Dallin Prisbrey’s Top 10
Tier One- “As close to a sure thing as your going to find”
1. Derrick Williams SF 6’8″ Arizona
Derrick Williams is the best player in the NCAA class of 2013. Likewise, he is a top prospect in this draft class. The only problem is, that’s the equivalent of being the sanest person in your psychiatrists waiting room: it doesn’t mean all that much. Williams is an explosive athlete that can finish at the rim with ferocity, but he can also finish with finesse when needed, contorting his body in mid-air. The only problem is, this seems to be the only thing he does. For the majority of the college basketball season Williams led the nation in PER. He is a model of efficiency. But the question arises, what type of efficiency is Derrick Williams peddling? Can he dominate the game, taking over when the moment arises; is he an assassin of efficiency? Or is he just a model of dunking efficiency; a one trick pony? Further delving into his game more questions arise: what position is best suited for Williams? Will he thrive on the wing; or can he dominate posted up on the block? What role can he fill? Sixth Man, maybe a second or third scoring option on a title contender? All-star or All-NBA? Could the Number 1 overall pick be a role player? Perhaps the proverbial good-stats-on-a-bad-team guy? Williams leaves you with more questions than answers. However, he does leave one definitive answer: Derrick Williams is the best basketball player in this draft.
2. Kyrie Irving PG 6’2″ Duke
Irving is the best Point Guard in the draft. He possesses a tight handle and a lightning quick first step, and shows titillating flashes of play-making ability. However while Irving possesses the physical talents to be an upper-echelon point guard, it’s questionable as to whether he currently possess the leadership qualities or experience to succeed immediately as a point guard at the next level. The learning curve at the point guard position is steep, and after returning from a toe injury that wiped-out the majority of his season (red flag anyone?), Irving seemed to struggle to find a balance on the court with his teammates. With only 11 collegiate games under his belt, Irving still has much to learn; couple that with an impending NBA lockout, and he has very little time to learn it in. While his impact may not be immediate , given the time and right environment to develop, Kyrie Irving can thrive as a starting point guard in the NBA for years to come.
Tier 2 “Guys recruited by Coach Cal that could amount to something”
3. Enes Kanter 6’10″ C Turkey
Kanter is an unknown quantity, (unless you happen to be the NCAA, that is. If that’s the case, we’d like to be the first to congratulate you on your omniscience) who burst onto the scene after destroying a bunch of high school kids at the Nike Hoops Summit last year; landing himself on the radar of Coach Calipari and the NCAA rules committee. Kanter is widely regarded as the best low-post prospect, and is starting to gain some mildly befuddling buzz as the #1 overall pick. [link] He has a pretty polished face-up game for a 19 year-old, and doesn’t seem averse to contact, defense, or rebounding (the usual knocks against Euros and Chris Bosh). Enes (pronounced e-nez, I’m told) will never be a superstar; but can be a starting-level center for a championship team, and could make an all-star team or two.
4. Brandon Knight PG 6’3″ Kentucky
Knight is a very complete player: He shoots it well enough from 3, and is strong from mid-range and at the rim. His handle is solid, and he can hit the open man. My biggest concern with Knight might be that he does everything too well; that he’s a jack of all trades, but master of none. This isn’t a bad problem to have, but a problem none the less. It will take time for Knight to get all the facets of his game to a point where they’re adequate at the next level, but given the time to develop Knight can be a championship-level starting point guard.
Tier 3 “The Enigmatic College Superstar Who’s Name has Become Somewhat Cliché”
5. James Taft “Jimmer” Fredette 6’2″ PG Brigham Young
Fredette is a bit of mystery: from being considered a fringe NBA prospect, to borderline first rounder, to (at this point) a 1st round lock, The Jimmer became a national obsession. While the name helped, it was his stellar play that catapulted him to National Player of the Year. One could spend hours fretting over his “ceiling” and “potential”, and honestly those more qualified than I have tried. James T. has his strengths: unlimited range, a wicked cross-over, “deceptive” quickness. He’s got his weaknesses: ball dominance (whether dictated by the set offense or not), and indifference toward defense among them. It’s nearly impossible to nail down a projection one can tell confident in. Honestly who would be surprised if he were to succeed? Who would be honestly shocked if he failed? It’s not out of the question- his career could range anywhere from Danny Ainge to Steph Curry to Eddy House to Travis Hansen. Although I would add that the narrative surrounding Fredette’s draft prospects mirror somewhat closely those of Stephen Curry.
Tier 4 “European Guys You’ve Never Heard of”
6. Bismack Biyombo 6’9″ PF Congo
Biyombo is a 6’9″ PF/C with freakishly long arms(reportedly 7’7″) from the Congo that draws comparisons to Serge Ibaka solely due to the fact that he is a 6’9″ PF/C from the Congo. His offensive game is the definition of raw, but seems to be highly effective once in dunk range. Some mild controversy has been had over Bismack’s age, but if it proves to be 19 as reported, Biyombo could turn out to be the steal of the draft. Although he looks to be a little on the slender side, Biyombo’s length, great name (obviously) and shot blocking ability should translate seamlessly to the next level.
7. Jan Vesely 6’11″ PF Czech Republic
Listed at 6’11″, Vesely is a poor Czechoslovakian man’s Kevin Durant. A tall, lanky, small forward with a decent outside stroke, it seems Vesely’s M.O. on offense is to attack the cup with reckless abandon. As with many Europeans in this years draft, Vesely may benefit greatly from the lack of top flight American prospects; and with his ability to continue playing for his club team in Europe during any potential lockout, he may hold even more value.
Tier 5 “Versatile Tweener Forwards Who Play Lockdown D”
8. Kawhi Leonard 6’7″ SF San Diego St.
Leonard was the best player on a senior-laden San Diego St. team that made a run to the Sweet 16. The Aztecs lost only to two teams all year: to Jimmer Fredette’s Brigham Young Cougars; and eventual national champion UCONN and Kemba Walker. Leonard defended both teams electric point guards- that’s how versatile he is. At the college level Kawhi could guard 1-5; in NBA he can guard 4-Jimmer Fredette. Scouts rave about Leonard’s “motor” (possibly a Cummins Turbo Diesel), freakishly large hands, and potential to rebound at an elite level. The biggest question mark surrounding Leonard is his ability to consistently shoot the outside jumper, and whether or not its effective enough to warrant playing time at the small forward position.
9. Chris Singleton 6’8″ F Florida St.
Singleton (like Leonard) is a highly versatile defender, but is also a shut down defender. Singleton might be the best defensive wing player, wining ACC defensive player of the year going toe-to-toe with the likes of Jordan Williams, Nolan Smith, and Harrison Barnes. Singleton is far from a one-way player, he has substantial athleticism coupled with the ability to finish strong at the rim, and a nice mid-range game. Singleton’s career could end up anywhere from contributing starter, to sixth-man of the year, to the all-important towel-waving chemistry guy.
Tier 6 “Player That’s Kind of Overrated, But You Can’t Bring Yourself to Say So”
10. Kemba Walker 6’1″ PG UCONN
Kemba Walker has heart. Kemba Walker can get his own shot at will. Kemba Walker is a leader. Kemba Walker is not a point guard. Yet. At this juncture, Walker is the epitome of a combo guard-a scorer in a point guard’s body. Players can have success as a score-first lead guard; but to win a championship (which apparently someone decided was the true test of greatness) a team MUST HAVE a player to get others involved or execute the offense.