The 2012 NBA Draft is less than a week away and most players locked into certain ranges in the draft, especially the players projected to go in the lottery. Here is a look at some players projected in the lottery that are the most likely to become busts.
Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut
Drummond is a freak of nature that has some of the most unique physical tools that the NBA has ever seen. On these physical abilities alone, he is considered a top five pick in this draft. However, there are still plenty of question marks about his game. For one, he is extremely raw as far as his offensive skill is concerned. This problem is made even worse by the fact that Drummond’s reputation is that of someone who lacks a motor and the commitment to be great. If Drummond doesn’t learn to work hard at his craft, he could be a major disappointment as a top five pick.
Perry Jones, SF, Baylor
Jones is another prospect that is blessed with tremendous physical gifts who has the potential to an elite player. Jones has the size of a power forward with the speed of a guard and could be a match-up nightmare in the NBA. But his two years in Baylor were very unimpressive and left many with doubts about his game. Despite his size, he really hasn’t shown the toughness necessary to be a power forward, while not displaying enough skill to be a small forward. He also doesn’t show much in the way of aggressiveness or great effort, rarely impacting the game the way his physical advantages suggest he should. Without improving in these areas, it will be hard for Jones to live up to his draft status if he is a lottery pick.
Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
Rivers had a solid season at Duke after being one of the highest rated recruits of the 2012 freshman class, primarily because of his ability to be a dynamic scorer. While Rivers certainly has a lot of talent, his success in the league could vary depending which team drafts him. The team that drafts is going to have to let him dominate the ball for him to be effective, even though he is more of a shooting guard than a point guard. If Rivers goes to a team that doesn’t allow him to do this, he could struggle to meet the expectations of a lottery pick.
Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
Lillard has been rising up draft boards all season after having a dominant season in the Big Sky and is now considered a top ten pick. His ability as an explosive scorer is what interests teams most and is why he will be drafted so high. But there are still concerns about whether or not he can be effective running a team and setting up his teammates. He also hasn’t played against the top competition in college, which could make his transition to the NBA difficult. These question marks are definitely something that teams need to think about when looking at selecting Lillard, especially in the lottery.
Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut
Lamb is a nice prospect with a nice physical profile and a lot of potential. He is a smooth shooter and scorer who helped Connecticut win a national championship in 2011. Teams still have some apprehension about whether he can live up to his potential. Lamb has a very laid back attitude and doesn’t give great effort at times, which is a concern if he is going to be a cornerstone player for a team. He can also fall in love with his jumper and lose his aggressiveness on the offensive end. With the lack of effort and aggressiveness he shows on regular basis, Lamb definitely could be a bust as a lottery selection.
David Jinks is a guest correspondent for NetScouts Basketball. The opinions in this article are his and do not necessarily reflect the view of NetScouts Basketball.