Jun 29, 2012, 2:55 PM EDT
Well, now that we got that draft behind us, time to think about next year…
Okay, maybe we shouldn’t skip ahead that fast. We’ve got Summer League to watch guys grow, a free agent season coming that will be a roller coaster, then a regular season and playoffs before we get back to this spot. But let’s peak around the corner and see who we will be talking about a year from now anyway.
Actually, first know it won’t be a deep draft like this years, says ESPN’s draft expert Chad Ford. He says the top three stand out, then there is a big drop off.
The 2013 draft is so devoid of top returning underclassmen and has such a marginal freshman class, one NBA scout said our 2013 Top 100 list may be the weakest since the dreaded 2000 NBA draft.
So who are the top guys? Here is who DraftExpress has as its Top 5 right now for the 2013 draft (know this is going to shift a lot in the next year).
1) Nerlens Noel (6’11” center, will play for Kentucky). He’s been targeted for a while as a top pick to watch — he’s long, very athletic, defensive minded shot blocker who can finish with authority on the other end. If you think that sounds a lot like just taken No. 1 Anthony Davis, you are spot on. That’s the comparison. His recruitment was the focus of a New York Times piece that doesn’t speak well of college basketball.
2) Shabazz Muhammad (6’6” shooting guard, will play for UCLA). He’s not the biggest two guard, there may be better athletes at the two guard, but Muhammad is NBA level at both brings great energy at both ends of the floor, plus he just has a scorer’s instincts. He can flat out light it up. He will knock down threes or drive the lane. A complete offensive player. Let’s hope Ben Howland doesn’t crush that.
3) Cody Zeller (6’11” center, Indiana). He could have come out but decided to return for one more year in Bloomington. He is the younger, and frankly better, brother of North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller. Cody averaged 15.6 points per game while shooting a very impressive 62 percent last season. You’ll see him on your television a lot next year, Indiana is going to be very good.
4) Rudy Gobert (6’11” power forward/center, France). He measured a 7’9” wingspan at adidas EuroCamp and as you might imagine he can block a few shots. He got called up to the French national team after his play in some under-20 games.
5) James McAdoo (6’9” power forward, North Carolina). A fundamentally sound big man who moves well. He can rebound and defend, and if he can develop a steady midrange jumper he becomes a much-more dangerous NBA big man.
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