2011 NBA Draft: Justin Harper and the 5 Best Shooting Big Men of the Draft
The 2011 NBA Draft is littered with players that can shoot the ball well.
This includes a good amount of the big men available.
Looking around the NBA, it's apparent teams like to have shooting big men capable of stretching the floor.
Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh, Channing Frye, Lamar Odom, and Kevin Love are part of a long list of NBA big men with a good perimeter shot.
The following players from this year's draft are most likely to join this list.
6. Jan Vesely, Czech Republic
6'11", 240 lbs
Jan Vesely will most likely play power forward in the NBA due to his size. He is known for running the floor and making Blake Griffin-type highlights.
Offensively, Vesely is still a work in progress. He didn't shoot the ball a lot from the perimeter but has shown range from beyond the arc.
Despite his size, Vesely will be most effective as a stretch four until he gets strong enough to consistently be effective in the paint.
With more time for development, Vesely can have a sweet stroke at the next level.
Photo taken from here.
5. Jamie Skeen, VCU
6'8", 242 lbs
A major reason why VCU was the Cinderella story of this year's March Madness was Jamie Skeen's shooting. He shot 42 percent from downtown in 39 games last season.
But, he can improve on his 71 percent free throw shooting.
There are several factors that may shy teams away from Skeen, like age and past knee problems, but he can still contribute as a role player in the NBA.
Skeen's knee problems might be part of the reason he lacks athleticism, forcing him to be a finesse player.
But, that doesn't stop him from draining those perimeter shots.
4. Trey Thompkins, Georgia
6'10", 239 lbs
Trey Thompkins is exactly what teams want to see in a stretch four.
Besides knocking down shots from deep, Thompkins is not afraid to get physical and do the dirty work down low.
He crashes the boards on both ends of the floor, is a defensive presence, and even has decent ball handling skills for a big man.
In order to be a good all-around shooter, Thompkins needs to improve on his 69 percent free throw shooting from last season.
Thompkins is like Atlanta's Josh Smith minus the supreme athleticism. Both do many things well, but are not great at any particular thing either.
However, Thompkins can hang his hat on possessing the superior jumpshot.
3. Nikola Mirotic, Spain
6'10", 226 lbs
Like Jan Vesely, Nikola Mirotic will see playing time as a power forward in the NBA due to his size.
Coming from Europe, it can't be much of a surprise Mirotic has a good jump shot.
What separates him from other European players is his aggressiveness. Mirotic plays tough defense and drives to the rim whenever possible.
His multidimensional game has scouts raving about his upside. The team that drafts Mirotic will be drafting a great jump shooter that isn't just that.
Photo taken from here.
2. Jon Leuer, Wisconsin
7'0", 223 lbs
Like Dirk Nowitzki, Jon Leuer shows great touch on his shots and takes advantage of his seven-foot frame to easily shoot over defenders.
That includes beyond the three-point line.
In addition to his range shooting, Leuer is reliable from the free throw line. He made 84 percent of them last season for the Badgers.
Unfortunately, he doesn't use his height advantage to hit those boards.
1. Justin Harper, Richmond
6'9", 228 lbs
Justin Harper is the best shooting big man available in this year's draft.
While he tends to fall in love with his jumper, there is no doubt Harper can drain them from almost anywhere on the court.
Harper connected on 44 percent of his three-point shots last season. His 80 percent free throw shooting is also respectable.
The only problem with Harper is he's a one-dimensional player.
Many people feel he's soft because he doesn't do much down low, but he's improved his rebounding numbers every year.
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