NBA Ready: Wiggins, Parker, Randle

Three NBA teams can and will rebuild around these players in the 2013 draft. They can all play at a high level and that will translate to the next level. This trio is at the top of a deep and special class that should make a professional impact. If I had the number one pick my guy would probably be Jabari Parker, but I’m sure whoever drafted second or third would be just as happy with Andrew Wiggins or Julius Randle.

Andrew Wiggins (Kansas)

Born: 2/23/95

Hometown: Toronto, ON

Weight: 197 pounds

Height: 6 feet, 8 inches

Wingspan: 7-feet

Strengths: A freakishly gifted athlete with a remarkably smooth offensive game … Just about impossible to guard at this level, due to his athletic ability … Can effortlessly glide around any defender that plays up on him … Quick first step, and very long strides … Explosive athleticism … Once in the paint he either leaps over the defense for a soft runner, or throws down an electric dunk; either way, it’s generally a high-percentage shot … Has great size for either wing position, with a frame that is capable of holding a good amount of weight … Long wingspan, recently measured at 6’11” … Fantastic shooter on the perimeter … Already has NBA range … Quick trigger, with beautiful shot mechanics … If the ball isn’t in his hands, he likes to spot up in the corner, where he can get off an open shot on cut the baseline for an alley-oop play … Also has the ability to create separation off the dribble for a pull-up jumper … Good passing instincts and court vision … Defensively, he gets a lot of deflections … Uses length and anticipation to come up with a lot of steals and blocks … Father played in the NBA … Extremely young, and will only get better in time.

Weaknesses: Despite having immense skill and athletic abilities for a player of his age, there are still several concerns from people who watch him with regularity … Looks complacent at times on the court … Inconsistent motor … Needs to add more strength, though his body looks very good for a player his age, and this shouldn’t be a problem in a few years … Ball-handling ability is unrefined, but has a lot of potential … Doesn’t display a lot of toughness and isn’t a very physical player … He’s been receiving a considerable amount of hype on a multi-national scale since he was 13 years of age, which can derail the development of a prospect as it can lead to him trying to be a big celebrity instead of a great basketball player.

Jabari Parker (Duke)

Born: 3/15/95

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Weight: 241 pounds

Height: 6 feet, 8 inches

Wingspan: 7-feet

Strengths: Ultra-skilled forward with an innate, natural ability to play basketball … Remarkably advanced basketball IQ for a player his age … Already possesses many of the intangible qualities that NBA teams covet … Strong competitor that plays hard on both ends of the floor. Rarely fails to “show up” for games … Moves around the court well with or without the ball … Good overall shot-selection … Hard worker, who appears to respect the game … Has good size for a small forward (measured recently at 6’8.5″ in shoes), and still has some time to grow … Appears to have a wingspan of 7’0″ or close to it … He makes up for his lack of elite athleticism by being an aggressive athlete that takes advantage of any opportunities the defense gives to him … Has shown the ability to rise up and emphatically dunk over the top of the defense … Footspeed is fairly average, but he’s still a very fluid runner, particularly in the open court … Knows how to take advantage of “sleeping” defenders, showing great activity off the ball with an understanding of back-cuts and spotting-up from the corner … Is a pure shooter that displays a soft touch out to the NBA three-point line … Has the size, touch and footwork to become a very capable player in the post, which would make him a big-time mismatch threat from the wing position … Capable in the mid-range with a rapidly improving pull-up jumper that is already extremely difficult to defend … Dangerous when taking players off the dribble … Uses hesitations, fakes and crossovers to throw his defender off balance … Combines a refined offensive awareness with an unselfish nature to always find his teammates when they are open … Solid defender that works hard to bother his man … Has the length and instincts to make an impact on the glass as well … High-character player and a member of the LDS church … Still very young and has a lot of room to improve … Likely the top high school player in the country and has superstar potential.

Weaknesses: While Parker is a good all-around athlete, he won’t be much of a stand-out as far as the NBA is concerned … His first-step lacks the explosion of some of the other elite-level prospects he’s often compared to, and he won’t be labeled by many as a “high flyer” either … If he works hard on his strength and conditioning, he should be able to maximize his potential athletically as he grows into his height, but even for a player with a reputation like Parker, this is still an “if” … Parker’s outside shot can be inconsistent, though at only 16 years of age, this is a common issue, and can be rectified with practice and experience … He’s drawn comparisons to players like Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony, and those kinds of expectations can weigh heavily on younger players.

Julius Randle (Kentucky)

Born: Dallas, TX

Weight:  248 pounds

Height:  6 feet,  9 inches

Wingspan: 6 feet, 11 inches

Strengths: Strong body … Has a high skill level for a high school sophomore … Excels at facing up and putting the ball on the floor … Very good finisher around the basket … Can step out and hit shots all the way to college 3pt. range … Can play with his back to the basket but prefers face up game … A good kid with a great work ethic.

Weaknesses: While very solid, especially considering his age, not a jaw dropping physical specimen type of athlete … Doesn’t play on the box as much as he should, too perimeter oriented. Should focus a little more on refining his post game which will really be his bread and butter as he gets older … Settles for too many jumpers at times instead of imposing his will inside … Too left hand dominant. Needs to work at using his right hand better.

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