2013 NBA Draft: Second Round Breakdown

NBA Draft
May 16 2013 Chicago IL USA Glen Rice Jr is interviewed during the NBA Draft combine at Harrison Street Athletics Facility Jerry Lai USA TODAY Sports

Way back for the 2011 NBA Draft, I took a quick look at the second round picks between 2007 and 2010 for my blog, Pathological Hate. The results were very underwhelming as it appeared that the second round was a waste of time for everybody. But as somebody had explained to me, with the new salary cap provisions in the NBA, second round picks might be more important than ever before. And in a deep—though unspectacular—class like this one, there might be a lot more players that may contribute a lot faster than anybody can anticipate. Before we take a look at the 2013 second Round class, let’s take a quick look at the previous two drafts:

Plus fans are finally seeing more results from players called up from the D-League, most notably in this year’s NBA Finals as two players from the San Antonio SpursDanny Green and Gary Nealintroduced themselves to the national public, becoming household names. But fans are not the only ones noticing the impact of the D-League as future NBA prospects might be finally seeing a true alternative to the traditional method of going to college.

So with all that being said, here’s a look back (and forward toward the future) at the second round class of the 2013 NBA Draft. Every once in a while, I will go back to past drafts (2007-2012) to compare certain players.

31—Allen Crabbe, 6’6”, 197 lbs, SG-California: The Portland Trail Blazers would end up acquiring Crabbe from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Crabbe was a guy projected to go mid-first round, but he slipped all the way to the second. He’s a possible steal for the Blazers, but there is a reason why Crabbe’s stock fell on Draft Night. NBAdraft.net described Crabbe as “a lethal spot-up shooter with …tremendous range on his 3-ball.”  He also is noted for moving well without the ball and for having good passing skills. His size combined with his athleticism can help him play defense in the NBA. But the problem with Crabbe is that he doesn’t always play hard on defense. He was also penalized for having a blasé demeanor on both sides of the ball. Probably the biggest negative was his average ball-handling skills that prevent him from creating off-the-dribble. And although he has ideal size, teams would have preferred him to be a bit bigger. Let’s take a look back at players drafted 6’6” or taller and weighed under 200 lbs taken in the early portion of the second round since 2007:

  • Bojan Bogdanovic (2011): 6’7”, 195 lbs
  • Honeycutt (2011): 6’8”, 187 lbs
  • Will Barton (2012): 6’6”, 174 lbs

Better hit the weights and raise the intensity young fella. But the boy can shoot.

32—Alex Abrines, 6’6”, 190 lbs-SG-Spain: And yet another shooting guard that lacks bulk. But just like Crabbe, the Spanish import can shoot and plays well off the ball. He doesn’t possess Crabbe’s athleticism, though, but will utilize his size along with instincts to help him play defense. Those basketball instincts are also utilized to create his own shot off the dribble. The concern here is that his lanky frame does force him to lose his balance when he meets contact. He also lacks toughness and aggressiveness in terms of driving to the basket. He also can look clumsy running up-and-down the court. Although he has the size and instincts to be a solid defender he is a defensive liability due to poor footwork and lack of quickness. His attitude on defense doesn’t help matters.

33—Carrick Felix, 6’6”, 203 lbs, G/F-Arizona State: It’s interesting to note that the last Senior taken up to this point of the draft was Solomon Hill out of Arizona. I sense a pattern brewing out of that particular state. Felix becomes the fifth consecutive listed SG selected. What makes him stand out from his counterparts? For starters, he’s proven to be a versatile swingman who has a nose and quickness for rebounds. Unlike Abrines, Felix does not look awkward when he’s running the floor. What he lacks in a jump shot, he makes up for it in shot selection. And unlike Crabbe and Abrines, Felix doesn’t mind getting down and dirty on defense and his work ethic makes the last two picks look like lazy bums. Just like the last two picks, however, he also plays well off the ball. Unfortunately, he has a lot of work ahead of him on offense. I’ve mentioned his poor jump shot and that is combined with an inability to create off the dribble. Even though he’s tough, he still lacks bulk. For as strong of a defender he is, scouts see him getting bowled over by bigger players. But NBAdraft.net compares him to Jimmy Butler (he even kind of looks like Butler) and if he works as hard as Butler on his offensive game, he might blossom into a solid contributor.

34—Isaiah Canaan, 6’0”, 190 lbs, PG-Murray St: Here’s another overlooked, mid-major player. Don’t be fooled by his size as Canaan was much heralded for his strength and aggressiveness. Canaan has the tools to be a scoring point guard. That is why NBAdraft.net went as far as comparing him to players such as Vinnie Johnson and Ty Lawson. Along with a willingness to drive to the basket and create contact to draw fouls and an impressive off the dribble game, Canaan comes fully equipped with a deadly 3-point shot. And because of his playing style, he just exudes confidence.

That confidence might be his downfall as he is going from being the primary scoring option in college to a role player in the NBA. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to that. And as mentioned, what he has in scoring attributes, he sorely lacks in distribution skills.  Worse, he is a point guard that commits a high number of turnovers. As much praise as he gets for being aggressive, he can be too aggressive in terms of picking up fouls on both offense and defense. Of course, his height will make him a deficiency on defense.  Regardless, he can shape up to be a bench scorer in the Nate Robinson mold. And depending what the Houston Rockets do this offseason (Jeremy Lin is being aggressively used as trade bait), Canaan can see himself the beneficiary of a lot of minutes as a scoring reserve.

I seriously cannot continue without taking a look at point guards that fit Canaan’s vitals that have been selected early in the second round between 2007-2012. The answer is zero!  As a matter of fact, him and Shane Larkin are the first point guards listed 6’ and under weighing below 200 lbs in the first 40 picks of a draft since Ty Lawson was selected 18th overall in 2009. Like my old basketball coach used to say, “you can’t teach height.”

35—Glen Rice Jr., 6’6”, 211 lbs, SG-D-League: I’m a sap for guys with genetic pedigree. Guys like Delino DeShields Jr. or Matt Harvey (son of former closer, Bryan Harvey). Watching Michigan’s basketball roster include guys like Glenn Robinson III, Tim Hardaway Jr., and even Jon Horford (Tito’s son, Al’s brother), just fulfilled some weird nostalgic sensation toward the past.

At any rate, Rice Jr. (GR2 from here on out), was not as heralded as the other names mentioned. GR2 got himself in a bit of trouble at Georgia Tech as he was eventually kicked off the team. He spent the entire year in the D-League last season and even participated in the D-League slam dunk contest. That should speak volume to his athleticism. He uses that athletic ability to run the floor well and help with his one-on-one game. He is a playmaker on the open court. He also has a wingspan of 6’10” which further helps him finish strong around the rim and grab rebounds. And I haven’t even mentioned his superb jump shot, especially from beyond the arc.  It kind of reminds me of someone. But there is a reason why he slipped into the second round. Even in the slam dunk contest, he was only comfortable jumping off two feet and NBAdraft.net puts it best in saying that GR2, “doesn’t explode very well off of one foot.”  He is also not very fast, which may cancel out some of his isolation game. Along with concerns with off-the-court issues, his basketball IQ is also put into question, especially on defense. I still look forward to see how the Washington Wizards utilize GR2 this season with Otto Porter and Brad Beal already on the team.

36—Ray McCallum, 6’1”, 190, PG-Detroit: Not to be confused with C.J. McCollum, McCallum’s two glaring weaknesses in his NBAdraft.net scouting report is a lack of strength (though described as “muscular”) and potential. A jack-of-all trades type of point guard, if you will.  Playing under his father in college, it’s no wonder why he’s being praised for his high basketball IQ. He can score as well as distribute, and most likely it stems from his great handles. He’s not afraid of contact or physical play, which proved to be a great asset as he averaged 5.1 rebounds per game last season. He will endear himself to basketball junkies all over the country.  However, just like McCollum, McCallum also has a suspect, 3-point shot. Despite drawing fouls, he was dinged for being a below-average free-throw shooter.  Interestingly enough, he bypassed scholarship offers from the likes of UCLA in order to play under his father at Detroit. So he does have some pedigree, but this might be as good as it gets for him.

Nevertheless, on the Sacramento Kings, he’ll fit right in as they can use a floor-general like him and he already beats Isaiah Thomas in the height game.

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