NBA Draft 2012: Jeremy Lamb and 6 Lottery Picks Who Will Be Absolute Busts
In each passing year, the NBA draft brings along the stars of tomorrow. Unfortunately, the draft also brings along players who simply aren't ready for ball at the NBA level. 2012 will be no different.
From trendy favorites to athletic freaks, there are more than a handful of players who are in for high expectations that they simply will not be able to live up to. Although it would be pleasant to suppress the pessimism, caution must be taken as the draft approaches and the future of a franchise will be placed in undeserving players.
Here's a list of six who top that list.
Perry Jones III, Baylor Bears
Perry Jones III is yet another player whose skill just doesn't meet his production. The difference in Jones' case is that he isn't unaware of how to utilize his skills. He's simply a passive and sometimes soft interior player who cannot handle the spotlight.
For those excited about his ability to play above the rim, keep in mind that Jones III often settles for long jump shots. The shots are not necessarily out of his range, but his ability to penetrate off of the dribble is very underutilized.
This indecision will lead to plenty of head-scratching moments in the NBA, just as they did while Jones was at Baylor. A promising talent but a disappointing player.
Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut Huskies
Off of the dribble, Jeremy Lamb is virtually unstoppable. He has the length and athleticism to finish above the rim and quickness to separate himself for a jump shot. Upon doing so, that J will fall nine times out of 10.
Unfortunately, Lamb just doesn't know how to handle the big-game situations.
The UCONN star was consistently a non-factor in the second half of tournament games. Between his inability to create open looks without the ball in his hands and his tendency to watch plays develop, Lamb is bound to struggle at the NBA level.
While it's easy to see why he could end up as one of the draft class' better players, the mental struggles could hold him back tremendously.
Damian Lillard, Weber State Wildcats
This is a temporary bust.
Damian Lillard is an outstanding scorer who has no problem against larger defenders. He's also an excellent ball-handler, possesses blazing speed and is great in crunch time. Unfortunately, he's not what teams expect of him.
Lillard may be a point guard, by definition, but time will show that he's much more of a Monta Ellis-type player than that of a point guard. Once the team that selects him realizes such a fact, Lillard will be tearing teams up.
Until then, he will struggle as an NBA point guard.
Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State Bulldogs
Arnett Moultrie has quite a few supporters who have him going in the lottery. He also has a handful of detractors who have him going a bit outside. Assuming he does make it into the lottery, Moultrie's future is very similar to that of Anthony Randolph.
Plenty of hype and an equal amount of disappointment.
While Moultrie is an unbelievable athlete, he's also a fundamentally-inept player. He could potentially fall into the dog house of a coach due to this fact, although his work ethic is promising. Not promising enough to change the facts...
Arnett Moultrie is bound to be a bust.
Austin Rivers, Duke Blue Devils
For one reason or another, general managers around the league have shown a keen interest in Austin Rivers out of Duke. Perhaps it's his killer instinct, "never-say-no to my scoring" attitude and ability to dribble through anything.
And believe me, he will dribble through anything. Even a shot clock.
Rivers may have a few 20-point performances throughout his career, but on the whole, his skill set doesn't translate to team basketball. Instead, he'll resort to isolations that lead to turnovers against superior defenders.
Austin Rivers just isn't ready for the NBA.
Tyler Zeller, North Carolina Tar Heels
I like Tyler Zeller's game. He's fundamentally sound, rarely gambles in the defensive post and crashes the boards well. He's also an efficient player who has made significant improvements as a shot-blocker.
Unfortunately, he is not a starter on a title contender. He is more of an Aaron Gray, consistently solid rotational player.
Not a bust, by logical standards, but far from what his potential draft position would suggest. A dangerous selection if you're looking for a franchise player but a nice one if you're looking for a rotational guy. It just seems that teams will be looking for the previous.