Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

Top 5 at each position in the NBA draft

Observer NBA writer Rick Bonnell’s position-by-position look at the candidates in Thursday’s draft:

POINT GUARDS

Trey Burke, 6-1, Michigan: Dynamic performances in NCAA tournament pushed him up draft boards. But he’s small and not all that quick.

Michael Carter-Williams, 6-6, Syracuse: That rare 6-6 point guard (Shaun Livingston pre-knee injury), but must improve his jump shooting.

CJ McCollum, 6-3, Lehigh: More a scorer than a pure point guard, but can really break down defenses off the dribble.

Shane Larkin, 6-0, Miami: Had a great season against ACC competition. Good gene pool from that baseball-star dad.

Dennis Shroeder, 6-2, German pro: His 40 percent shooting from 3-point range is a handy tool with the NBA so much about spacing.

SHOOTING GUARDS

Ben McLemore, 6-5, Kansas: A strong regular season as a college freshman, but he somewhat disappeared in the NCAA tournament.

Victor Oladipo, 6-4, Indiana: A great motor and a superior defender. The question is how he’ll do over time at the offensive end.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 6-6, Georgia: Good size and his 18.5 points per game scoring average makes for a resume.

Shabazz Muhammad, 6-6, UCLA: His one college season raised as many questions as it answered. Bad performance in NCAA loss to Minnesota.

Jamaal Franklin, 6-5, San Diego State: A really good athlete at a position where that is a premium. Fine leaping ability.

SMALL FORWARDS

Otto Porter Jr., 6-8, Georgetown: Good size and a complete skill set to be an NBA small forward. As ready to play as any rookie in this class.

Sergey Karasev, 6-8, Russian pro: A young guy who already has a lot of NBA-level skill and acumen.

Tony Snell, 6-7, New Mexico: At 6-7 with good shooting range he could play either wing position at the NBA level.

Giannis Adetokoubo, 6-9, Greek pro

An oversized small forward at 6-9 with a reported 7-3 wingspan. Didn’t play the best competition in Europe.

Tim Hardaway Jr., 6-6, Michigan: Obviously benefited in exposure from the Final Four. Probably a late-first rounder.

POWER FORWARDS

Nerlens Noel, 7-0, Kentucky: Everything hinges on what the doctors think of his recovery from a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament.

Anthony Bennett, 6-8, UNLV: An inside-outside scorer with 3-point range. At 6-8 he’s a bit undersized for power forward in the NBA.

Cody Zeller, 7-0, Indiana: He showed 3-point shooting range in his Charlotte workout. But he needs to get into the weight room.

Mason Plumlee, 7-0, Duke: Improved significantly in his last season in Durham, but was severely outplayed by Maryland’s Alex Len head-to-head.

Lucas Nogueira, 7-0, Brazilian pro: Great size and footwork (a former soccer player). Needs work on that skill set.

CENTERS

Alex Len, 7-1, Maryland: Great size at 7-1. European background (he’s from the Ukraine) provided him ball skills (shooting, dribbling) American centers tend to lack.

Steven Adams, 7-0, Pittsburgh: Might be the big late riser in this draft. A 7-footer who runs well and will be a reliable rebounder.

Kelly Olynyk, 7-0, Gonzaga: There aren’t many true post scorers these days. Olynyk has that, plus a 7-footer’s size.

Gorgui Dieng, 6-11, Louisville

Spent most of his college career playing goalie at the back of the press. But he demonstrated more offense last season.

Jeff Withey, 7-0, Kansas: A good rim-protector with 7-foot size. He claims he’s more of an offensive threat than he demonstrated at Kansas.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases