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Three potential NBA Draft busts (but we hope not)

Jun 25, 2012, 4:24 PM EDT

West Virginia v Connecticut Getty Images

I hate the idea of calling a guy a bust before the draft.

You simply can’t say a guy will not pan out before he steps on the court for even a Summer League game. Let alone for an NBA game. Some guys rise to the challenge of stiffer competition. Some guys take a few years to find their game, to figure out how they fit in the NBA, then they do well. And really, as a fan of the game I don’t want to see anyone flame out.

But some guys come with more risk than others.

Below are three guys with risks. To me, the guys with risks are the guys where the scouts question their “motors,” their passion for the game. By the time you get to the NBA level, everyone has skills, and your work ethic matters, your desire to bring it every night matters. You want guys like Kenneth Faried on your team, not Andray Blatche.

So here are three guys that raise red flags.

Andre Drummond (7’0” center, Connecticut): He could be the second best player in this draft and could be a franchise type big. If. Nobody questions his physical tools — he is long, athletic, has some skills — and it is those that have people throwing around comparisons like Andrew Bynum/Serge Ibaka like center in five years. But with all that he averaged 10 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in college where his physical superiority was greater. GMs wonder about his desire and commitment to himself and the game. His workouts for teams drew really mixed reviews. Is he another big who never lives up to his potential.

Perry Jones III (6’11” power forward, Baylor): Jones no doubt has the skills. On raw athleticism and potential he could be the second best player in this draft — he can play the three or the four (he’s a bit of a tweener), inside or out, runs the floor in transition, leaps out of the building and can board. But in college you only saw that in spurts, he disappears through large stretches of the game as well. Some teams think if you use him more as a three and less as a five (as was done Baylor) he will blossom. Maybe. But there is risk.

Jeremy Lamb (6’5” shooting guard, Connecticut): In a draft deep with twos, some scouts think he has the potential, the tools to be the best of them all. He’s a fantastic athlete, has a ridiculous 7-foot wingspan (which helps his defense) and just a pure scorer — he shot 60 percent last season in college. But if you watched UConn at all last season you know pretty much all their guys just seemed to mentally check out all the time. Lamb is the kind of guy fans will love because he will make a three and have a big finish in transition, but will drive the coach crazy as he coasts for five minutes. If he brings the focus he could be a great pick.

  1. inhokewetrust - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Wow…jones and lamb…2 guys the raptors are very high on….figures

  2. eaglessuperfan - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    I think this post should be titled “Boom or Bust”. Then again if your not a “Boom” are you in reality a “Bust”?

  3. wjmoffatt - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Every player in the draft is a potential bust! Even the great Anthony Davis, remember Greg Oden was a sure fire pick at number 1.

  4. lakerluver - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    I think Lamb is going to be very good. I’m interested in knowing what the “experts” opinion of Hasheem Thabeet was last season. I’m shocked he has not panned out as at the very least a defensive stopper.

  5. zblott - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Anyone who honestly thinks Drummond or PJones are more likely than not to end up as productive players who have a positive impact on their NBA clubs needs to immediately be banned from ever commenting about basketball (on the internet or in person) for at least 5 years. I would gladly bet $500 that neither of these two ever even approaches their supposed ceilings, and only a fool would think that might be easy money.

    More on Drummond, and some other overvalued duds, plus some undervalued studs:

  6. pmd5319 - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Does anyone not think these guys have bust-potential? (Along with all other draftees) I don’t think I’ve seen, heard, or read anyone not say Drummond, Jones and Lamb have bust potential. I know it’s slow, but do something different.

  7. raider2124 - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Anthony jones. Can’t score enough to be a star in this league. Remind me of tutus Thomas.
    Thomas Robinson. Not tall enough to be a power forward in the NBA. Looked overmatched against Kentucky and had trouble against bigger players. Reminds me of kris humphries
    Bust three drummand soft slow no motor will be his downfall. The next coming if Eddie curry.
    Jeremy lamb will be a very good NBA player. He can shoot may have a ray Allen type career. Needs to get stronger

    • knicksukcats - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      Please don’t comment on anything unless you can get the names right. Anthony Jones, tutus Thomas and drummand didn’t get drafted anywhere let alone in the NBA. Probably because they don’t exist. At least cut and paste if you cant spell the names right.

  8. mogogo1 - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Jeremy Lamb (6’5” shooting guard, Connecticut):.. he shot 60 percent last season in college. ”

    Except he didn’t shoot 60%. Real stats were 48% from the floor, 34% from three.

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