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By Andy Roth, Contributing Editor - Archive - Email
The Pulse of the NBA
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Is that a draft I'm feeling? Oh, it must be the NBA Draft coming up on Thursday.

Let's take a look at some of the players with whom I have a very strong opinion:

THOMAS ROBINSON

I think the Kansas power forward is the most NBA-ready player in the draft and has future all-star potential.

There's a lot to like about him.

He plays with a tremendous amount of confidence, is always in attack mode, has a really high motor, and is very athletic and long (7-foot-3 wingspan).

And he doesn't lack in basketball skills, either. He's an excellent rebounder (11.9 rpg), has really good and quick footwork, and blossomed as an offensive player this season, averaging 17.7 points while shooting 51 percent from the field.

I would be shocked if Robinson doesn't go second or third overall come draft night.

HARRISON BARNES

The North Carolina small forward is projected to go in the top five in most mock drafts and I can't understand why.

You really can't say there's anything exceptional about him.

He's a good but not a great athlete. He's not very good at breaking guys down off the dribble and for someone who's supposed to be having such a sweet stroke, he shot 44 percent from the field and just 72 percent from the foul line this past season.

And maybe my biggest gripe with Barnes is that he doesn't make other players better. I know he played with a great point guard in Kendall Marshall, who controlled the ball a lot, but he had the ball in his hands plenty as the Tar Heels' leading scorer and averaged a measly 1.1 assists.

I also think his play in the 2012 NCAA tournament was a red flag. I like to see big-time players come up big in these situations, but Barnes came up real short.

In four games, he averaged 14 points and shot just 20-of-61 from the field (33 percent) and 6-of-23 on 3-pointers (26 percent)

It's one thing if a player is a high first-round pick because he's simply a great offensive player, but Barnes doesn't fit in this category and if he is a top five pick, I think the general manager who selects him will regret it.

TERRENCE JONES

Depending on where he's selected, the Kentucky forward could be the most overrated player in the draft.

I don't think Jones is going to be a quality NBA player.

There's a lot of speculation whether he'll play the three or the four at the next level, but I don't think he has the skill level to succeed at either position.

Jones' biggest problem is that he has no right hand. Whether he is posting up or facing the basket, he is completely uncomfortable going to his right and getting his shot off.

I don't think he'll be able to score with his back to the basket in the NBA and he doesn't have the skill level offensively and defensively to play small forward.

JEREMY LAMB

After playing an integral role in Connecticut's run to the national championship in his freshman season, Lamb was considered a bit of a disappointment this past season.

But I still think he has all the tools to be a really good pro and is clearly better than Barnes.

The 6-5 shooting guard has a 6-11 wingspan and he's an explosive athlete.

He has no problems creating his own shot, and with his length and athleticism Lamb should be a quality defender, too.

Despite having an inconsistent season, he still put up some numbers that caught my eye.

Lamb shot 47.8 percent from the field and 81 percent from the foul line. His field goal percentage is even more impressive considering that 46 percent of his attempts were from 3-point range. He took 454 shots of which 211 were 3-point attempts.
That means his field goal percentage on two-point shots was a phenomenal 60 percent.
I just don't see how you can draft Barnes over Lamb, but I guess in a league in which Darko Milicic is selected over Carmelo Anthony and Hasheem Thabeet goes second, anything is possible.
MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST

I love MKG's game.

A very prophetic quote from Kentucky head coach John Calipari prior to the season really sums up what Kidd-Gilchrist is all about.

"Michael is a flat-out winner," Calipari said. "He was the leader on one of the best high school teams in the country, not because he's one of the nation's best scorers but because of his intangibles, intensity and passion. With his athleticism and length, he has the ability to be one of our best defenders. I'm looking for Michael to be the fire of this team."

The only weakness Kidd-Gilchrist has right now is a suspect jump shot which has mechanical flaws. But even with that being said, I was shocked to find out the he actually was a better foul shooter than Barnes this season, hitting 74.5 percent from the line.

MARQUIS TEAGUE

I can definitely say I don't love Teague's game.

He's a point guard who showed very little ability to create shots for his Kentucky teammates and he wasn't very good offensively, either.

Teague shot just 41.2 percent from the floor, 32.5 percent on 3-pointers and 71.4 percent from the line.

I've seen a few mock drafts where he falls in the top 20. I'm not so sure he should even go in the first round.

QUINCY MILLER

This is my sleeper pick of the draft - if he's healthy.

Miller was one of the top high school players in the country, but tore his ACL prior to his senior year, so we may not have seen him at his best at Baylor, especially because he played a secondary role.

I watched extensive video of him in high school and saw a few Baylor games this season, and he showed me enough flashes to believe he's more skilled than a number of players who are projected to go higher, such as Marshall and Duke's Austin Rivers.

I like his size (6-9), his ridiculous length (7-1 wingspan) and a killer crossover dribble that we didn't see much at Baylor.

He's not only got the ability to create his own shot, but he can operate in the low post with good footwork and a nice jump hook.

As far as pure talent, I think Miller ranks in the top 15 in this draft.

Copyright 2012

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