10@10: Draft sleepers

19 May

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

Welcome to the 10 o’clock hour (on the East Coast, of course). This is an old blog trick. Post 10 things at 10 o’clock, call it a post and walk away.

‘Tis NBA Draft season, therefore, here are my top 10 sleepers in the pool.

1. Kenneth Faried, PF/C, Morehead State – When you have a resume in rebounding like Faried does, teams notice. Historically speaking, top level rebounders make a living as a NBA player. Blake Griffin, Dejuan Blair, Luke Harangody, Michael Beasley, Jason Thompson, Kevin Durant and Paul Millsap all were ranked as top five rebounders in college. Faried is a better rebounder than all of them. If he is drafted in the 20s, as he is projected to, Faried will be a steal for playoff team.

2. Reggie Jackson, SG, Boston College – Going all the way back to the Nike Hoop Summit, NBA executives and scouts were buzzing about the 6-foot-3 junior from Colorado. He’s a do-everything guard with good athleticism. Teams like his versatility and overall value at his position. Big knocks are bad games against the big dogs. Jackson struggled against Duke and North Carolina.

3. Jimmy Butler, SF, Marquette – The NBA is filled with 6-foot-7 defenders. Look at every bench in the league and you can find the same player. Butler could be that guy for a team. The junior college transfer anchored the Marquette lineup that feared no one. He relished in the role of tough guy and has had to work harder than the rest of the pack to get to where he was. If he can’t stick it out in the NBA right away, he’ll make it hard for someone to cut him loose.

4. Jon Diebler, SG, Ohio State – Shooter. That’s the written-in-Sharpie report on the Ohio State star. That’s fine. But understand he’s more than just that. Talk to any player that has participated in any sort of NBA workout where Diebler has been and they will tell you he’s been very impressive. He’s a better-than-you-think defender, say the players, and knows how to score. Teams are always looking for specialized help. Diebler provides that with his perimeter game.

5. Andrew Goudelock, SG/PG, Charleston – Following the same train of thought with Deibler, the four-year star is one of the most prolific shooters in the draft. He hit 396 triples in his career and did so without playing as a me-first player. Goudelock shined the brightest when the competition was at its highest. If he slides to the second round, and he should, Goudelock could be one of the few that actually stick in the NBA because of his scoring punch.

6. Nikola Vucevic, PF, USC – I always wonder about guys like him. Had he not come to the United States to play for the Trojans, would he be a lock for the first round in this weak draft? Perhaps. At 6-foot-11, he’s a good scorer on the blocks and facing the basket. Perhaps his attention to rebounding is what allows him to punch his ticket. The asterisk with Vucevic is this: he can be drafted and still go to Europe and play before coming back to the United States to play in the NBA. Keep that in mind.

7. Lucas Nogueria, C, Brazil – Expect to hear Fran Fraschilla break down the 7-footer’s upside on draft night. He has it. Lots of it. Just 18 years old, Nogueria was one of the most impressive players at the Nike Hoop Summit practice sessions. I thought he had a better streak of practices than Bismack Biyombo. Norgueria is Sam Dalembert long. He could be that kind of player, too. If a team can remain patient, the long and lean center could be a player three to five years down the line.

8. Jordan Williams, PF, Maryland – The 20-year-old is a late-blooming player that is still coming on strong as a rebounder and low post scorer. His rebounding could get him drafted. He was great against North Carolina’s frontline, grabbing 19 off the glass. One thing that could scare off teams is in his inability to pass the ball out of the post.

9. Chandler Parsons, SF/PF, Florida – He’s a classic case of gotta-find-the-right-fit-guy. Parsons does a lot of things well but isn’t the master of one thing. Because of that, he’s a second round pick. Not a great shooter (down right bad as a free throw shooter) but good enough to challenge on the wing. The league is all about size. He has it for his position.

10. Chris Wright, SF, Dayton – There was a train of thought that he was a no-brainer 1st round pick had he come out after his sophomore season. That thought wasn’t a crazy one either. You would be hard pressed to find five better athletes than him. He’s a monster in the open floor. But Wright never developed as a shooter or a scorer. A rebounder? Yes. The total game isn’t there. So why is he a sleeper? Simple. The NBA is about size and athleticism. Wright has both of those. The problem is, he doesn’t have a position. Nevertheless, he could end up as a poor man’s Paul George.


3 Responses to “10@10: Draft sleepers”

  1. Corey Schmidt May 19, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    No Keith Benson? This Oakland fan is bummed!

    Lot of guys worth rooting for on this list though.

    • justindyoung May 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

      Benson was right there for me. Not kidding. No. 11. Tough to come up with that list since the entire draft could be considered. It is a weak pool.


  1. Just a Minute: May 23 « - May 23, 2011

    […] to hear that Kenneth Faried was the most impressive player at the Chicago pre-draft camp. I wrote last week that he was my top sleeper in the draft pool. Suffice it to say that you can’t call him a sleeper […]

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