It’s never too early to start paying attention to the NBA Draft. The 2013 draft lacks potential franchise players who can have a team built around them, but it does contain several players who will be solid additions for years to come in the NBA. Here are four players who every fan should keep an eye on as the college and international seasons progress this year.
Anthony Bennett, PF, 6-7, 239, UNLV, Freshman
Although not possessing the ideal height for an NBA power forward, Bennett has come on the scene as one of the most dynamic power forwards in the college game this season. Similar to former undersize UNLV PF Larry Johnson, Bennett is a superb scorer who can score both inside and outside. Bennett gets to the foul line at a good rate, averaging 6.9 free throw attempts per game. Bennett does need work on being a better and more willing passer as he hasn’t yet learned how to create much for his teammates. Bennett is one of the most impressive freshmen in the country this season and should he declare for the draft this year should be a lottery pick.
Mason Plumlee, PF, 6-11, 245, Duke, Senior
Plumlee is currently experiencing a breakout season at Duke this year. Plumlee has led the surprising Duke team to the No. 1 ranking in the countr. Plumlee is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, minutes and assists this year. He has also become a more efficient scorer, averaging career highs in free throw and field goal percentage. No longer just a player with potential, Plumlee has become a finished product and figures to be an impact player immediately with whatever team drafts him. For a team looking for players with high potential to improve, Plumlee doesn’t make much sense, but he should be the first senior taken in the 2013 draft–a likely lottery pick.
Nate Wolters, PG, 6-4, 190, South Dakota State, Senior
Wolters has been one of the most dynamic scorers in the NCAA during his career at South Dakota State. Every game Wolters plays, he is the focal point of the opposing team and it’s had little effect on his scoring prowess. Wolters led the Jackrabbits to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2012 and had a great game against Baylor with 19 points and four assists. Wolters lacks speed and quickness and figures to be a defensive liability against some of the athletic point guards in the NBA. Wolters is expected to be drafted in the second round.
Rudy Gobert, PF/C, 7-1, 235, Cholet (French Pro A League)
Gobert is an impressive physical specimen with a 7-9 wingspan and is a very athletic player for his size. With his size, Gobert is a great shot blocker and can control the paint defensively. Gobert is very raw offensively and has a limited skill set so far. Gobert is the type of player who can develop into a productive player that makes a general look smart or he might be a bust that destroys a GM’s reputation. Whatever team selects Gobert will have to be a team that has patience with his development process. Gobert figures to be a mid-lottery pick in the upcoming draft.
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