Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated spoke to six different anonymous NBA scouts and compiled their comments on most of the prospects in the NBA Draft. Many of the comments affirmed much of conventional wisdom, from fallers in the draft to known high picks. Anthony Davis, not surprisingly, got high praise. Others took strong stands, which is what we want from our scouts standing behind a cloak.
Among the highlights were the thoughts on North Carolina center/forward Tyler Zeller:
“Beast. I personally have him in the top seven. He’s a 13- to 14-year NBA center. He can shoot, he’s strong, he runs. Everybody complains they can never find a center. Well, here he is. There’s absolutely no scenario where he’s not going to succeed.”
The scouts loved him moreso than teammate John Henson, who was described as a “solid rotation player”. Illinois center Meyers Leonard is described as being physically like Tyson Chandler. (“He has probably helped himself as much as anyone since the season ended.”) Dion Waiters continues to draw comparisons to Dwyane Wade.
“I’m a big fan. He’s Dwyane Wade-ish. I don’t know if he’s pure enough to be a two, but he’s just a baller. And he definitely has a little toughness in him. The only drawback is he’s a little small, but he’s thick, and he’s a surly guy. He’ll be an East Coast version of Rodney Stuckey. I would take him over Jeremy Lamb five times a day.”
Fab Melo and Renardo Sidney did not get complimentary comments. Not surprising on Sidney, who is the NBA draft version of Vontaze Burfict and may similarly find himself undrafted. Royce White is a guy I like at the position where I’ve seen him projected, late teens and early twenties, and the scouts seemed not to know where to place him. He can pass out of a two-man game in isolation and is strong enough to take it to the lane.
“He’s another guy I’d be scared to take and scared not to take. He has uncommon ballhandling skills for a guy with that body type. He’s a poor free throw shooter, which is a huge concern. Huge, great hands. He holds the ball like it’s a grapefruit. I know he has an issue with flying, but from what I hear that isn’t that big a deal. He’s making it to all his workouts.”
Finally, there is the issue of Jared Sullinger, who was described as “as good a basketball player as there is in the draft,” but “[w]eight will always be an issue with him, and heavy guys historically end up having problems.”
[photo via US Presswire]