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We move along swiftly to picks 43-48 of the Second Round of the 2013 NBA Draft. The prospects get murkier as trying to find a niche for these selected players can prove to be difficult for teams and draftees alike.
43—Ricardo “Ricky” Ledo, 6’6”, 197 lbs., SG-Providence: Size, will to score, court awareness, and handles along with immense potential, makes Ledo a darkhorse candidate in the second round. He does need to bulk up and add strength and needs to learn to play better without the ball. Because he does feel like he can score any time he wants, he suffers from poor shot selection. His intangibles and character has been in question however and despite having good potential to be a legit NBA scorer, teams were turned off by his attitude and his lack of conditioning. Also, NBAdraft.net explains that there were “questions about the level of effort and energy as to whether” he can bring it on a consistent level.
Ledo, seemingly a player that went from a possible first round prospect with upside, went into the 2nd round because teams questioned his effort. Let that be a lesson to the rest of us.
44—Mike Muscala, 6’11”, 230 lbs, PF/C-Bucknell: NBAdraft.net compares Muscala to former Indiana University player, Kirk Haston. Muscala is a big man “with solid fluidity, mobility, and footwork.” Since he’s a senior, he does have a more advanced offensive game than most of the younger players his size. He also possesses a good jump shot from 18 feet in. He also impressed scouts with his passing game. Overall, he’s a safe pick. He does lack explosive athleticism and quickness. He also could add more bulk to withstand typical NBA contact and help him grab rebounds. And despite being described as “one of the most productive players in college basketball last season” by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, scouts still doubt that he can be a productive player in the NBA. I wouldn’t be surprised if the he sees few minutes this season with the Atlanta Hawks.
45—Marko Todorovic, 6’11, 240 lbs, PF/C-Montenegro: Originally selected by the Portland Trail Blazers, Todorovic would eventually be part of the deal that saw him land with the Houston Rockets in the Thomas Robinson deal. It’s a move to clear cap space for Dwight Howard so I don’t think the Rockets are too desperate to rush him from overseas.
Todorovic has good size, but lacks strength and athleticism. There’s really not one attribute that would impress NBA fans. He’s just a big man with adequate big man skills. He’s played very sparingly in Europe so he also lacks polish and experience, but did impress with decent post skills. Also has a decent mid-range jump shot. He also gets bonus points for being well-coordinated.
As mentioned before, Todorovic lacks athleticism and most of his highlights will be of the “below the rim” variety. And though he has a decent knack for grabbing rebounds, I can foresee a situation where he will easily get boxed out or be forced out of position against stronger NBA big men. He definitely is not ready to guard NBA big men although I still would like to see a guy like Zach Randolph go one-on-one against him just for comedic purposes. NBAdraft.net believes him to be “a long-term project.” And even if he fully develops, he has very limited upside anyway.
46—Erick Green, 6’3”, 180 lbs, G-Virginia Tech: Another solid, but unspectacular prospect. The thing that Green has going for himself is that NBAdraft.net gives him credit for “improved efficiency in each year of his 4-year career” in college as one will notice improved shooting percentages across the board. Besides his jump shot, Green is not afraid to drive to the basket at every chance he gets. As a shooting guard, he has shown an ability to move well without the ball. He has also seen his point guard skills improve as well. And unlike Ledo, no one will question Green’s work ethic or effort.
The problem is that despite the decent PG skills, Green is better off as a scoring guard. An undersized shooting guard that lacks strength as he’s projected to struggle against the bigger NBA SG’s.
Nevertheless, I think he’ll fit right in with the Denver Nuggets. The one problem I see is that the Nuggets all ready have plenty of ball-handling scorers on their team so minutes might be hard to come by for Green.
47—Raul Neto, 6’2”, 179 lbs, PG-Brazil: The Utah Jazz acquired yet another point guard in this draft. If you’re asking yourself, “what in the name of Raul Lopez is going on here?” you’re not too far off as NBAdraft.net compares him to the former Spanish player, also drafted by the Jazz.
Neto, just like the Brazilian national team that lit up Spain in the Confederations Cup Final on Sunday, is super fast and quick. But he’s not all speed as he comes with great ball-handling skills as well. He might also fit well in the NBA as he’s been heralded for his pick and roll play. He also comes with plenty of intangibles and shows all-out effort on both sides of the ball.
Despite having decent size for a point guard, he does lack length so even though he gives maximum intensity on defense, he looks to be a player that will be taken advantage of. He also lacks athleticism and explosiveness, which wouldn’t be so bad because he’s a true point guard. But he also has a shoddy 3-point shot. Finally, since he does have great playmaking abilities, he tends to overdo it on offense as he’s been accused of constantly attempting to make the perfect, pretty play in every possession as opposed to making the correct play.
48—Ryan Kelly, 6’11”, 230 lbs, PF-Duke: Somewhere out there, Dick Vitale was screaming at the top of his lungs in pure jubilation that Ryan Kelly would be going to the Los Angeles Lakers. “There’s Wilt, Kareem, Worthy, Shaq, Howard, and now Kelly, baby!” All unnecessary hype aside, Kelly does possess some value in this brave new world of fast-paced, up tempo basketball. Kelly has the qualities of a stretch 4: size, great range on his jump shot, good handles for a big man, good offensive awareness, passing skills, and even some post skills. Plus, coming out of Duke, you know the intangibles will be there. And you don’t have to tell him twice to play defense.
However, NBAdraft.net is concerned with his lack of strength and quickness. As much as he is willing to work hard at his craft, he just doesn’t seem to have the physical characteristics to hold his own against faster and stronger NBA forwards. The word “finesse” is even used to describe his offensive game. And because of poor athletic abilities, he is projected to be a “poor rebounder on both” offense and defense.
You would think going to the Lakers would be the perfect opportunity to show off his skills, but with so much ambiguity surrounding the Lakers, I’m not sure having another offensive-minded forward is the answer seeing how their defense is about to get worse with Howard looking like he’s on his way out. Then again, the Lakers don’t have the patience to take on a project player so perhaps adding Kelly, whose offense is polished enough to be NBA ready, might not be such a bad move in retrospect.
Now, for the fun of it, let’s take a look back at listed PFs, 6’10” or taller, weighing 215-235 lbs., and selected in the second round between picks 40-50:
- Ante Tomic (2008)
- DeVon Hardin (2008)
- Henk Norel (2009)
- Ryan Richards (2010)
- Jon Leuer (2011)
- Davis Bertans (2011)
- Keith Benson (2011)
- Izzet Turkyilmaz (2012)
I heard Ante Tomic is having a pretty successful, young career in Europe.
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