June 27, 2013

The 2013 NBA Draft: 5 Immediate Impact Players

By - Tim Swift

The 2013 NBA Draft is upon us, and as far as drafts go, this is probably one of the more weaker ones in recent memory. Many critics are saying that this could be the worst draft since 2000, which to date has seen its class tally a grand total of two All-Star appearances.

On Thursday night, GMs, scouts and coaches will try to earn their keep. With so many questions at the top of the board, there are reports that several teams are trying to get out of selections because of the perceived lack of talent.

Still, there is talent to be found, and here are 5 guys who could make an immediate impact once the season gets underway.

- Anthony Bennett, Small Forward/Power Forward; UNLV

Photo by: Isaac Brekken
The 6'7 forward burst on the college scene last year, averaging 16 points and 8 boards while shooting 53% from the field. Weighing in upwards of 250 pounds, strength shouldn't be a problem at the next level. Offensively, Bennett has an outstanding jump shot for a guy his size, shooting 38% from behind the arc. Also, with his ball handling skills, he shouldn't have a problem creating shots for himself in the pros. Bennett will have to learn to guard both forward positions in the NBA, something that he didn't do often in his one year at UNLV.

- Shabazz Muhammad, Shooting Guard/Small Forward; UCLA

Muhammad was dogged throughout the season because of bad body language and possible attitude problems. However, he might be the most NBA ready player in this year's draft. He has the speed and strength to play either the shooting guard or small forward position, and is an incredible rebounder for his size. Muhammad is going to make his money in the league putting up points, as the lefty is outstanding scoring with either hand and has real nice touch in the lane. One of the biggest things he will have to work on at the next level is his ball handling skills.

- C.J. McCollum, Point Guard; Lehigh

McCollum caught everyone's attention in the second round of 2012 NCAA Tournament when he dropped 30 points on Duke in an upset win. The guy he has been compared to most throughout the draft process is another small school guard who became the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year; Damian Lillard out of Weber State. Similar to Lillard, McCollum is a scoring point guard who is going to have to adjust to becoming more of a floor leader. He missed the last 19 games of last season with a foot injury, but has looked fully healed during draft workouts.

- Ben McLemore, Shooting Guard; Kansas

The 20-year-old guard from St. Louis is one of the most pure athletes in this year's draft. Even as a freshman, he regularly took over games for the Jayhawks. For a shooting guard, McLemore was very efficient, shooting just under 50% from the field and 42% from 3-point range. Defensively, he was solid as well, rarely getting out of position. McLemore will need to get stronger to be able to withstand the physical punishment he will take in the NBA over the course of an 82-game season.

- Victor Oladipo, Shooting Guard; Indiana

Some scouts and critics have derided Oladipo as an athlete who is playing basketball, but when you're possibly the best athlete in the draft, you can cover for your mistakes. At 6'4, 215 pounds, he already has an NBA ready body, and will be able to slash to the lane with the best of them. Oladipo is also aggressive on the defensive end and is probably the best on-the-ball wing defender on the board. He needs to work on his offensive game, but he improved during his three years at Indiana, so there's no reason to think he won't continue to do so at the NBA level.


  1. Anthony Bennett will be a bust. He's going to be another Beasley/Derrick Williams, maybe Derrick Coleman or Boris Diaw at best. He's got a weight problem and is undersized as a power forward. No one likes a small fat power forward.

  2. Im stunned the Cavs took Bennett #1