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2013 NBA Draft: Second Round Breakdown Part II

Nate Wolters
Nate Wolters

May 16, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Nate Wolters is interviewed during the NBA Draft combine at Harrison Street Athletics Facility. Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

We listed the first six guys taken in the second round of the 2013 NBA draft. They all have quality attributes that gives them a real chance to succeed in the NBA. However, they also had glaring flaws to their game that were too apparent to ignore for NBA front offices in the first round. We continue on with picks 37-42.

37—Tony Mitchell, 6’9”, 236 lbs, F-North Texas: Finally we have a true forward selected in the second round. Mitchell is athletic and takes advantage of his size and strength to help him grab rebounds and block shots. He even comes equipped with an adequate jump shot. There is a reason why Sheridan Hoops had him going in the top 25. The problem is that he’s predictable on offense as he overly depends too much on his right hand and can get very sloppy with the ball. Because of his scoring talent, he really has not established his post game.  This fact kind of makes him close to “tweener” status. DraftExpress.com explains that part of the problem is that “he isn’t putting in any consistent effort to get open [in the post] despite the marked physical advantages.”  Mitchell, inexplicably, simply preferred the “lower efficiency shots away from the basket.”  So the Detroit Pistons have themselves a real coaching project on their hands. Hopefully, playing alongside the seasoned Greg Monroe might help him accelerate his learning curve.

38—Nate Wolters, 6’5”, 196, PG-South Dakota State. The tall Wolters (ok, so NBAdraft.net has him listed at 6’5”, but DraftExpress.com has him closer to 6’4”), despite his height advantage for a point guard lacks length. He also lacks speed and athleticism. But he makes it all up with good effort on defense and comes equipped with great ball-handling skills. His ball-handling skills are so good, he’s being compared to Jason “White Chocolate” Williams and—are you ready?—“Pistol” Pete Maravich.  He also has a knack for scoring and is a creative playmaker, showing a willingness to get others involved. His jump shot has also improved.  But it always comes back to lack of athleticism, quickness, and strength.  The effort and instincts might be there, but I can only imagine opposing coaches sending their quickest guards to exploit Wolters.  The same deficiencies could hurt him on offense as well, sort of cancelling out his imaginative play with the ball.

The Milwaukee Bucks eventually found a home for Wolters.  The Bucks are a franchise in disarray and much uncertainty so it’s too early to tell how Wolters will fit in with Milwaukee.  The only thing for certain is that even though their backcourt got a little bigger, their perimeter defense did not improve much.

39—Jeff Withey, 7’0”, 222 lbs, C-Kansas: I liked Withey coming into the draft as a solid big man that can, at the very least, clog up the middle.  I was very surprised that the Portland Trail Blazers drafted him at this spot as they seemed to be well stocked at this position with Meyers Leonard already being drafted last year.  Nevertheless, Withey comes with legit size that plays great defense, can block shots, and shows good rebounding skills.  His post-up game seems to be developed as well.  And what is this?  A big man that can shoot free throws?

Despite the impressive size, Withey still needs to bulk and build up strength.  Another reason why he wasn’t selected earlier was because of his low ceiling. NBAdraft.net also note that scouts “view him as an older player beating up on players 2-3 years younger  than himself.”  Lacks quickness, a concern on both sides of the ball and is not very fluid with his movements.

Regardless of how Withey will fit in, he will remind Portland fans of Joel Przbilla, but with better offensive skills.

40—Grant Jerrett, 6’10”, 232 lbs, PF-Arizona: Eventually, Jerrett would end up being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Jerrett comes with great size at power forward, but it’s of the “stretch 4” variety.  He is a great shooter, most notably from three-point land, but can definitely score around the rim as well.  Despite average athleticism, he’s proven to be very fluid.  And even though he’s more of a—per NBAdraft.netSteve Novak and Brian Cook type of PF, he still has shown a knack for blocking shots.

Nevertheless, Jerrett’s offense seems to be very one-dimensional as he highly depends on his great jump shot as he has “no inside game” to speak of.  And as suggested by his finesse offensive game, he is a very poor rebounder.  Despite having “fluid motion” he looks very awkward running the floor with his “duck feet.”  Not very quick or explosive so he can be a defensive liability in the NBA so there’s a lot of work to do for Jerrett, but his jump shot will be the foundation that the Thunder will use to build him up.

41—Jamaal Franklin, 6’5”, 191 lbs, G/F-San Diego St.: Franklin is another guy that had a falling stock on Draft Night.  It’s worth noting that Sheridan Hoops had him going in the top 20. Franklin has good size for a shooting guard and a 6’11” wingspan, per DraftExpress.com. He could add more weight to his frame, but his above average athleticism and length combined with relentless energy and competitiveness is what made him a projected first round pick. Good mid-range game and is not afraid to draw contact and fouls. Displays high IQ off the ball as well and is a good rebounder, looking to immediately go into transition with the ball. He’s also a willing defender.

The issues are a lack of ball-handling skills, 3-point shot, and sloppiness with the ball (but that could have been a direct result of being on a subpar team).  But probably the issues that scared off NBA executives were  in-game issues where he allegedly, per NBAdraft.net, used obscene gestures directed at a fan and a ref.  His physical attributes will fit in very well with a Memphis Grizzlies’ team that prides itself on constricting the opposition on defense.

42—Pierre Jackson, 5’10”, 176 lbs., PG-Baylor: Despite a lack of size, Jackson is notorious for having a “strong first step and excellent ball-handling skills,” per Draft Express who had him going in the latter stages of the first round. If you like playmaking facilitators, this is your guy.  But he also is an able scorer off the dribble, but also shows off the long-range game as well.  He can even show off his hops from time to time.  NBAdraft.net sums it up best in saying that Jackson “makes up lack of size with great heart and determination.”  It’s a typical profile for a guy that’s below 6’0”.

The biggest problem is that he fits the profile for a guy that’s below 6’0”:

  • Size disadvantage on defense
  • Will struggle against taller defenders when attempting to score and pass
  • Teams will look to exploit him with bigger guards in the post
  • Good athleticism is cancelled out by lack of size

His shooting seems to be regressing, which adds to the concerns of him handling bigger players. Plus his turnover rate is a disappointing factor in his game despite the amazing ball-handling and playmaking capabilities. Very interesting to see the New Orleans Pelicans use this pick on a point guard after acquiring it from Philly for Jrue Holiday. It’s perplexing to see them select another PG as they seemed to be full of ball-handlers as is.  If anything, he can prove to be a very exciting player in the D-League.

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