, he has been an imposing force in the paint.

    His high motor is not always met with high coordination, however. His lack of solid footwork and timing frequently result in him getting in foul trouble. That could very well cause issues as he begins to square off with the bigs in the pros. 

    Minimal muscle and and raw offensive skills could limit his production early on as well.

Bismack Biyombo, Congo

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    With Serge Ibaka being a recent import from the Congo who has so far been a success, more of the same is expected from Bismack Biyombo.

    He is a brick on defense. His fierce, rim-protecting shot blocking skills are blended with accurate reflexes. The way his body is constructed is already set for NBA duties.

    He is also, unfortunately, a brick on offense. His severe lack of fundamentals on that end of the floor leave him extremely confined to few ways to score the ball. He has an absence of footwork and his shooting mechanics are scabrous.

    His stiff all-around play could be an ordeal to structure into an NBA product.

Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young

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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 19:  Jimmer Fredette #32 of the Brigham Young Cougars shoot against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmond
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Jimmer Fredette made scoring look so easy at his time at BYU. He has lethal shooting ability and can hit from almost anywhere in the half court. He gets great elevation as he squares up on shots. His point guard skills are present as well.

    Defense served as Fredette's weakness in school. There's no way that it will magically get better at the NBA level. The armada of super-quick and athletic point guards in the league are almost sure to constantly roast him one-on-one.

    His lateral quickness may not be up to par with most professionals. This matched with his 6'2" frame could restrain him from being the relentless scorer he has been. There's a good chance he is reinvented into strictly a spot-up shooter in his NBA career.

Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State

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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 10:  Kawhi Leonard #15 of the San Diego State Aztecs brings the ball up the court during a quarterfinal game of the Conoco Mountain West Conference Basketball tournament against the Utah Utes at the Thomas & Mack Center March 10, 201
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Kawhi Leonard is a dynamic specimen who has a variety of tools that he uses on both ends of the floor. From scoring and handling to rebounding and ball-hawking, he does almost everything.

    Overall, his skills are not completely sharp. Many of his attributes such as dribbling, shooting and finishing around the rim are dripping with rawness.

    Without improvement of fundamentals, Leonard could be reduced to just an athlete in the NBA.

Tristan Thompson, Texas

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10:  Tristan Thompson #13 of the Texas Longhorns goes up for a shot against the Oklahoma Sooners during their quarterfinal game in the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 10, 2011 in Kansas
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Tristan Thompson is definitely a guy who goes to work. He plays in the post well, using an array of maneuvers against his defenders. He establishes great position on his opponents as he gets after rebounds. His quick second jumps help him in that regard as well.

    He may be perhaps a touch too short at 6'9" to do the things he was used to doing in college, in the NBA. He's a weak jump and foul shooter. His back to the basket moves are far from unlimited.

    He faced issues with bigger players pushing him out of position, which could seriously continue in the pros.

Donatas Motiejunas, Lithuania

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    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 08:  Donatas Motiejunas of Lithuania tries to get past Gordon Hayward of the United States defends during the U19 Basketball World Championships match between the United States and Lithuania at North Shore Events Centre on Jul
    Hannah Johnston/Getty Images

    Donatas Motiejunas is an energetic power forward with much agility. Not only can he knock down jumpers from various spots, he can also score inside with his crafty footwork.

    One of the flaws of Motiejunas is his attitude. He tends to become passive and unmotivated from time to time. This demeanor rarely bodes well for NBA players. His strength may be a pressing issue as well as he gets situated.

Josh Selby, Kansas

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    TULSA, OK - MARCH 18:  Josh Selby #32 of the Kansas Jayhawks goes up for a shot against the Boston University Terriers during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 18, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Rona
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Josh Selby is a wide, 6'3" combo guard who can score and defend. He's a good shooter who can also finish at the rim with his quick leaping ability.

    Even though he has shown he can score, he didn't do it consistently at Kansas. On top of that, his shot selection is not superb. His ball handling and passing skills are minimal for a guard.

    He may find it hard to defend shooting guards, which he excelled at it in school, as in the NBA they are much lankier than the ones he has faced in college.

    All of these deficiencies raise question marks about what he can do as a pro.

Chris Singleton, Florida State

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    CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 20:  Chris Singleton #31 of the Florida State Seminoles looks on while playing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the first half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 20, 2011 i
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Chris Singleton is a combo forward who is a tremendous defender. He's also a decent shooter who can drive and finish at the rim with his brute upper body strength. Nice athlete.

    Singleton struggles to create his own shot, due to is incomplete dribbling skills. His touch and body control are not up to par. He just doesn't have a great offensive feel.

    His upper body is much bigger than his legs, which produces an uneven balance when running.

    Issues like these could certainly make him a lengthy project in the NBA.

Tobias Harris, Tennessee

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18:  Tobias Harris #12 of the Tennessee Volunteers reacts in the first half while taking on the Michigan Wolverines during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 18, 2011 in
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Tobias Harris uses his power and grace to be a tough cover for defenders. He can slash to the basket well and be physical in the paint also. He has a smooth feel for the game and works hard.

    He might be a little undersized to play the power forward as a pro. And he may not be agile enough to play small forward. His foot speed is slightly warped and he's a bit chunky.

    The NBA competition could hit him hard.

Davis Bertans, Latvia

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    Davis Bertans is the ideal shooter. He has great range and mechanics, can catch and shoot, and has the ability to run through screens to get open.

    He does not really have any other skills however. Not an exceptional runner. His shot selection is questionable at times as well.

    His early time in the NBA could be shaky.

Iman Shumpert, Georgia Tech

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    GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 10:  Iman Shumpert #1 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets dribbles down the court during the second half of the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first round of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Co
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Iman Shumpert is one of the elite defenders of the draft. An exquisite slasher who can really bring it to defenses on fast breaks. Powerful athlete.

    He lacks overall smoothness on offense however. Bad shot selection with great inaccuracy on his jumper.

    Finding success on offense my be a challenge early on as he gets used to the NBA.

Darius Morris, Michigan

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Darius Morris #4 of the Michigan Wolverines moves the ball while taking on the Duke Blue Devils during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Darius Morris is a fearless ball handler who uses a series of spin moves, head fakes, and crossovers. Has a commanding first step and excellent court vision. Runs a very solid pick and roll.

    He is not much of an athlete. He struggles on defense occasionally due to his lack of speed. Not a strong jump shooter.

    Morris has the potential to do good things as an NBA point guard, but some things may hold him back.

Jereme Richmond, Illinois

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    NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 18: Jereme Richmond #22 of the Illinois Fighting Illini shoots over Tristan Thompson #13 of the Texas Longhorns during the 2k Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 18, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    Jereme Richmond is another long, super-athletic small forward with potential. He can move from east to west with ease. He can finish at the rim well with his great wingspan and jumping ability. He even possesses good passing skills.

    His athletic skills are far better than any of his fundamental skills, however. His skill set is not an ideal one for a small forward and he's not big enough to play the power forward slot. He also has reported maturity issues.

    Without development of his intangibles, he could become part of the long list of NBA wings who can only be used in run and gun offense, if anything.

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